It’s no secret riding motorcycles is one of the most dangerous forms
of transportation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA), motorcyclist deaths occurred 27 times more frequently than fatalities
in other vehicles, based on 2014 crash data. Here are some of the most
common reasons bikers get into so many accidents.
Lane splitting is what happens when a motorcycle drives between two lanes
of stopped or slow-moving cars. While in many states, this is illegal,
in other states it is a widely recognized as a standard practice. However,
accidents can occur because the bike is in such close proximity to cars,
which are larger and can cause more damage. Likewise, being in between
two cars reduces the space motorcyclists have in which to maneuver. So,
if a car starts to change lanes without realizing a bike is next to it,
the rider has less room in which to avoid the oncoming car. This is mostly
the result of the fact that car driver’s don’t anticipate
any vehicle or motorcycle will be passing them in slowed traffic.
Speeding on a motorcycle can cause huge problems for the biker, particularly
if they experience a sudden obstacle in the road and have no way to maneuver
around it. For example, blind corners should always be taken more slowly
because bikers can never see if there is a patch of oil, sand, or other
debris in the road that could make their bike overturn. NHTSA statistics
in 2015 showed 33% of all bikers involved in fatal crashes were speeding.
Alcohol consumption by both bikers and car drivers increases the risk of
accidents for both. According to NHTSA, in 2015, 27% of motorcycle riders
who were involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of
0.08% or higher, which is the legal limit in most states. The biggest
problem caused by alcohol is that it impairs judgment. While people may
never consider riding a bike sober, it starts to look like a better and
better idea as the night goes on. Bike riding is fun. Drinking is fun.
Why wouldn’t the two mix? Well, many drunk bikers make the poor
decision to forgo the helmet when riding a motorcycle, which can be deadly
if they fall off the bike. Also, they tend to travel faster than they
should. Speeding on a motorcycle seems like a much better idea when your
judgment is impaired because alcohol gives people a false sense of confidence.
Collisions with Fixed Objects
Collisions with stationary objects are much more dangerous on a bike than
it would be in a car. For example, if a biker crashed into an open car
door, he or she might go flying feet forwards and land in ways that could
lead to brakes, sprains, bruises, and possibly brain or spinal damage.
Whereas, if an automobile crashed into an open car door, the open door
would no longer be attached to the rest of the vehicle.
Unlike cars, which can easily avoid something like a pothole or roadkill,
a motorcycle can’t run over it without risking a crash. Bikes are
smaller, less stable, and more lightweight than a car, meaning they don’t
have the same shock-absorption potential cars do.
While few bikers have high-performance bikes, those that do have a higher
risk of encountering an accident. Supersport motorcycles are racing bikes
but are modified for highway use. They are usually lightweight and have
higher horsepower. Some of them can go almost 200 MPH, which can be ridiculously
dangerous, as drivers are almost incapable or responding to accidents
or obstacles in time to avoid them when going that quickly. Likewise,
sport motorcycles are similar to supersport bikes, but they have a lower
power to weight ratio. Both types of vehicles, however, are popular with
drivers under the age of 34, and individuals this young tend to take more
risks than older riders.
If you’ve been injured on your bike as the result of someone else’s
negligence, don’t hesitate to call us. Medical care can be extremely
expensive. If another person’s mistake caused your injury, you shouldn’t
have to pay for it. Ivey Barnum & O’Mara, LLC has more than
30 years of experience to offer your case. Our
experienced Greenwich personal injury lawyers are dedicated to representing people who have sustained severe and catastrophic
personal injuries. We are also led by renowned attorney John Q. Kelly,
who has earned a reputation for being tenacious, zealous, and meticulous
in his legal representation. Attorney Kelly has acquired extensive experience
working with the nuances of physical, circumstantial, and forensic evidence,
and has handled many complex and challenging cases. Let us see what we
can do for you.
Contact us at (203) 718-4002 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case