In 2020, a record 5,579 people died in motorcycle crashes. Some accidents that lead to injury or motorcycle death are the driver’s fault. However, in many cases, a car crash or traffic death involving a motorcycle results from another driver’s negligence. This article looks at some of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. Familiarizing yourself with these facts can help you stay safe on the road.
Lack of Proper Safety Gear
In the past two decades, traffic deaths from car accidents have plummeted. At the same time, motorcycle deaths have risen. Studies show that motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in an accident than car passengers.
Motorcycles are more dangerous because of the open nature of the vehicle. There is no airbag, seatbelt, or structure protecting your body in a motorcycle.
Even a minor incident can leave you with a painful injury. A crash traveling at a low speed can leave you with a broken bone, nerve damage, or a concussion. This is why it is vital to wear protective equipment.
The number one item that will protect you is a helmet. You will be 37% more likely to survive a crash with the correct headgear. Here are some of the most common injuries from motorcycle accidents:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Road rash
- Severe nerve damage
- Broken bones and burns
- Facial disfigurement
- Spinal injuries
- Internal organ damage
Heavy-duty jackets and pants will protect you from severe abrasions. Gloves and proper boots will keep your key extremities from burns and fractures.
Cars Turning Left
Turning left is notoriously deadly on the road. It is more dangerous for cars and pedestrians than turning right. Around 40% of fatal crashes are a result of a vehicle turning left when a motorcycle was moving straight.
When a car turns left, it has to wait for a clear moment to pass in front of oncoming traffic. The size and speed of a motorcycle may make it hard to see. They can also misjudge how fast it is going.
The car then makes its turn which leads to a deadly collision with the motorcycle. In many cases, the driver of the car is at fault for failing to yield to the traffic going straight.
If you are approaching an intersection where you can see a driver waiting to turn left, try to remain hyperaware of your surroundings at all times. Additionally, follow these tips:
- Get ready to honk if need be
- Slow down and prepare to brake
- Be aware of safe places to swerve
Alcohol or Drug Abuse
In 2019, almost 30% of motorcycle deaths involved intoxication. Given how vulnerable you are on a motorcycle, you need to have the right skills and be able to focus on everything happening around you.
When you consume alcohol or drugs, you impair your ability to make suitable decisions. Even what may be assumed as a small amount of alcohol can slow your reaction time and lead to poor judgment. Motorcyclists are far more likely to die in an accident if they have been drinking.
A motorcycle driver who has been drinking endangers themselves but can also cause a car accident that leaves other road users dead. Motorcyclists are also at risk from other drivers on the road who have been drinking or taking drugs.
Inexperience and Recklessness
Many motorcycle accidents turn deadly when the driver does not have much experience–just like any other automobile accident. Learning to drive a motorcycle requires skill and practice. Taking a bike onto busy streets and highways without much experience is considered reckless behavior.
Motorcycling attracts daredevils, and it can be tempting to go faster than you should. But this makes it hard to see dangers that might not be so deadly to a car. A patch of gravel or a pothole can come up fast.
If you are speeding, you will not be able to react in a fast, safe manner. You can lose control of the bike and get into a fatal car accident.
Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
One of the most difficult things someone will have to go through is handling the aftermath of a fatal motorcycle accident of a loved one. In addition, medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages/income can put families into financial debt.
If the negligence of another person led to the accident, the right attorney will ease the burden of recovering your monetary losses.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help families deal with insurance companies, is knowledgeable of the legal system, and will negotiate for maximum compensation. They will assist you in building a case and holding the liable party accountable for their actions.
Motorcycle Death and Injury Claims
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident or lost a loved one from a motorcycle crash caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible for compensation. Surviving family members have the legal right to seek damages from the person who caused the fatal accident.
However, there are limitations as to who can file and when a wrongful death claim can be made. Contact the experienced legal team at Alpha Accident Lawyers to learn more about your rights and claim process. We offer a free consultation to get started.