Is Riding A Motorcycle More Dangerous Than Driving A Car?
Ryan Zavodnick | April 17, 2020 | Motorcycle Accident
A motorcycle accident can cause severe injuries and can even result in fatalities. The NHTSA estimates that 72 out of 100,000 motorcycle accidents result in fatalities. This means that the death rate for motorcycle accidents is even higher than that of car accidents. Even if your injuries are not fatal, the resulting injuries can be painful and even life-altering.
You may also be overwhelmed with hospital bills, long-term recovery plans, and the cost of a total loss of either your car or motorcycle. Even though motorcycle accidents are relatively common, it is possible to recover compensation for your injuries that result from a motorcycle accident with the help of a lawyer.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Every year, over 90,000 people in the U.S. are injured in accidents involving a motorcycle. Only 3% of all registered vehicles are motorcycles, however, the fatality rate for motorcyclists is almost six times the rate of deaths for passengers and drivers in cars. Injuries though are lower for accidents involving motorcycles than they are for cars. This means that if a motorcyclist is in an accident, they are more likely to have a fatality than and injury.
The good news is that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that the rate of motorcycle fatalities had dropped 5% in 2018. However, they still cautioned that motorcyclists are still more likely to get in an accident than other types of drivers.
There are some types of motorcycle accidents that are more common than others. More than half of all motorcycle accidents that result in death are head-on collisions. These more frequently occur with fixed objects like a tree or telephone pole than they do with other vehicles on the road. Other common reasons for motorcycle accidents include making a left-turn, overturning, not being seen by other drivers, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Types of accidents and motorcycle safety
Several risk factors increase the risk of being a motorcyclist who gets into an accident. These include being under the age of 30 or over the age of 50, distracted driving, being a new motorcyclist, speeding, being male, not having a license to drive the motorcycle, and driving with previous traffic violation convictions.
Besides fatalities, head injuries are the most common injury for motorcyclists. These can be minimal or they can be catastrophic that lead to paralysis or serious brain injuries. Other frequent injuries include lower extremity harm in the legs, back or other bone fractures, and significant trauma to the chest that can lead to death if not treated quickly.
If you are a motorcyclist, one of the safest things you can do is make sure you and any passenger wear helmets. Also, wear safety gear and know all rules of the road and never speed. Make sure you are licensed and have experience before going on large or congested roads. Drive under the assumption that other drivers cannot see you. Wear brightly colored clothes, signal way in advance, and always use caution when changing lanes or making left-hand turns.
Do you need a lawyer if you were injured in a motorcycle accident?
Pennsylvania has specific laws for motorcycle owners. A helmet is required in the state unless you are over the age of 21 and have either two years of motorcycle driving experience or you have passed a state-approved safety course. You must also obtain a motorcycle license. To get the license, you have to pass a test and driver with an approved learner’s permit. A lawyer can help you if you are charged with violating any of the state laws.
In a recent study, human error was determined to be the cause of 94% of crashes involving a motorcycle. This means that there is more than likely someone at fault if you were in a motorcycle accident. This is where a lawyer can help you. They can determine whether you have an actionable case and they can walk you through the steps to get the compensation you need.
You may either be seeking compensation or you may be sued after a motorcycle accident. The person seeking compensation will have to prove the negligence of the other driver. They will need to prove several things including that one party did not act in a way that others in the same situation would have acted, that their behavior was a cause of the accident, and that there are actual damages that need compensation.
These cases can be long and complicated. It is here that a lawyer can make sure that you have an advocate fighting for you to make sure you get the representation you need. This may either be criminal or civil defense, or they can help you sue the other driver to get compensation for your injuries.