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An Overview Of Motorcycle Accidents

Riding motorcycles can be fun, exciting. Motorcycles are also easier to maintain than larger cars or trucks and have the added benefit of great gas mileage. However, they are statistically more dangerous since they do not have seat belts, air bags or other safety features found in most cars and trucks.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were around 8.5 million motorcycles on the road in 2012. In 2013, motorcycle fatalities went down by 6.4% to 4,688 from 4,986 in 2012. In 2012, 60 out of every 100,000 of all registered motorcycles were involved in a fatal crash, compared to only 14 out of every 100,000 passenger cars according to the NHTSA.

It was also estimated that motorcyclists are 26 times more likely than a car driver to die in a crash and five times more likely to get injured.

Here Are Some More Key Statistics:

  • Around 112,000 motorcycles were involved in crashes in 2012, which includes property damages-only crashes
  • In 2013, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents which is down by 5.4% compared to 2012
  • The number of motorcyclists on the road is continually rising
  • Fatalities among motorcyclists, ages 50 and older, increased by 119 in 2012, compared to the previous year, which saw an increase of 7.7%
  • Motorcyclist fatalities accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2013
  • The Government Accounting Office estimated that in 2010, motorcycle crashes cost $16 billion in direct costs, which include emergency services, medical costs (including rehabilitation), property damage, loss of market productivity, lost wages, etc.
  • Older motorcyclists account for more than half of all motorcycle fatalities. Data from 2012 showed that 56% of the people who died in motorcycle accidents were age 40 or over. From 2003 to 2012, this number has increased by 63%.
  • NHTSA reported that in 2012, 27% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08%

Motorcycle Accidents vs. Car Accidents

On a per mile base, the number of deaths on motorcycles is an estimated 30 times greater than the number of deaths in cars. The biggest cause of death among motorcyclist fatalities is head injury.

However, the number of motorcycle fatalities actually went down between the beginning of the 1980s and 1998. They began rising again after that year, and the increase continued until 2008. The rate of car accidents, on the other hand, has consistently declined. In 2010, 22,200 passenger vehicle occupants died in crashes, which is fewer than any year since the NHTSA started tracking these statistics.

Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents

In South Florida, riding a motorcycle is a popular recreational activity for thousands of residents. This increased number of motorcycles has led to annual increase in related injuries and accidents.

Most motorcycle injuries and accidents are not caused by the motorcycle driver. Due to the vehicle’s size and speed, other drivers may not easily see them coming. This is why many motorcycle accidents occur after two vehicles collide. In fact, cars making left-hand turns account for 42% of all the accidents involving motorcycles and a car. Usually, the motorcycle is either going straight through an intersection or passing the car. For whatever reason, the driver of the car fails to notice the motorcyclist.

Also, a high percentage of motorcycle accidents happen at intersections with a greater obstruction of view, which prevents drivers of larger vehicles to see the motorcyclist. The presence of large buildings, parked vehicles and/or trees can block a driver’s line of sight and lead to a motorcycle accident. Motorcyclists who are hit from behind due to their inability to brake quickly may also cause accidents on the road.

Other Causes Of Motorcycle Crashes Include:

  • Motorcycle Lane Splitting – Because of the close proximity of the cars to the motorcycles and the reduced space the motorcycle has to maneuver, motorcycle lane splitting creates a higher change of a crash.
  • Motorcyclist Speeding And Alcohol Or Drug Use – About 50% of accidents involving a single motorcycle are caused by speeding or alcohol use.
  • Collision Between Motorcyclist And Static Objects – These collisions account for 25% of motorcyclist deaths, but just 18% of car crash deaths
  • Road Hazards Facing Motorcyclists – Because of the smaller size and less stable nature of the motorcycle, small irregularities, such as: potholes, dead animals, debris, slick road or uneven heights can cause the motorcyclist to crash
  • High Performance Motorcycles – These powerful motorcycles are four times more dangerous to riders than conventional motorcycles, such as: cruisers, standards, and touring motorcycles

Motorcycle Accident Injuries

In the above instances, motorcyclists usually suffer more than the drivers of larger vehicles. They often experience greater physical injuries that go beyond minor bruises and cuts and include broken limbs and bones. However, there are measures that can be taken to reduce these injuries, such as: wearing protective clothing, using a helmet and driving at a reduced speed.

Motorcyclists may also suffer from head injuries, even if they are using helmets especially when they ride at high speeds. Some specific angles of impact may also lead to concussions, which can cause long-term impairment.

Though the driver can easily walk away from the wreck, the motorcycle may not be as fortunate. Because the motorcycle’s parts are often more exposed, even mild wrecks can cause major damage. This only adds to the already frustrating situation.

Motorcycle Accidents Aftermaths

Because motorcycle accidents can cause many problems, it is important to know your rights.

Once you have notified your insurance company about the accident, you should seek legal guidance immediately to make sure that you are fairly and adequately compensated.

Our lawyers in Hallandale can help the victims of motorcycle accidents, as well as their families, with legal claims. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the recklessness of another person or motorist, contact us today to seek compensation for your accident.

More Information:

Fenstersheib Law Group, P.A. - Hollywood, FL


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