Motorcyclist fatalities on the rise in US

An increasing number of motorcyclists are dying in collisions with other vehicles in the United States each year.

When motorcyclists collide with other motor vehicles, the consequences for the biker are generally more severe. Based on the size of the vehicles involved in the crash, motorcyclists are at risk of suffering serious back and head injuries when other drivers crash into them.

Because of this, it is essential for the motorcyclist to buy as much UM coverage (uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage) as possible. If you are in a collision with another motorist, that motorist is unlikely to have more than the minimum liability coverage required in their state of residence ($25,000 in Georgia) which is far too little coverage for the injuries which are typically sustained by the motorcyclist in most motorcycle collisions.

Be prepared when you speak with your insurance agent to be down sold on UM. They are trying to save the insurance company money because they understand the dynamics I have just described. Finally, you are not allowed to buy more UM coverage than you have in liability coverage, but that's okay because, regardless, you need a lot of UM coverage! - so buy a lot of liability coverage so that you can buy the same amount of UM coverage. This is imperative based on my almost 30 years of experience in these matters. BUY lots of UM coverage!

Unfortunately, across the United States, the number of motorcyclists killed in such collisions is on the rise, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2011, over 4,300 motorcyclists were killed in collisions in the United States - a 2 percent rise from the year prior.

Of the motorcyclists killed, approximately 50 percent died in collisions with another motor vehicle.

Across the country, the number of motorcyclists requiring emergency medical treatment has also been on the rise. In 2001, approximately 120,000 people were treated for injuries suffered in motorcycle crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2008, that number jumped to 175,000 people.

Avoid motorcycle collisions in Georgia

To avoid suffering a serious head injury in a motorcycle collision in Georgia, motorcyclists should abide by the state's universal helmet law. Since 1969, all motorcyclists in Georgia have been required to wear a helmet when on the road.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the universal helmet law in Georgia saved 34 lives for every 100,000 registered motorcycles in 2010. Overall, Georgia ranks ninth in the country for the number of motorcyclist lives saved due to helmet use.

Wearing a helmet is one of the best choices a motorcyclist can make, as helmet use lowers the risk of a fatality caused by a crash by 37 percent. In addition, serious head injuries are 69 percent less likely to occur if a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet.

Motorcyclists should also abide by all traffic laws, including following the posted speed limit when on the road. The CDC recommends that motorcyclists wear special clothes - such as leather - when riding to reduce the severity of injuries suffered in a crash. Of course, motorcyclists should take the same precautions as other drivers and never ride if they are impaired by substances, such as drugs or alcohol.

When another motorist collides with a motorcyclist, the injuries suffered by the motorcyclist are generally severe. If you have been involved in such a collision, do not hesitate to protect your interests. Consider talking to an experienced personal injury attorney, who will work with you to obtain the damages to which you may be entitled.

Keywords: Georgia, motorcycle, accident