Motorcycles are the perfect ride for those seeking the freedom it gives, experiencing a ride without doors and windows, and for those looking for a more fuel-efficient mode of transportation.
Statistics shows that motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a collision than are passengers in the motor vehicle that hit them. They are also five times more likely to sustain an injury.
Because motorcycles do not provide any real protection for its riders, made worse by the lack of mandatory helmet laws in many states, even a a relatively minor collision can result in serious injury.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents
The most common response that car and truck drivers who have hit a motorcycle say is that they did not see the motorcycle. It’s probably true in a lot of cases. A driver looking for cars perceives an absence of cars, not the presence of a motorcycle. (See my video, “My Almost Accident“.)
A motorcycle is frequently an unexpected small object on the road and many drivers fail to see it, especially when it is dark, when traffic is heavy, and when poor weather conditions are present.
Research shows that the most common type of collision between a motorcycle and a car or truck occurs at intersections when the driver of the vehicle is making a left-hand turn in front of the motorcyclist. These accidents frequently occur when the motorcycle is going straight through the intersection, or is passing a car.
Studies indicate that drivers have a hard time gauging the speed of motorcycles when passing them or when turning into an intersection. Research indicates that more often than not, drivers underestimate the speed of the motorcyclist.
Poorly maintained roads can also cause a motorcycle accident. Larger vehicles can travel more safely than motorcycles when there are cracks in the road, potholes, gravel, debris, mud, dead animals, and spills. In such circumstances, a motorcyclist can lose control of his bike.
Of course, there are instances when the motorcyclist is negligent, due to lane splitting, speed, reckless driving, driving under the influence, and inexperience.
Potential motorcycle crash injuries
Other than tragic fatalities, some serious injuries can arise from motorcycle crashes. Among them are:
- Broken bones
- Facial disfigurement (usually when the rider is not wearing a helmet)
- Traumatic brain injury
- Road rash
- Biker’s arm (a nerve damage injury to the upper body caused by landing on one or both arms)
How to prevent motorcycle crashes
Preventing motorcycle crashes is really a two-way street. Car and truck drivers, as well as motorcyclists have a responsibility to ensure road safety.
- Learn to be aware that you share the road with motorcyclists (and bicyclists), and take great care when making a turn at an intersection, checking that a motorcycle is not in your blind spot, or is coming in the opposite direction.
- Use your turn signal to alert motorcyclists of your intentions.
- Check before making a right turn, as there may be a cyclist on your right. Be careful not to cut him off
- Wear a helmet and protective clothing.
- Get professional training and learn about motorcycle safety.
- Maintain your bike.
- Don’t share lanes with other vehicles.
- Avoid road hazards.
- Don’t speed.
- Drive defensively.
- Know your skill level.
- Learn proper group riding etiquette when driving with riding buddies.
- Don’t be a showoff or an idiot.
If you ever have any questions about this topic or others relating to personal injury, please use the contact information below.
The Law Offices of Peter Miller
1601 S. Broadway
Little Rock, AR 72206
The content of this blog was prepared by Law Office of Peter Miller, P.A. for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information in this blog may not apply to you. You should seek the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice in your state before taking any action. Using this blog site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Law Office of Peter Miller, P.A. Attorney-client relationships can only be created by written contract.
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