Motorcycle Fatalities On the Rise in Nevada

A parade of motorcycles with thousands of bikers on the road.

Motorcycle fatalities have surged significantly this year across Nevada, rising 183 percent statewide, from six deaths in the first quarter of 2023 to 17 in the same period this year. This comes as the state experienced a significant increase in fatal crashes this year, with nearly 40 percent more deadly crashes through March compared to the same period in 2023.

According to data from the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety, 86 fatal crashes on state roads resulted in 97 deaths through March. This represents a nearly 39 percent increase in fatal crashes for the first quarter of 2024 compared to the previous year. March alone saw 39 fatalities, a 50 percent rise from the 26 traffic-related deaths in March 2023.

With May designated as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, Nevada officials are raising awareness about the increased presence of motorcycles on the road as the weather improves.

What is the primary cause of motorcycle accidents?

According to Anita Pepper, spokeswoman for the Office of Traffic Safety, motorcycle accidents frequently happen when drivers fail to yield to motorcycles.

"When someone gets behind the wheel, it’s ultimately up to them to make the right choice and to make good decisions on the road," she said.

When it comes down to it, the most common cause of crashes that lead to motorcycle fatalities is human error. This can also include speeding, driving recklessly, texting and driving, driving impaired, or drowsy driving. In many cases, motorcycle accidents happen when drivers don't check their blind spots before changing lanes or misjudge the speed of oncoming motorcyclists when making left turns.

Poor road conditions can sometimes lead to motorcycle accidents. For example, a motorcyclist can lose control of their bike after hitting debris or encountering other hazards in the road. In this case, a local or state municipality may be responsible if it didn't address the hazard within a reasonable time frame.

How can drivers prevent motorcyclist fatalities and injuries?

Pepper urges drivers to limit distractions, adhere to speed limits, fully stop at red lights, and always anticipate the actions of vulnerable road users. The most effective ways drivers can prevent motorcycle fatalities include:

  • Always check blind spots and mirrors before changing lanes or making turns.
  • Maintain a safe following distance to allow enough time to react if a motorcyclist suddenly slows down or stops.
  • Indicate intentions by using turn signals well in advance to give motorcyclists time to react.
  • Look carefully for motorcycles before making a turn, especially when turning left.
  • Avoid tailgating motorcycles. Their smaller size means they can stop more quickly than cars.
  • Be patient and allow motorcyclists the space they need to maneuver.
  • Stay focused on the task of driving and avoid distractions such as texting or adjusting the radio.
  • Exercise extra caution during adverse weather and give motorcyclists extra space.
  • Before opening your car door, check for approaching motorcycles to avoid a "dooring" accident.

Hurt in a motorcycle accident in Nevada?

If the negligent actions of a driver or other party caused your motorcycle crash, you could face injuries, high medical costs, and a long recovery. The good news is that you can get compensated for any damages accrued in a motorcycle accident.

However, this isn't an easy process. Insurance companies often stereotype motorcyclists as reckless in an attempt to reduce or deny compensation to the injured rider. However, an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can challenge this assumption and fight to maximize your compensation.

If you're ready to take action and seek justice for your injuries, contact us online or call our Las Vegas law office to schedule a free consultation. We'll listen to your story, assess your case, and explain how an experienced Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer can help with your potential legal case.

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