The state has enjoyed a very mild winter, and with an early start to spring-like weather, Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyers are likely to see an early increase in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits stemming from motorcycle wrecks. Because motorcycle riders are relatively unprotected, they are at greater risk of serious injury or death resulting from a motorcycle accident. With an increase in the number of motorcycles and motorcycle riders over the last several years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of motorcycle fatalities. The National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) reports that motorcycle fatalities rose dramatically between 1998 and 2008, increasing 130%. Over the same span, motorcycle accident injuries increased 96%. In 2009 and 2010, motorcycle accident fatalities decreased slightly, but injuries increased. Some point to the decline in injuries as a result of better motorcycle safety education, more riders wearing protective gear (although Oklahoma does not have a helmet law for riders aged 18 and over), and more driver awareness of motorcycle riders. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report seems to support that more motorcycle helmet use may be in part responsible for the reduced motorcycle fatalities. The NHTSA says that motorcycle helmet use increased from 48% in 2005 to 67% in 2009. Despite the slight decline in the number of fatal motorcycle accidents over the past couple of years, the number is still staggering, and motorcycle riders--both drivers and passengers--are at an increased risk of serious injury or death. The NHTSA reported in 2007 that in the previous year, the death rate of motorcycle riders was 5.5 times greater than that of passenger car occupants. As any Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyer can attest, however, there is risk to both motorcyclists and car occupants in any automobile accident involving a motorcycle. It is important that drivers of cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans "watch for bikers" not only to protect the safety of motorcyclists, but also to protect their own safety. If an inattentive or distracted driver collides with a motorcycle, the results can be deadly for anyone involved. Passenger car drivers should also practice defensive driving to avoid a collision with a reckless motorcycle driver. Motorcycle safety is critical to avoiding serious accidents, but just as not all automobile drivers drive safely, not all motorcycle riders drive safely. Everyone who shares the road should follow traffic signs and signals, obey the posted speed limit, practice observant and defensive driving, and use safety precautions such as wearing a seat belt in a vehicle or wearing a helmet and protective gear on a motorcycle. While 25% of all motorcycle accidents are single vehicle accidents involving only the motorcyclist and his or her passenger, fully three quarters of motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or an automobile accident involving a motorcycle, you will likely face not only physical suffering as you recuperate from your injuries, but also the financial burden of medical expenses compounded by lost wages during your recovery. Whether you were injured as a motorcycle rider, motorcycle passenger, or driver or occupant of a passenger car, an Oklahoma City motorcycle accident attorney can help you get the compensation you need from your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.