Dramatic Increase in Kentucky Motorcycle Accidents in 2012
Unfortunately, it appears that motorcyclists are being involved in more accidents this year than in 2011, according to Kentucky State Police. About 40 more people have been involved in a motorcycle accident and six more have been killed in 2012 than in the same months of 2011. The latest tragic fatality to be added to this total occurred on May 30, 2012 on Fern Valley Road in Louisville, KY. A 23-year-old rider collided with a pickup truck while turning in the intersection. Fog and speed may have contributed to the accident. Even though he was wearing a helmet, he did not survive the crash. Charges were not filed and it does not appear that his family wants to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit at this time.
Not all of this year’s crashes have involved another vehicle. On May 27, 2012, a motorcycle ran off the road in Monticello, Kentucky and hit a house, killing both the driver and the passenger. The cause of the accident is still being investigated. Neither victim was wearing a helmet. While helmets do not always save lives, such as in the first accident mentioned above, they often do. On the same day as the Monticello accident, two people were riding a motorcycle near Frankfort, Kentucky on I-64. When the driver tried to get off the highway, he ran the motorcycle into the grass and hit some trees. While the driver and passenger were both thrown off the bike, the driver who was not wearing a helmet was unresponsive and had to be transported by helicopter to the UK Medical Center. On the other hand, the passenger, who was wearing a helmet, was conscious and suffered less serious injuries.
What has caused this dramatic increase in accidents? It may be due in part to the unusually warm weather that Kentucky residents have been enjoying since the first of the year. The warmer weather has allowed more riders to be out on their motorcycles earlier in the year. Some also believe higher gas prices have contributed to the larger volume of motorcycle riding since they use very little gas. Instead of being used just for pleasure riding, they are being used as commuter vehicles, increasing their time on the roadways.
Another factor that may be contributing to the increase is driver distraction. Most motorcyclists are probably not texting or talking on their cell phones while they are riding, but the drivers in cars around them may be. Motorcyclists are not completely innocent in this regard though, they can be distracted by other things such as listening to the radio or talking to a passenger.
Whatever has caused this increase in motorcycle accidents, we hope it is not a trend that continues throughout the year. As a car driver, it is important to be cognizant of motorcyclists on the road. And riders need to obey the rules of the road and wear the proper safety gear. If you or a loved one are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to contact a Kentucky personal injury attorney such as Steve Frederick to determine what claims need to be filed and if any legal action is required.
2 hospitalized in I-64 motorcycle accident; WHAS 11; May 27, 2012
Motorcycle accidents up 51 percent in Jefferson County this year; The Courier-Journal; Joseph Lord; June 1, 2012
Two die in eastern KY motorcycle crash; WDRB; May 27, 2012