What Is the Rate of Motorcycle Accidents?
A motorcycle accident is a mishap when colliding with another vehicle, pedestrian, or stationary object, causing severe injuries and fatalities.
In 2020, motorcyclists accounted for disproportionate traffic fatalities in the United States. Despite making up just 3% of all registered vehicles and 0.6% of all vehicle miles traveled, they were responsible for the following:
- 14% of total traffic fatalities
- 18% of all occupant fatalities
- 4% of all occupant injuries
Helmet use is a huge factor that influences these fatality trends.
This article will discuss some of the significant causes and common types of injuries involved in fatal motorcycle accidents. And if you suffered personal injury in a motorcycle accident, we’ll help you seek maximum compensation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Learn more from the expert attorneys at Frantz Law Group who specialize in motor vehicle accidents.
Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Vehicle accidents can have devastating consequences for riders and passengers, resulting in serious injuries or even death.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the year 2020, there were over 5,500 motorcycle fatalities in the United States.
In California alone, nearly 500 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents, and almost 12,000 were injured.
Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accident fatalities and how motorcyclists can stay safe on the roads:
Left turns are a leading cause of motorcycle accidents, accounting for almost one-third of all collisions. Drivers turning left may not see an oncoming motorcycle because they fail to look for it or underestimate its speed.
When a motorcycle collides with a car turning left, the consequences can be catastrophic. These accidents frequently result in serious injuries, including broken bones, head trauma, and spinal cord damage.
And sometimes, it comes down to not knowing who had the right of way.
Lane switching is a common cause of motorcycle accidents when riders change lanes without properly checking their surroundings or signaling their intention to other drivers. This can result in vehicle collisions or crashing into objects in their path, causing severe injuries or fatalities.
Riders must pay close attention to their surroundings and use their turn signals when changing lanes to help prevent these types of accidents.
Additionally, other drivers should be aware of motorcyclists sharing the road, remain attentive, and give them the space they need.
When two vehicles collide head-on, it’s often due to one of the drivers swerving into oncoming traffic.
In motorcycle accidents, it’s common for the rider to suffer severe injuries or even death because their body is more exposed than in a passenger vehicle. Injuries can worsen if the motorcyclist neglects to wear a motorcycle helmet.
Speeding is a major cause of motorcycle accidents worldwide. When motorcyclists speed, they’re more likely to lose control of their bike, as they cannot react quickly to changing road conditions or obstacles.
Motorcycles are also inherently less stable than cars. They’re more likely to slide or fishtail if the rider is speeding.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2020, speed-related crashes caused 11,258 fatalities in the United States alone, 29% of all traffic fatalities.
Therefore, it’s important for motorcyclists to always obey the speed limit and ride safely to reduce the risk of an accident.
When riders operate a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they put themselves at a much higher risk of vehicle crashes.
Intoxication—like distracted driving—impairs a rider’s ability to make quick decisions, react to dangers on the road, and judge their speed and distance from other vehicles.
Intoxication also affects a rider’s balance and coordination. Because it’s difficult to control the motorcycle, they tend to swerve, lose control, and collide with other vehicles, objects, or pedestrians.
And even if a rider isn’t legally intoxicated, any amount of alcohol or drugs can impair their ability to ride safely.
Road hazards can come in many forms: potholes, loose gravel, uneven road surfaces, debris, oil spills, and wildlife.
When riders encounter road hazards, they may swerve or lose control of their motorcycle, mainly when the objects cause blind spots that endanger motorists.
Riders need to stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings. It’s equally important to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and any potential hazards on the road.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
Motorcycle lane splitting happens when a motorcyclist rides between two rows of slow-moving traffic or stopped vehicles in the same lane.
Unexpected movement of a vehicle, such as a lane change or door opening, makes it one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
When a driver or passenger of a parked car opens their door without checking for any oncoming motorcycles first, a motorcycle rider traveling in the vicinity of the parked car may collide with the open door or swerve into other lanes of traffic to avoid it.
As a precaution, drivers and passengers of parked cars must be mindful of motorcycles and check their surroundings before opening their doors.
Motorcycle riders should also be careful when approaching parked cars. It’s essential to remain vigilant for any signs of movement, such as someone holding the door handle and facing the road.
Types of Damages in a Motorcycle Crash
In a motorcycle crash, the damages can go well beyond physical injuries. Let’s take a closer look at the damages that can occur because of it:
Medical bills: A motorcycle crash can lead to hefty medical bills. From emergency room visits, surgeries, physical therapy, and ongoing treatments, the costs associated with medical care can add up quickly.
Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering can occur after a motorcycle crash. This includes physical pain and emotional trauma, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Lost wages: When an individual is injured in a motorcycle crash, they may need to take time off from work to recover. This can result in lost wages, which can be particularly significant if the individual is the primary breadwinner for their family. In some cases, the injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash can be so severe that the individual cannot return to work.
It’s important to note that these are just a few damages that can occur in a motorcycle crash. Others might include property damage, loss of enjoyment of life, and even wrongful death.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle crash, it’s essential to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and pursue the compensation you deserve.
You May Be Entitled to Compensation If You Were Injured in a Motorcycle Accident.
At Frantz Law Group, our experienced attorneys have the expertise to help you navigate the legal system and seek the compensation you deserve. With years of experience representing motorcyclists, we understand the unique challenges of these types of cases.
The motorcycle accident lawyers at our law firm know the ins and outs of claims and how insurance companies operate, among other aspects of personal injury law.
Contact us for a free consultation to take advantage of our legal advice and services. Our personal injury lawyers will assess your situation and create a plan to help you seek the compensation you’re entitled to.
You don’t have to handle this situation alone. Let Frantz Law Group help you seek the justice you deserve.