Last Thursday, hundreds of Maryland motorcycle riders paid tribute to fellow cyclist Marty Schultz who died in a motorcycle accident on August 30.
Schultz was the director A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments (ABATE) of Maryland, the largest organization in the state that advocates motorcyclists’ rights. ABATE of Maryland believes that motorcyclists have the right to decide whether or not to wear a helmet.
Schultz was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. His fellow ABATE of Maryland members say failure to yield the right of way by the other driver was what caused his death.
The Advocates For Highway and Auto Safety say that-according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
· Motorcycles make up less than 2% of all registered vehicles and only 0.4% of all vehicle miles traveled, but motorcyclists account for over 9% of total traffic fatalities. (NHTSA, 2005)
· Fatalities among motorcycle riders have increased by more than 89% since 1997. (NHTSA, 2005)
· In 2004, 66% of fatally injured motorcycle riders were not wearing a helmet in states without all-rider helmet laws, compared with only 15% in states with all-rider helmet laws. (NHTSA, 2005)
· Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are about 21 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash and four times as likely to be injured. (NHTSA, 2001)
· In 2003, 36 percent of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding, approximately twice the rate for drivers of passenger cars or light trucks. The percentage of alcohol involvement was 40 percent higher for motorcyclists than for drivers of passenger vehicles. (NHTSA, 2003)
· Motorcyclist fatalities are rising fastest among motorcycle riders over age 40. In 2003 alone, fatalities increased by 16%. (NHTSA, 2003)
· Helmets reduce the risk of death by 29% and are 67% effective in preventing brain injuries to motorcycle riders. (NHTSA, 2001)
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another motorist in Maryland or Washington D.C., you should consult a personal injury attorney to see if you should file a claim. Contact the law firm of Lebowitz and Mzhen for more information.
Local Motorcyclists Mourn Loss Of One Of Their Own, wmdt.com, September 8, 2006
Motorcycle Fact Sheet, Safety.org
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