According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Association report in 2005 it was shown that there were about 87,000 injuries and 4,576 fatalities linked to motorcycle accidents. The report also mentioned that motorcyclists are about eight times more likely to suffer injury as compared to an occupant of a motor vehicle. This article will discuss motorcycle accident injuries, causes and compensation.
The above statistics are sobering even for 2022, however, they ring true due to the fact that motorcycles do not have a protective frame for motorcyclists when they are involved in accidents. As a result, it is all too common for any motorcycle accident to result in serious injuries or death to the rider. Further, it is all too easy for a defense attorney to blame the motorcyclist for their injuries, therefore, speak to a motorcycle personal injury lawyer for legal advice and representation for your motorcycle accident injury claim.
Motorcycles have a limited crashworthiness [Crashworthiness | NHTSA], that is they lack the ability to protect the occupants in the case of an accident, as a result, injury is almost always inevitable. Injuries associated with motorcycle accidents are not limited to the accident occurring as a result of other vehicles but even a collision with a stationary object can result in a wide range of injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries as well as spinal cord injuries. Some of the most common injuries associated to motorcycle accidents include:
- Skin abrasions
- Partial paralysis
- Fractures and broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
There are a number of factors that can directly or indirectly contribute to a motorcycle accident. Most motorcycle accidents are a result of involvement from another motor vehicle or the impairment of a driver or disobedience to traffic laws. As such these two are the key factors surrounding motorcycle accident causes.
Driver or motorcyclist adherence to traffic laws - it has been reported by the NHTSA that more than 51% of motorcycle accidents involve other vehicles. Drivers of motor vehicles have the larger responsibility in respect of the safety of motorcyclists as motor vehicles are able to cause serious injury to cyclists. Therefore, when a driver is intoxicated or fails to adhere to traffic laws it is likely that the safety of a motorcyclist is in danger. That being said the motorcyclist also plays a key role in their own safety on the road. The cyclist must do the following on their part:
- Wear protective gear and a helmet
- Stay out of the driver blind spots
- Be heard by surrounding vehicles
- Try to drive during daylight hours
- Stay off the road when there is inclement weather
- Obey traffic rules especially regarding intoxication
Weather and road conditions - bad road conditions and inclement weather are a motorcyclist’s worst enemy. This is mainly because the wheels on a motorcycle have a small surface area in comparison to a car tire. Further, motorcyclists lean in specific directions in order to make turns, therefore, bad road conditions make them susceptible to accidents and getting off the road. Weather and road conditions that pose a threat to motorcyclist safety include:
- Potholes and bumps
- Road wetness
Painted strips on the road