When a motorcyclist hits the open road for a ride in the sun and fresh air, the last thing he or she expects is to be involved in a serious accident. Unfortunately, for many riders, that's exactly what happens. Research from prominent national safety groups suggests a number of factors can contribute to these often-catastrophic crashes, including errors made by both riders and fellow motorists, failure to utilize proper safety gear, and the lack of protection of an enclosed vehicle.
As a motorcyclist, understanding the unique dangers associated with riding can help keep you safer on the road. And if you've been injured in an accident caused by another motorist's negligence, McGartland Law's board-certified and award-winning legal team can help you explore your personal injury options.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
While riders and other motorists are tasked with sharing the road safely, a look at the incredibly grim motorcycle accident statistics shows just how far the public is from achieving the ideal of on-the-road coexistence.
Consider these startling numbers:
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) fatal crash data from 2014 for per mile traveled, motorcyclists were five times more likely to be injured and 27 times more likely to die in an accident than the occupants of passenger vehicles.
- There were approximately 8.6 million motorcycles on U.S. roads in 2015—up from 8 million in 2009.
- More than 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in motorcycle crashes in 2015.
- Additionally, nearly 5,000 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2015, and 40 percent of the riders who died weren't wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
- Helmets are approximately 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle crash fatalities and approximately 67 percent effective in preventing serious brain injuries.
- Nearly 50 percent of all single-vehicle motorcycle accidents involve alcohol.
- As many as 33 percent of riders killed in motorcycle crashes didn't have the proper licenses to operate their motorcycles.
- Older motorcyclists (age 40 and above) accounted for more than half—54 percent—of all motorcyclists killed in crashes in 2015, marking a 17 percent increase from 2006.
- According to the NHTSA, 42 was the average age of motorcyclists killed in 2015 accidents.
- Overall motorcyclist fatalities increased by three percent in 2015.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
It might surprise motorcyclists to discover that driver error—whether theirs or that of other motorists—is the leading cause of motorcycle accidents and related fatalities. One of the most glaring errors committed by motorists is they often fail to watch out for objects or vehicles with smaller profiles, such as motorcycles; whereas motorcyclists don't always have the training or experience necessary to safely maneuver the bikes they're riding.
Additionally, both motorcyclists and other motorists are prone to engaging in dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, driving while drowsy, driving while distracted, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When motorcycle accidents occur, the crashes tend to come from the front, as 78 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents are head-on collisions. Other than head-on collisions, most dangerous motorcycle accidents occur when motorists make a left-hand turn, hitting a motorcyclist riding alongside the vehicle attempting to pass the vehicle or going straight through an intersection. These left-turn collisions account for 42 percent of accidents involving both a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle.
Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you survived a motorcycle accident, you're lucky to be alive. However, it's difficult to feel lucky when you're severely injured, and facing a long and grueling recovery and an avalanche of medical bills.
However, if your accident was caused by another motorist's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for damages, including your injuries and damage to your motorcycle. Experienced legal representation can help ensure you receive a fair settlement. Contact McGartland Law today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.