Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating, carefree experience. It can also cost you your life.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 5,579 motorcyclists died in fatal traffic accidents in 2020. The NHTSA also reports that, per vehicle miles traveled in 2020, “motorcyclists were about 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured.”
Operating a motorcycle is hazardous. Motorcyclists face a unique set of safety challenges, including the lack of physical protection, proximity to automobiles and trucks, and limited road visibility. Taking simple precautions can help to keep you safe on the road.
To legally operate a motorcycle in Wisconsin, the driver must have a Class M motorcycle license or motorcycle instruction permit. To obtain a Wisconsin Class M license, you must satisfy one of the following criteria:
- complete an approved Rider Course
- have a Wisconsin motorcycle instruction permit and complete a motorcycle road test
- surrender a valid motorcycle license from another state
Of the fatal accidents involving motorcycle operators in 2020, 36% were operating without valid motorcycle licenses.
In Wisconsin, helmets are required for all operators and passengers under the age of 18 as well as all operators with motorcycle instruction permits and their passengers. If a passenger under the age of 18 is not wearing a properly fitted helmet, the motorcycle operator is subject to fines and demerit points. Helmets must meet or exceed U.S. Department of Transportation minimum standards.
Motorcycle accidents often cause catastrophic injuries and substantial medical expenses. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to make sure you recover the maximum compensation for your injuries.