A crash in Stephens County, Oklahoma took one life Saturday afternoon. The wreck happened at U.S. Highway 81 and Rose Road. According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the victim was rushed to Duncan Regional Hospital with massive injuries. The wreck happened when a car on Rose Road failed to yield at a stop sign. The car struck a motorcyclist who was heading southbound on U.S. Highway 81. The impact of the crash threw the victim over 60 feet from his motorcycle. The motorcyclist, 58-year-old Douglas McDonald, died at the hospital.
Even though May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publicizes the importance of motorcycle safety throughout the year. They encourage drivers to share the road with motorcycles. Riders have the same road privileges as automobile drivers. Unfortunately, they don’t have the same safety benefits as drivers. When crashes happen, motorcyclists are at an increase risk for injuries and deaths. They don’t have protective steel cages, side curtain airbags or seat belts. Although helmets can help to reduce head, face and brain injuries, they can’t always keep motorcyclists from being severely or fatally injured.
U.S. Motorcycle Crash Statistics
- In 2010, motorcycle wrecks killed 4,502 people.
- Since 2000, motorcycle crash deaths have increased by 55 percent.
- Between 2001 and 2008, more than 34,000 motorcyclists were killed and 1,222,000 people were sent to the emergency room for non-fatal injuries.
- Motorcycle wreck injuries and deaths totaled $12 billion in medical costs and productivity losses for one year alone.
Sharing the Road
The NHTSA encourages automobile drivers to be on the lookout for motorcycles. Since motorcycles are smaller than cars and trucks, drivers can overlook them easily. Drivers who don’t check their blind spots before merging lanes are putting bikers’ lives at risk. Drivers also need to be particularly careful when entering and leaving intersections. Even minor roadway issues like pot holes can pose serious dangers to riders, so drivers should give motorcyclists plenty of room to maneuver.
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating for victims and their families. In fatal crashes, families may be faced with extensive medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses and a loss of love and companionship. If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. The team at the Altman Legal Group sends their deepest condolences to family members and friends of Douglas McDonald.