D'Amore Personal Injury Law, LLC

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Motorcycle riders have a bad reputation for being reckless and dangerous drivers. With the ability to move quickly between vehicles, some riders take advantage and put others on the road in serious danger.

However, most motorcyclists are not pulling aggressive moves when out for a ride, and are more likely to become the victim of other driver’s careless behaviors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) reports that motorcyclists were about 22 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured. In 2022, 6,128 or 15% of traffic fatalities involved a motorcycle. This is the highest number of motorcyclists killed since 1975. Between increased driving distractions, poor road design, and excessive speeding, it’s becoming more deadly than ever for motorcycle riders to share the roads with other vehicles, even when they follow all the traffic laws themselves.

Spring is the beginning of cruising weather for avid motorcyclists around the country. To spread awareness on how to keep riders safe on the road this season, May is the kickoff of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. By encouraging others to stay alert and spreading the word on the dangers of not sharing the roads with motorcycles, you can help keep Maryland motorcyclists safe in hopes to reduce the risk of serious and fatal accidents in the future.

Motorcycle Statistics To Know

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (I.I.H.S.) reports that motorcycle deaths accounted for at least 14 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2021. Among the 6,084 motorcyclists killed in 2021…

  • 38% involved a single vehicle (the motorcycle).
  • 62% involved multiple vehicles.
  • 35% of motorcycle fatalities involved riders over the age of 50
  • 26% of motorcycle fatalities involved riders under the age of 30
  • 92% of riders who were killed were male
  • 36% of individuals who died in motorcycle accidents did not have a valid driver license
  • 59% of motorcycle deaths occurred between May- September.
  • 49% of motorcycle deaths occurred on the weekends.
  • 28% of motorcycle drivers were killed at night, between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • 2,294 of the people who were killed were not wearing helmets.
  • 29% of fatally injured motorcyclists had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08%.

Cruiser/standard motorcycle models appeared to have the most fatal crashes, resulting in 1,733 deaths overall. Though all roads can pose a risk to motorcyclists, non-interstate major roads posed the most danger for riders in 2021, responsible for 3,261 of the 6,084 fatalities. Other types of roads where fatalities occurred included minor roads (2,099) and interstates and freeways (695).

Most Common Motorcycle Injuries

In October 2018, Richard Plunkard was riding his motorcycle in Smithsburg, Maryland when he was struck by a car who failed to see him before they pulled out. According to Local DVM, Plunkard suffered from broken bones in his eye, elbow, shoulder, hip, and femur, an impacted eyeball in his skull, an amputated pinky finger, and the loss of one of his ankles- thankfully, he was wearing his helmet.

Catastrophic outcomes such as these are common when describing motorcycle accidents. Aside from minimal padding and a helmet, motorcycle riders have little protection in the case of an accident, particularly when they come head-to-head with a car or truck. Examples of some of the common injuries that can result from a motorcycle accident include:

  • Head Injuries– concussion, a cracked skull, traumatic brain injury, brain damage.
  • Muscle Injuries– strains, sprains, tears, paralysis.
  • Road Rash– skin irritations that can involve cuts, scrapes, and bruising leading to infections or nerve damage.
  • Leg Injuries– paralysis, nerve damage, scrapes, cuts, broken bones, and fractures.
  • Bikers Arm– injuries to the arm resulting from a biker using it brace themselves when falling on the road resulting in permanent injury.

The forceful impact on a motorcyclist’s body caused by the road,  a car, or a stationary object (bridge, median, pillar, etc.) can set them up for a life-long recovery and permanent injuries. When riders do not wear a helmet or padded clothing while riding, the risk of these injuries leading to fatal consequence skyrockets. In 2002, The American Journal of Public Health did a study on the Maryland All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Use Law that was enacted on October 1, 1992. The study showed that the fatality rate dropped from 10.3 per 10,000 registered motorcyclists prelaw to 4.5 post-law despite almost identical numbers of registered motorcyclists. Despite this controversial law, it appears to be an effective public health policy and may be responsible for saving many lives.

MD Motorcycle Accidents 2024

Only four days into the new year when Maryland saw its first fatal motorcycle accident in Hagerstown when a motorcyclist died  after colliding with a van near Valley Mall. St. Patrick’s Day weekend in March, Maryland State Police had a busy weekend investigating 3 fatal motorcycle accidents, in Anne Arundel County, Queen Anne’s County and Charles County. April saw our highest motorcycle fatal crash report at 10 according to Maryland’s Zero Crash Data Dashboard.

Current Maryland Motorcycle Laws

In addition to the basic rules of the road that motorcyclists must obey there are several additional laws in place to protect riders.

  • Motorcyclists may only operate the motorcycle from the permanent attached seat.
  • Passengers may only ride on motorcycles designed to accommodate them.
  • Riders must keep both hands on the handlebars.
  • Motorcycles get full use of the width of the lane they’re riding in.
  • Two motorcycles may share a single lane.
  • Motorcyclists may not ride between lanes.
  • Motorcyclists must use the adjacent lanes while passing other vehicles.
  • Some roadways require a minimum engine size for motorcycle use.
  • You cannot cling to other vehicles while riding a motorcycle.

How To Share The Road

Drivers of cars and motorcycles both have a responsibility to keep each other safe on the road. Because motorcyclists have minimal protection in the case of an accident, drivers of cars and trucks must keep a close eye out for these vehicles to prevent a collision. Safely Home provides these tips for drivers and motorcyclists to help them avoid becoming a statistic this riding season:


  • Check your blind spots, especially when changing lanes.
  • Be mindful and considerate to motorcycles on the road.
  • Keep a safe distance when driving near a motorcycle.
  • Give motorcycles a full lane of travel.
  • Use your turn signals well in advance for motorcycles to anticipate your moves.
  • Take the time to see where a motorcycle is going. Most motorcycle turn signals are not self-canceling. 


  • Always use your turn signals.
  • Wear your helmet (preferably full face) and protective gear on every ride.
  • Know your vehicle and how to operate it safely.
  • Keep your speeds low and appropriate for your surroundings.
  • Watch for inclement weather.
  • Drive defensively at all times.
  • Avoid being in a vehicle’s blind spot- stay visible.
  • Wear bright colors or reflectors for night time riding.
  • Never ride a motorcycle you are not licensed and trained to drive.

Baltimore Winning Motorcycle Accident Attorneys – D’Amore Personal Injury Law

Attorneys at D’Amore Personal Injury Law are dedicated advocates for motorcycle safety. We believe everyone has the right to ride safely on our roads, not just cars and trucks. Motorcyclists shouldn’t have to accept injuries and accidents because drivers of other vehicles are neglecting to watch for them. 



Our Maryland motorcycle accident attorneys have the trial experience to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you need and deserve. Contact us today 410-324-2000 to get the justice you deserve. Our consultation is free, and there is no fee unless we win!

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