Unfortunately, as stimulating as a motorcycle ride can be, it comes with significant risks. The numbers tell a disturbing story regarding motorcycle accidents in Minnesota. Far too many riders are hurt and killed each year because of driver negligence. These accidents not only lead to tragedies but also injuries that can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
If you’ve suffered an injury or the tragic loss of a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else, Sand Law attorneys will help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
We have years of experience in this area of the law, and we know how to hold those responsible for accidents accountable for their carelessness.
Understanding the Numbers: Key Minnesota Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle accidents occur far too often in our state – often with terrible results. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), 69 motorcyclists died in accidents, and another 998 suffered severe injuries in 2021. Of those killed, 67% weren’t wearing a helmet. Of those injured, 57% didn’t have a helmet. The vast majority of injuries and fatalities – 85% – were males.
The following is a quick look at fatality and injury numbers between 2012-2021:
- 2012 – 55 deaths, 1,454 injuries
- 2013 – 60 deaths, 1,143 injuries
- 2014 – 46 deaths, 1,117 injuries
- 2015 – 61 deaths, 1,232 injuries
- 2016 – 54 deaths, 1,153 injuries
- 2017 – 53 deaths, 1,046 injuries
- 2018 – 58 deaths, 913 injuries
- 2019 – 44 deaths, 840 injuries
- 2020 – 64 deaths, 926 injuries
- 2021 – 69 deaths, 998 injuries
The number of deaths in 2022 was even higher. There were 82 fatalities on Minnesota’s roads and highways. This was the highest number since 1985.
Here are a few more DPS facts involving motorcycle accidents in Minnesota:
- From 2020-2021, the most dangerous time to ride was between noon and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
- Most deaths and injuries result from collisions with passenger vehicles. The second-most common cause of fatalities and injuries was collisions with fixed objects.
- Most crashes involving fatalities and injuries occurred on county highways.
- There were 179 crashes resulting in deaths and injuries in areas with a population between 10,000 and 24,999. Another 154 crashes occurred in areas with a population between 50,000-99,999. The most populated areas with 250,000 or more people saw 136 accidents.
- June (211) and July (204) had the most crashes leading to deaths and injuries. Those were followed by August (175) and September (156). There were no motorcycle accidents reported in February and only one in December.
Factors Contributing to Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Deaths
According to the DPS, motorcycle registrations and licenses started to decline in 2015 and 2016. While the number of injuries has dipped significantly since then, fatalities continue to rise. Why is that the case? One factor is a lack of proper training among riders. The DPS reported that more than 30% of riders involved in a fatal accident in 2021 didn’t have an endorsement to operate a motorcycle.
Motorcycle accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, but there are several common causes that riders should be aware of. One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is driver error. Drivers who text or talk on their phones, are impaired due to alcohol or drug use, or simply not paying attention to their surroundings can easily cause an accident with a motorcycle rider.
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is road conditions. Potholes, debris, and uneven pavement can all cause a rider to lose control of their bike and crash.
Speeding is also a common factor in motorcycle accidents. Riders going too fast may be unable to stop in time to avoid a collision or lose control of their bike and crash. Inexperienced riders are also at a higher risk of accidents, as they may need to gain the skills or knowledge necessary to handle unexpected situations on the road.
Finally, motorcycle accidents can also occur due to other drivers who fail to see a rider or give them enough space.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Riders and Drivers
Everyone is responsible for making the roads as safe as possible, whether riding on two wheels or four. Here are some tips to help make that happen:
Wear Appropriate Safety Gear
Always wear a U.S. Department of Transportation-approved helmet to protect your head in case of an accident. Additionally, wear protective clothing like gloves, boots, and jackets to safeguard your body from potential injuries. You should also pick a motorcycle with good safety features to reduce risk of injury.
Make sure your motorcycle has reflective elements, and always use your headlights, even during the day. Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing to increase your visibility on the road, especially in adverse weather conditions.
Follow Traffic Rules
Observe speed limits, traffic signs, and signals. Don’t weave in and out of traffic or ride in the blind spots of other vehicles. Always use your turn signals when changing lanes or making turns.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, especially in heavy traffic. Motorcycles have shorter stopping distances, so maintain a safe buffer zone to avoid rear-end collisions.
Anticipate potential hazards on the road and be prepared to react. Keep an eye out for turning vehicles, pedestrians, and road obstacles. Stay focused and avoid distractions like using mobile devices.
Be Aware of Motorcycles
Motorcycles are smaller and more vulnerable than cars. Check your blind spots, use your mirrors frequently, and double-check before changing lanes. Be cautious when turning left. Many accidents occur when drivers fail to see oncoming motorcycles.
Give Motorcycles Space
Allow extra following distance when driving behind a motorcycle. Remember that motorcycles can stop faster than cars, so maintain a safe distance to prevent rear-end collisions.
Signal Your Intentions
Use your turn signals in advance to communicate your intended movements to motorcyclists. Give them ample time to react and adjust their position accordingly.
Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone on the road. Avoid using mobile phones, eating, or engaging in other activities that divert your attention from driving. Stay focused on the road at all times.
Check for Motorcyclists Before Opening Doors
Before opening your car door, check for approaching motorcycles to avoid causing an accident. Be mindful when parked on the roadside, and look out for motorcyclists when exiting your vehicle.
By adhering to these safety tips, motorcyclists and drivers can enhance road safety, reduce the risk of accidents, and ensure a harmonious coexistence on the streets. Remember, a little extra caution and vigilance can go a long way in preventing accidents and saving lives.
Contact an Experienced Minnesota Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Sand Law attorneys are standing by to help if a negligent motorist caused your motorcycle accident. Schedule a free case evaluation as soon as possible by contacting us online or calling 651-291-7263.