Riding motorcycles is an experience so many riders savor since they give you a true sense of the open road and an ability to enjoy and experience the elements, at least in pleasant weather. They offer flexibility, quickness, maneuverability and the ability to ignore traffic congestion if you engage in lane splitting or sharing, whether legal or not. Parking is less of a problem.
But motorcycles are extremely vulnerable to inattentive motorists, road conditions and to causing catastrophic injury since a rider and passenger have little protection from being violently ejected in an accident although a helmet and leather clothing, if worn, can sometimes minimize injuries and actually save lives.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact motorcycle accident lawyer Neil Burns.
Motorcycles are very different from passenger vehicles when it comes to accidents and injuries. Here are 27 motorcycle accident facts that may shock you or, at least, give you pause for some reflection:
- Helmets do save lives. The NHTSA has estimated that nearly 2000 riders and passengers can be saved each year if helmets are worn. We love New Hampshire, but the law there which does not require helmets is a law, not practical advice. Wear a helmet when you travel north!
- Only about 25% of all motorcycle accidents involve something other than a collision with another vehicle.
- Weather accounts for only 2% of all motorcycle accidents.
- In multiple vehicle accidents, over 66% of the accidents are caused by a motorist violating the motorcycle rider’s right of way.
- The average speed of a motorcycle involved in an accident is just less than 30 miles per hour.
- The majority of accidents with motorcycles occur at intersections.
- 92% of riders involved in accidents did not take a motorcycle training course.
- The average age of motorcycle riders killed in an accident in 2013 was 42 (bigger bikes are the norm for this age group but more prone to rollovers; that older riders have slower reaction times and less physical flexibility likely accounts for this statistic).
- The majority of serious injuries occur to riders over the age of 60 (they are 2 ½ times more likely to suffer injuries than riders aged 20 to 39)
- Riders who were 40 to 49 had the highest rate of alcohol involvement in fatal injury accidents.
- In the 7 states that have repealed mandatory helmet use since 1997, all have experienced dramatic increases in fatalities with Louisiana having a 108% increase.
- Motorcycle riders are 35 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than motorists and passengers in automobiles.
- You have a 98% chance of sustaining any kind of injury in a motorcycle accident with another vehicle and a 96% chance if in a single vehicle accident.
- 50% of motorcycle injuries are to body areas below the waist.
- 73% of motorcycle accidents involved riders without eye protection.
- Wearing a helmet significantly reduces the incident of neck injuries.
- Helmets reduce the incidence of fatal accidents by 37%.
- About two-thirds of single vehicle accidents were caused by rider error such as running too wide on a corner or overbaking or undercornering.
- The most prevalent cause of motorcycle accidents in traffic is a motorist who failed to see the motorcycle before the collision. Ride defensively!
- You are less likely to be involved in an accident if your bike has a windshield or fairings (shell placed over frame), though this is an attribute of older and experienced riders.
- Only 19 states and the District of Columbia have mandatory helmet laws for all riders.
- In those states without mandatory helmet laws for all riders, fewer than 50% of riders wear a helmet. Helmet use was nearly 90% in states requiring helmets for any rider and passenger.
- The majority of motorcycle accidents occur shortly after a rider begins the trip.
- Glare and obstructed view are responsible for nearly 50% of multiple car accidents with motorcycles.
- 96% of riders involved in accidents are male.
- Riders without a motorcycle license, no license or who have a revoked or suspended license represent a significant proportion of those injured in accidents.
- Fewer than 10% of riders injured in accidents have insurance to cover medical expenses for their injuries.
As you can see, there are certain aspects to riding a motorcycle that make it less safe. The most important factors in riding a bike is to wear a helmet, assume other motorists do not see you, take a motorcycle safety course and have adequate insurance for medical expenses.
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents are personal injury matters. If you can show that another driver or entity negligently caused your accident, you are entitled to damages. Your motorcycle accident lawyer can present your injuries in ways that can maximize your compensation and handle all insurance issues.
Possible damages include:
- Lost earnings-past and future
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Spousal claim of loss of consortium
Neil Burns is a motorcycle accident lawyer who has been representing motorcycle riders and passengers who were injured by the negligence of motorists and has obtained millions of dollars in compensation. Contact his office today for a free, in-depth assessment of your injury claim.