RI Motorcycle Accident Deaths on the Rise

photo_11054_20090517-300x225It’s summer in Rhode Island and we’ve been fortunate to have beautiful weather. Understandably so, RI motorcyclists are taking advantage of ideal riding conditions. Whether there are more motorcycles on the road due to the warm temperatures or not, we do know that motorcycle accident fatalities are up in Rhode Island this year. According to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), there have been 6 fatalities involving motorcycles in the first 6 months of 2018. This is double the amount for the same period of 2017. As Providence, RI motorcycle accident lawyers, we find this increase in fatalities concerning.

Why Are RI Motorcycle Accident Fatalities Up?

Although Rhode Island State Police can’t point to a single determining factor for the increase in motorcycle accident deaths, they do say it’s not just a concern only in Rhode Island. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) the number of motorcycle accident fatalities have increased 60% over the last 20 years. Federal statistics show that motorcycle fatalities typically spike each year between June and September. In 2016, nearly half of all motorcycle deaths occurred in those four summer months. Car accident fatalities also rise during the summer months, especially during summer holidays, as we explored in a recent Tapalian Law personal injury blog. Although motorcycle fatalities have increased this year, motor vehicle related accidents have decreased from this time frame last year. There have been 27 motor vehicle accident fatalities through June 29, 2018. During the same time period in 2017, there were 39 fatalities. As Providence personal injury attorneys, we hope this downward auto accident fatality trend continues its decrease for the remainder of the summer.

Rhode Island Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Rhode Island does not require motorcycle operators to wear a helmet. As motorcycle injury lawyers, unfortunately we have seen first-hand that the risk of severe head trauma, brain injury, and death, increases without proper head protection. Rhode Island does, however, require all passengers riding on a motorcycle to wear a helmet. All RI motorcycle operators under the age of 21 as well as new operators within their first year of riding, are required to wear a helmet at all times. Rhode Island requires a special license to operate a motorcycle and the completion of an approved motorcycle safety course. Data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) shows motorcycle operators are 27 times more likely than passengers in a car to die in a traffic crash and six times more likely to be injured. Wearing a helmet can largely decrease the severity of these injuries.

Tips for Safe Motorcycle Driving in Rhode Island

The commander of the RI State Police Motorcycle Unit, Lt. Ernest McKenney provided some tips for safe motorcycle driving in Rhode Island. It is recommended that motorcycle operators:

  • Wear helmets, eye protection, and protective, bright-colored clothing.
  • Leave high beams on throughout the day to increase visibility to other drivers.
  • Avoid distractions like cellphones.
  • Obey traffic and road rules.
  • Never operate under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Ride defensively.

Contact a RI Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you have been hurt in a motorcycle crash in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, seek out the advice of an experienced RI motorcycle crash attorney. The Providence personal injury law firm of Tapalian Law helps clients seek compensation for their motorcycle accident injuries and car accident injuries. With convenient offices in Providence, RI, and Seekonk, MA, we are easily accessible. If you are too hurt to travel to our offices, Attorney David Tapalian will travel to you at your convenience. Tapalian Law provides a free, no-obligations consultation for your injury case. We understand that getting hurt in an motorcycle accident can be a traumatic time for the injured victim as well as their family. There may be injuries to recuperate from, unexpected medical bills, time lost from work, damage to your vehicle, and other unexpected repercussions. You may require additional medical care and surgeries in the future as well. Accident attorney David Tapalian has been helping accident victims for over 15 years with a proven track record of success. If someone else is at fault for your accident, we can help you seek out what is fairly owed to you. Call us today at


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