Many people own and regularly ride motorcycles because they are appealing for a variety of reasons. We have been taught that motorcycles are inherently cool, fun to ride, and an excellent way to express freedom and rebellion. Though these things are certainly true for motorcycle riders, it is important to understand just how dangerous motorcycles can be. Unfortunately, many people who ride motorcycles are unaware of the risks and just how common motorcycle accidents really are.
Our firm has encountered many individuals and families permanently affected by motorcycle accidents. We have seen how these accidents can permanently change a family structure and cause irreparable damage to riders and family members alike. If you own a motorcycle, are considering purchasing a motorcycle, or love someone who rides, it is important to know the dangerous reality of these machines.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcyclists have a 1 in 100 chance of experiencing a motorcycle accident, while drivers have only a 1 in 366 chance of experiencing a car accident. This discrepancy should be shocking for any motorcyclist. In other words, with current reporting data, a motorcycle is about 36 times more likely to encounter an accident than any other type of automobile. The figure showcases the dangers motorcyclists face compared to car drivers.
However, it can be difficult to assess the safety of motorcycles from statistics alone. Thousands of motorcycle accidents go unreported every year. This phenomenon can greatly skew the data. It is likely that a motorcyclist’s chances of experiencing an accident are even higher than reported above.
While helmets are required to operate a motorcycle on public roadways in California, other states only require helmets for minor riders—or not at all. Though helmets have been shown to decrease fatalities, only 71% of motorcycle drivers reported wearing a helmet in 2019. Though this certainly isn’t the only reason that motorcycle accidents are so lethal, it is a significant contribution to the grim outcome of many motorcycle crashes. As a result, one way to significantly increase your chances of surviving a motorcycle accident is to wear a helmet every time you ride.
When a motorcycle rider experiences an accident, there is very little to protect them. While cars and trucks have metal frames and doors to protect the driver, motorcycles have almost no protection from the road or other vehicles. As a result, motorcyclists experience a significant risk of injury in the event of an accident. 975 out of every 100,000 motorcyclists were injured in crashes in 2019. The grim reality is that many more people are not injured during motorcycle crashes but instead die as a result of the incident.
Unfortunately, death is relatively common for motorcyclists. In 2019, the last year that data was collected, motorcycle deaths accounted for 14% of all accident deaths. This statistic becomes even more alarming when you consider the fact that motorcycles make up only 3% of the vehicles on the road. About 5,000 people die in motorcycle accidents in the United States every year.
Factors That Cause Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons—every situation is different. Many causes of motorcycle accidents can be avoided, and most occur because of negligence or poor decision-making on the part of the motorcyclist and other drivers. Major factors that contribute to motorcycle crashes include:
- Drunk driving or DUI
- Distracted driving
- Failing to sufficiently check a blind spot
- Bad weather
- Road construction
- Risky maneuvers
Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents as a Car Driver
If you drive a car, there are a few things you can do to minimize your chances of experiencing a collision with a motorcycle. By implementing these tips, you can reduce your risk, address the current statistics, and make the road a safer place for all.
To help avoid motorcycle crashes, you should:
- Check your mirrors and blind spot thoroughly when changing lanes or turning.
- Drive slowly and carefully around motorcyclists.
- Give motorcyclists plenty of space on the road.
- Pay attention to the road at all times.
- Do not drive while intoxicated.
- Follow all rules of the road.
By taking these few easy steps, you make the roads safer for motorcyclists. You also help to avoid the negative consequences of a motorcycle accident, including injuries, fines, repairs, medical bills, and criminal charges.
Avoiding Motorcyclist Accidents as a Motorcyclist
If you are a motorcyclist, you are not absolved from your duty to drive with reasonable care. As such, there are a few ways you can help to reduce your chances of an accident. By implementing these suggestions, you give yourself the best chance of avoiding injury or death while on your bike.
While riding your motorcycle, you should:
- Wear a helmet.
- Wear proper protective gear on your body.
- Follow all rules of the road.
- Avoid riding while intoxicated.
- Avoid distracted riding.
- Refrain from weaving in and out of lanes.
- Avoid busy highways and roads and opt for roads with more space and fewer cars.
- Take practice courses to be sure you are properly trained on your motorcycle.
Though these actions can’t always prevent an accident, they can help to decrease your chances of ending your ride in the hospital.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you do experience an accident while on your motorcycle, it is important to have a skilled motorcycle accident attorney on your side. Because motorcycle accidents often result in injuries, you will likely face significant medical bills after a crash. What’s more, your injuries may keep you from doing daily activities such as working, spending time with family, and getting proper rest.
When an accident affects your life, you have the right to pursue compensation from the responsible party. You should not have to suffer financially because someone else injured you while you were riding your motorcycle. Our attorneys can help ensure that you receive the compensation and protection you deserve after your accident. We will work diligently to secure you a proper settlement, so you can focus on healing instead of your financial burden.
Contact Peach & Weathers
The personal injury attorneys at Peach & Weathers have developed years of experience interpreting motorcycle accident law. We understand how important these cases are to our clients, and we are dedicated to preventing you from suffering financially for your injuries. We are passionate about pursuing proper compensation for these devastating accidents and have devoted our practice to securing a stable future for our clients.
To learn more about motorcycle accidents or to request a consultation, contact our office today.