Motorcyclists know they must exercise a great deal of caution when sharing the road with cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles and other vehicles. In addition to road hazards, the actions of other drivers may put a biker in jeopardy when an accident occurs.

The National Safety Council explains that drivers of other vehicles should be aware of how they may put a motorcyclist at risk and that safety for riders does depend on other drivers as well.

Risks to motorcyclists

Some primary risks to motorcyclists caused by other drivers include opening a car door or changing lanes into the path of the rider. Many crashes may involve a driver making a left turn in front of a biker. Lack of checking a blind spot may contribute to an accident.

Tennessee’s motorcyclist fatalities

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclist fatalities accounted for 12% of Tennessee’s total vehicular deaths in 2014. That increased to 13% and then to 14% in the subsequent two years. In 2017, things seemed to improve a bit as these deaths dropped to 13% of the state’s total when 135 bikers died in crashes. Unfortunately, that improvement was short-lived. In 2018, a total of 168 motorcyclists died in Tennessee, representing 16% of all accident fatalities statewide that year.

Biker fatalities span all age ranges

Despite the stereotype that younger riders may be more likely to be involved in accidents, the fact remains that riders of all ages share the risks. Between 2014 and 2018, 150 bikers in their 50s were killed on Tennessee roads, only slightly less than the 169 bikers in their 20s.