Why Motorcycles Are in Way More Accidents Than Cars
Motorcycles are more dangerous than cars for several reasons. They are smaller, less visible, and less stable than four-wheeled passenger vehicles. Riders are more vulnerable to weather and road hazards than occupants of enclosed vehicles. Operating a motorcycle requires different mental and physical skills than driving a car or a truck.
In the U.S. in 2021, the fatality rate for motorcycles per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 30.20, compared to 0.76 for light trucks and 1.26 for passenger cars, as reported by the Insurance Information Institute (III). In addition to these deaths, 82,686 motorcyclists were injured. The following facts concerning fatal motorcycle crashes in 2021 are provided by the National Safety Council (NSC). Most motorcycle fatalities occurred:
- In crashes involving two vehicles (53%)
- On urban roads (67%)
- In good weather (83%)
- During nighttime hours (50%)
- When riders were wearing helmets (59%)
- When riders were NOT alcohol-impaired (72%)
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Due to their vulnerability on the road, motorcycle riders are at a higher risk of being involved in an accident and a higher risk of sustaining injuries more serious than drivers of passenger vehicles. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include the following:
- Negligent left turns: Many crashes occur at intersections when drivers turn left against oncoming traffic and strike motorcycles traveling through the green light. This is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents.
- Distracted driving: Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than cars or trucks. Drivers using cell phones, distracted by other factors, or simply not paying attention may fail to register motorcycles in the roadway.
- Unsafe lane changes: All enclosed vehicles have blind spots, and motorcycles are smaller and less visible than passenger cars. A driver who changes lanes without first signaling and carefully checking blind spots can strike a motorcyclist in the adjacent lane.
- Speeding: The faster a vehicle is moving, the more time and distance is needed to stop to avoid hitting a motorcycle. Speeding puts everyone on the road at risk.
- Tailgating: Following too closely behind the vehicle ahead is dangerous driving behavior. When a 4,000-pound passenger vehicle rear-ends a motorcycle, it can have deadly consequences for the rider.
- Cutting motorcyclists off: Drivers who fail to yield the right of way can cause motorcycle crashes. Being forced to slow down or stop suddenly or swerve to avoid an obstacle can cause a rider to lose control of the bike.
- Dooring: When a driver or passenger opens a car door directly in the path of an oncoming motorcycle, the rider is faced with the choice of hitting the door or swerving into traffic.
- Hazardous road conditions: Two-wheeled motorcycles are far less stable than cars or trucks. Poorly maintained roadways and road hazards such as potholes and debris can cause serious motorcycle wrecks.
What Types of Injuries Are Common in Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcyclists lack the protections of an enclosed vehicle and are vulnerable to severe injuries in a crash. Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Head and brain injuries
- Road rash
- Torn rotator cuff and shoulder injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Facial fractures, scarring, and disfigurement
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
If someone else caused your motorcycle accident and injuries, you are entitled to seek compensation for your losses. Damages you may be able to claim compensation for include past and future medical expenses, time missed from work, and property damage.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer About Your Case
The Cleveland personal injury lawyers at George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law can serve as your dedicated legal advocates after a serious motorcycle accident. We have 50 years of combined experience and a successful track record for our clients. We offer personalized attention and quality representation.
With George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law, you can rest assured that we won’t back down until you get the justice you deserve. Call us at (216) 621-3930 today for a free consultation.