Motorcycle accidents occur more frequently in Dutchess County, New York than other counties in the state. If you or someone you know owns a motorcycle in Dutchess County, there are certain statistics and precautions you need to be aware of in order to avoid injury, and ensure the safety of others on the road.
Motorcycle Accidents in Dutchess, NY
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s report on motorcycle accidents in Dutchess, NY, an average of ninety-nine such accidents occur each year. This is higher than average for most New York counties. Only Nassau, Monroe, Erie, and Albany counties have higher rates of motorcycle accidents per year than Dutchess.
The reported accidents occurred across Dutchess County towns including Chelsea, Castle Point, Amenia, Dover Plains, and Holmes.
In addition, a 2014 report from the New York State Department of Health states that while most crash victims in Dutchess County were in cars, motorcyclists comprised “a higher percentage of injuries compared to standard automobile occupants.” The injuries reported during 2014 included twenty-three deaths, 270 hospitalizations, and 2,507 emergency department visits.
An additional report from the New York State Department of Health in the same year indicates that motor vehicle traffic injuries are the “third leading cause of injury-related deaths” in Dutchess County alone. The same report indicates that the highest average hospital charges per victim in the county were for motorcyclists and car occupants.
Ways to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents in Dutchess, NY
Avoid The Taconic State Parkway
Some roads throughout Dutchess County N.Y. are well-known for being motorcycle accident hotspots. One of these roads include the Taconic State Parkway.
This 104-mile road isn’t only in Dutchess; it extends throughout Albany, Columbia, Westchester, and Putnam counties, extending to New York City. But the parkway’s segment in Dutchess county has become one of the most dangerous segments of the road and has been the site of many terrible accidents.
- The Taconic is a particularly crowded roadway, used by many motorists who need to travel between NYC and upstate New York.
- It is one of the windiest roads in the state, requiring careful handling and skill to navigate in a car. It’s even more demanding on a motorcycle. Even careful drivers (and riders) often overcorrect during turns, or may accelerate too quickly to accommodate other drivers.
- The wider the road, the safer it is for every motorist and the Taconic is narrow by modern standards.
- Wildlife is abundant in the Dutchess County portion of the Taconic Parkway. Deer, bears and other animals cause frequent obstructions that every motorist must be on constant high alert to avoid, especially at night, or in weather conditions that cause low visibility.
Wear Protective Motorcycle Gear
For starters, everyone riding a motorcycle should also be wearing proper protective gear, first and foremost a motorcycle helmet. This single piece of safety equipment is crucial to all motorcycling. It’s simple: helmets save lives. In 2015, the use of motorcycle helmets saved an estimated 1,772 lives, and 740 lives could have been spared had the motorcyclist worn a helmet. Whether the law requires it or not, you should ALWAYS ride with a helmet.
The best motorcycle helmets are made with several layers of shock-absorbing insulation, surrounded by other composite materials to protect your head from a collision or impact. Outer shells are made of either polycarbonate plastics, fiberglass or carbon fiber. Insulation inside the shell can be one, two or three layers of various-density expanded polystyrene foam.
Helmets are tested and certified by the US Department of Transportation and by the Snell Foundation. The later has slightly different and more stringent standards than the DOT standard.
Helmets are available in different styles, each covering or surrounding different parts of one’s head. The safest helmet is a “full-face” helmet, followed by a “3/4” or “open” helmet. Most experienced and safety-conscious riders prefer the full-face coverage. This is for good reason as studies have shown fully 45% of all crash impact occur in the chin and face area, the area protected only by full-face helmets.
Many motorcycle riders also opt to wear gloves, which can protect your hands if you fall from your bike, and improve your grip on it to ensure your hands don’t slip from the brakes and throttle. Motorcycle jackets and pants are specifically made with leather and other materials to protect your body and skin from road rash and other injuries. Jackets and pants designed for motorcycling include a variety of impact and skid-resistant reinforcements in the shoulder, elbow, back, knee and hip areas. These inserts protect from impact and the abrasion of sliding on asphalt at speed.
Motorcycle boots also protect feet and ankles. These are stiff, resist twisting that can fracture bones and are often reinforced so that a falling motorcycle won’t cause injury to the rider’s feet.
h3>Practice Safe Motorcycle Habits
Motorcyclists can also lessen the odds of being injured or even being in an accident in the first place by observing proper road safety techniques. These involve properly signaling to other cars and pedestrians, observing the speed limit, maintaining an ample following distance behind any car, and avoiding riding the motorcycle during inclement weather. If it rains, slow down. If it snows, stay home.
New York Motorcycle Injuries: Statewide Statistics
The Insurance Information Institute provides data from the years of 2000 to 2017 about motorcycle injuries and fatalities. This data shows that motorcycle injuries are common. Approximately 450 motorcycle injuries occur every 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
For instance, 2008 had about 96,000 injuries involving motorcyclists from among the 7.7 million registered motorcycles and/or licensed riders that year. 2017 saw a slight reduction in motorcycle injuries across the board, though it’s still too high for comfort: 89,000 injuries among 8.7 million registered motorcycles.
While this does suggest that people may be becoming safer when riding their motorcycles, it clearly indicates that the vehicles are dangerous.
Fatality information, according to the same resource, stayed largely the same. In 2008, there were 5,312 motorcycle fatalities, and in 2017 there were 5,172. This data indicates that, while the number of accidents may be falling, fatal accident rates haven’t changed a great deal. Thus, proper protection and accident avoidance are critical.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in NY
Like automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents can be caused by:
- Drivers unaware of motorcyclists nearby
- Speeding, both on the part of the motorcyclist or other drivers
- Sudden stops, which can cause rear-end accidents
- Lane splitting or unsafe lane changes
- Left-turn accidents, particularly if a car driver is not paying attention
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Car doors opening in the path of an oncoming motorcycle
- Motorcycle or car defects
- Dangerous road conditions like crumbling or loose pavement
- Lack of signaling or signage from another driver
All in all, there are plenty of ways in which one can become involved in a motorcycle accident. Because motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than other types of vehicles, motorcyclists must be much more aware of their surroundings and wear proper protective gear to avoid injuries.
*information collected from NY.gov
Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries in NY
Some of the most common injuries include:
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial fractures in disfigurement
- Traumatic brain injuries
Of these injuries, road rash is one of the most common and dangerous. It’s far more dangerous and painful than a mere scrape on the road. Road rash can leave you with permanent skin or nerve damage and infections beneath the skin that could lead to medical complications.
Motorcycle Injury Attorneys in New York
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident in the Billings, Salt Point, Stanfordville, Pawling, or greater Dutchess County area, you need to consider your legal options carefully.
Having excellent representation is critical if you want your motorcycle accident claim to be professionally represented and have a better chance at compensation for your injuries or damage to your bike. As motorcycle injuries can be quite expensive, you should contact Sobo & Sobo for your motorcycle accident representation.
The law firm has decades of experience on their side and are well-equipped to pursue payment for your damages, medical bills and any pain and suffering you may have experienced. Contact them today for a free consultation and see what they can do for your case!
Phone Number: 855-468-7626