Motorcyclists make up over 8% of all drivers in the United States, noted by the Motorcycle Industry Council in 2018, which is the highest ever recorded. As the freedom and beauty of riding a motorcycle are felt and appreciated by more Americans, the risk of motorcycle accidents increases with more motorcyclists. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are vulnerable drivers and can come across dangerous situations of their own making, of course, but commonly at the negligence or oversight of other drivers. It is important to understand the dangers motorcyclists face as both motorcycle owners and car drivers to ensure we do not participate in or contribute to potentially fatal accidents.
The Four Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
First on the list is driver negligence as this contributes to most motorcycle accidents in some way. Whether it is an unsafe lane change, car doors opening without a driver properly checking their blind spots, sudden stops, or right of way errors, all failures of drivers to properly comply with the rules of the road contribute to motorcycle accidents. This can also be turned on the motorcyclist and we implore motorcyclists to be aware of their surroundings and to ensure there is proper space between you and the car ahead.
To be aware of your surroundings is to also be aware of the weather and road hazards. Inclement weather, including fog, rain, and snow, accounts for a fair number of motorcycle accidents. To have situational awareness is to check the weather forecast and determine if your individual motorcycle can handle those conditions. Slippery roads or low visibility can put motorcyclists at increased risk of causing, contributing to, or being the victim of an accident. Keeping a careful eye on the road itself is incredibly important as potholes, loose gravel, construction debris, and trash are dangerous road hazards that can cause motorcyclists to lose control and crash.
For both motorcyclists and car drivers alike, we must all keep in mind that a blood alcohol content (“BAC”) of 0.08% or higher constitutes a DUI in all states. Driving under the influence results in astronomically high numbers of accidents, and accidents involving DUI for motorcyclists are no different. Carefully consider whether you, as a driver or motorcyclist, have reached this point and always have a designated driver with you. DUI-related accidents are 100% preventable and present a real danger to all drivers around you.
Lastly, vehicle part defects are possible and can cause or contribute to an accident. Whether a part defect is on a car or on a motorcycle, it is important to keep an eye out for malfunctions in your vehicle and stay updated on recalled parts.
Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
Common injuries from motorcycle accidents are very serious as the rider is more vulnerable than the average driver. Even with helmets, traumatic brain injury is possible as high speeds can cause the head to hit the ground or an object harder than the body can handle. As these accidents are incredibly traumatic for the body, spinal cord injuries, including paralysis, internal injuries, such as bleeding and organ ruptures, bone fractures, and road rash, which can lead to infection, are common.
It is important for motorcyclists and car drivers to be aware of their surroundings, respect the rules of the road, and carefully consider the consequences of their actions as accidents involving motorcycles can be life-altering in the worst ways imaginable. For motorcyclists who have been involved in an accident, it is important to obtain representation to navigate the legal processes ahead of you.
Do you need an attorney after a motorcycle accident?
With the pain and suffering endured at the hands of someone else, motorcyclists need experienced, expert personal injury attorneys in the field of motorcycle accidents. The motorcycle accident attorneys at The Simon Law Firm, P.C. are the expert attorneys in this field and are prepared to hear your story, explain and discuss your options, and stand by you through every part of the litigation. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, please contact The Simon Law Firm, P.C. today to have a free, confidential consultation.