With over 300 days of bright, sunny skies every year, Arizona is a natural choice for motorcycle enthusiasts. Whether living here or just visiting, Arizona is listed among the top 20 states for riding. Who wouldn’t want to twist their way through deserts filled with cactus and canyons carved out of our gorgeous red rock, along famous motorcycling routes? The Grand Canyon State is simply a dream come true for any motorcycle enthusiast.
The number of motorcycles on our roads increases every year, and it’s no wonder, given the rising cost of gasoline, and a slow economy. Of course, with those rising numbers of motorcycles comes more cars and trucks, too, all driving on less-than-ideal roads and highways. Because of this, we attorneys see the number of accidents involving motorcycles continuing to rise, as well.
Nationwide in 2015, there were 4976 individual motorcycle accident fatalities, up more than 8% from just the year before. That is simply a staggering number! Over 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in traffic accidents. And in 2014, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely than a car passenger to die in a crash (per mile traveled), and nearly 5 times more likely to be injured. There are currently over 8.5 million motorcycles on the road nationwide.
In Arizona in 2015, there were 2911 motorcycle accidents. Of those crashes, 132 were fatal crashes, resulting in 134 people killed. There were also 2329 injury crashes resulting in 2497 reported injuries. These statistics are alarming at best. So what can we do to better our driving when we’re out riding those beautiful Arizona roads?
There is above-average enforcement of motorcycle safety laws here in Arizona, and a great awareness from authorities regarding distracted driving and driving while intoxicated. This truly benefits all of us responsible motorcycle drivers by reducing the incidence of motorcyclist stereotyping. Here at Parker & Lazzara, we know the stereotypes and we work hard to represent motorcyclists as they really are – respectful, responsible, aware riders.
Still, accidents do happen, and if you’ve been injured in an accident on your bike, you know first hand just how quickly your life can take a turn for the worse. Injuries that need medical attention, continuing treatment, chronic pain, time off work…it all spells disaster if you’re not protected. You are entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver for your injuries and any property damage that occurred in the accident. Consulting with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney will ensure that you receive all the compensation you deserve in a timely manner.
In Arizona, all drivers must carry liability insurance – no matter what it is you drive or ride – but all too often, this insurance is inadequate after an accident involving serious injuries. And many vehicle drivers are underinsured or uninsured completely. What happens then? Who will pay your medical expenses and take care of your family while you recover?
These are serious issues when you consider that the average cost of a motorcycle accident involving injury can range from $2500 to over $1 million. So if the at-fault driver’s insurance is inadequate to pay your damages, then what? One of the smartest things you can do as a responsible motorcycle rider is to include Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage on your own insurance policy. If you do not own Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Insurance coverage, then you won’t have enough money to cover your expenses and damages such as medical bills, ambulance transportation costs, time off work to recover, and continuing medical treatments and therapies.
Even though Arizona doesn’t require anyone to carry this coverage, it’s important that you take the steps to secure the coverage in the event that you are involved in a serious motorcycle accident with someone who has no insurance or is underinsured. It may be your only avenue to recover damages.
Your awareness of your motorcycle and the vehicles surrounding you on the road, and your knowledge of safety maneuvers and proper riding will go a long way towards preventing an accident while you’re out riding. Utilize the following tips from the AZ Department of Public Safety and the American Motorcyclist Association to help you become a safer motorcyclist overall.
Finally, if you or a loved one are involved in a motorcycle accident, one of the first things you should do is meet with a qualified, experienced motorcycle accident attorney to help you get the compensation that you deserve for your damages, and help get you back on your motorcycle and riding again.