Motorcycle Accident Fatality Information
New York Motorcycle Accident Fatalities Increasing
With the cost of gasoline running between $3.00 and $4.00 a gallon many New Yorkers have decided to get rid of their gas guzzling cars and are buying motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters. Why not when they average 50 MPG. Cars get less mileage because they are heavier. In certain respects heavier is better in that the heavy steel skin and frame of the car gives some structure and protection to the occupants that is not available to the motorcyclist. On a motorcycle or scooter, there is nothing between you and the road but the clothes on your back. “Road Rash” is the biker term for the serious de-gloving injuries that bikers’ suffer when their not properly clothed bodies make contact with the road. The flesh is actually torn from the body in large patches. The scaring can be horrific.
Nationwide motorcyclist fatalities has increased more than 6½% in 2007. This marks the tenth straight year for increases in fatalities. During the same period deaths in cars dropped 7.8%. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says motorcycle registration has increased 75% in the last 10 years.
New York State Motorcycle Helmet Law
New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 381 requires that operators and passengers on motorcycles wear a helmet. The law further requires that the helmet meet the requirements of the federal motor vehicle standards § 571.218. This is a 7 page regulation which details the specific attributes that are required for a helmet. There is clear proof that a good helmet not only saves lives but lessens the chance of serious injury. It is unfortunate that many other states have not followed New York’s lead. In fact, only 20 states now require a helmet. As early as 1975 47 states required the helmet. It is essential that if you buy a motorcycle or scooter that you invest in a substantial helmet that meets or exceeds the stringent federal regulations listed above.
New York No Fault Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Laws
New York State Insurance Law §5103 (f) creates an obligation to pay First Party benefits to all pedestrian victims of motorcycle accidents. However, all occupants of motorcycles AND All-Terrain Vehicles are excluded from first party benefits. This means that if you or your passenger are injured in a motorcycle or ATV accident you will not have no-fault benefits for your medical treatment and for your lost wages. Mopeds, mini-bikes and go-carts are not considered motorcycles for no fault purposes, so the occupants of Mopeds, mini-bikes and go-carts will have the protection of no-fault benefits provided the owner of the Mopeds, mini-bikes and go-carts purchase the coverage.
A wise motorcyclist with a good driving records can buy special motorcycle no-fault coverage. Since no-fault is not mandated you must specifically ask your broker to find a company that will sell motorcycle no-fault coverage.
Contact our motorcycle accidents lawyers for experienced injury representation in any of the five boroughs of New York City, including Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.