Many people get injured in motorcycle accidents each year. These accidents impact the lives of all involved, from individuals driving motorcycles to individuals hit by motorcycles and those who care about them. When the accidents happen, they can result in major legal action. All of that could be made much less common if safety precautions were observed.

There were 4,668 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2013. There were also 88,000 motorcyclists were injured that same year. These numbers correlated to 14 percent of traffic fatalities for that year and 4 percent of traffic injuries for that year. Interestingly, 25 percent of motorcyclists who were in fatal crashes didn’t have valid motorcycle licenses at the time, compared to 13 percent of motor vehicle drivers who didn’t have valid licenses at the time of being in fatal crashes.

One way to keep these crashes from happening is by not drinking and driving. There were 1,232 of the motorcyclists killed in crashes in 2013 that were alcohol-impaired. That means that they had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. That is a very significant number of deaths that could have been prevented if the motorcyclists involved had refrained from drinking alcohol before driving.

Many of the motorcyclists killed in crashes did not wear their helmets, so changing that and making sure to don all required safety equipment would go a long way to preventing fatalities. Notably, more alcohol-impaired motorcyclists were killed when not wearing helmets than motorcyclists who were not alcohol impaired.

By making safety a priority, motorcyclists can do a better job protecting themselves and protecting their passengers. However, when another driver is responsible for the accident involving a motorcycle, he or she can be held liable in civil court for the injuries and losses the motorcyclists and his or her passenger suffered.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Traffic Safety Facts: Motorcycles,” accessed March 04, 2016