Although motorcycle accidents do not necessarily occur more frequently than other motor vehicles collisions, motorcyclists are more likely to incur serious injuries or die if involved in a crash. Motorcycle riders are involved in 37 times more accidents than vehicle drivers. To help you better understand why this is so, we’ve listed common causes for motorcycle accidents.
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Due to their relatively small size and the fact that they are easily hidden behind cars and trucks, motorcyclists are more difficult to spot. They are particularly difficult to see when passing on the right or while going through intersections. If other drivers on the road are not careful or mindful to check their blindspots, they can miss the motorcyclists and end up causing a crash.
Because of the way they are designed and structured, motorcycles offer riders little protection against outside elements. Other vehicles on the road have seat belts and air bags to minimize injury in case of a crash. The motorcyclist does not have a metal barrier between their body and other vehicles. In many incidents, riders are thrown off their bikes, often resulting in serious injury or death.
Seemingly innocent obstacles on the road for truck and car drivers can be very dangerous for motorcyclists. A pothole, large branch in the road, an animal, or other dangers might cause some property damage to a car or truck. However, if a motorcycle encounters similar risks, they can potentially total their vehicle, sustain serious injuries, or worse.
Vehicles such as cars and trucks often have four or more wheels that steady them, distributing the weight evenly. Motorcyclists, unfortunately, do not have the same luxury. Because the bikes only have two wheels, it is extremely important for the rider to monitor where they place their weight. Leaning too far in either direction can cause them to lose control.
Irresponsible behavior such as speeding, drinking and driving, unsafe lane changes and reckless driving magnify the risks for people operating motorcycles. Risky driving reduces the rider’s reaction time or impairs their logic skills. They may not think to maneuver the vehicle in a safe manner until it is too late.
Younger males compromise the demographic for motorcyclists in the nation. Research shows they are more prone to engage in risk taking activities, thus increasing the risks of accidents and injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that helmets saved 1,829 motorcyclists lives in 2009 and another 823 could have been saved if all of those motorcyclists had helmets on at the time of the accident. Too often, motorcyclists do not wear a helmet, seriously endangering their own lives.
In fatal accidents occurring in 2008, a large percentage of motorcycle operators had higher blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) than other drivers on the road. The NHTSA reported that in 2008, 43 % of the motorcycle riders killed in single vehicle crashes had a BAC of .08% or higher while 64% of those killed on weekend nights had an elevated BAC. Likewise, when larger vehicle drivers are under the influence of alcohol, they can easily miss a motorcyclist in their mirrors or blindspot.
By understanding the common risks of motorcycle accidents, you can take proactive steps to avoid some of these hazardous activities. We hope this information proves helpful. However, while you may take every step to be careful on the road, others may not be. If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact our Ridgefield motorcycle accident attorneys today!
Call for a free consultation today at (888) 244-5480.