The sense of freedom motorcyclists experience when they’re on the road is hard to beat, and most experienced bikers follow proper safety practices and ride with the proper gear to help keep them safe. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are always at great risk because of various factors contributing to crashes.
A majority of the other drivers on the road are in vehicles much larger and heavier than motorcycles, and they often have trouble seeing bikers due to blind spots and other obstructions. There are also mechanical issues that can cause motorcycle accidents, in addition to the risk of poor road conditions. Consider the following details about motorcycle accidents and be proactive in ensuring your own safety as well as that of others on the road.
What Are the Chances of Getting into an Accident for Motorcyclists?
It is difficult to nail down an exact answer to this question, as statistics vary every year in various locations. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics offer some insight. According to their records, over 5,000 accidents involve a fatality every year, and 14% of those involve a motorcycle. This rate is much higher than it is for other types of vehicles.
It is also important to consider that the rate of single-vehicle crashes is highest for motorcycles compared to other vehicles. These crashes often tend to go unreported, which also influences statistics, likely making the noted figures lower than they are in reality.
What Is Considered to be a Motorcycle Crash?
Motorcycle accidents include any that involve two and three-wheeled minibikes, scooters, mopeds, off-road motorcycles, and pocket bikes, in addition to the motorcycles we typically see on the road. These crashes often cause injury or death to passengers riding on the bike, as well as the driver.
Crashes that involve motorcycles typically include a collision with another vehicle but may be single-vehicle accidents or those involving pedestrians, bicyclists, or others using the road. Terminology may be misinterpreted when examining motorcycle crash statistics, so understanding a few basics is necessary. For instance, “motorcycle rider” refers to the individual driving the bike, while “motorcyclist” may refer to both the passenger and the rider.
What Are the Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents?
There are many ways that cycle crashes occur, but a few of the most frequent include the following.
- Left turn crashes
- High and low side accidents
- Stationary accidents
- Lane splitting
- Side-swipe crashes
- Head-on collisions
What Are the Most Common Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes?
Since motorcycles offer no exterior protection in accident scenarios, significant injuries may occur. These may include:
- Head injuries
- Burns, lacerations, and bruises
- Rib fractures and dislocations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
It is essential for an individual to seek immediate medical care if they suffer any of these injuries in a motorcycle accident. Medical professionals can often identify internal bleeding or conditions that may get words, and they can document the important details that may be required to get compensation.
Accident Rates for Motorcycles
To better understand how many motorcycle riders get into accidents, consider the following statistics on motorcycle accidents and injuries.
- Critical accident rates for supersport motorcycles are four times higher than that of other types of bikes
- Helmet use could reduce economic costs resulting from accidents by over $3.5 billion
- Alcohol impairment contributes to more than 15% of motorcycle accidents
- Speeding contributes to 33% of motorcycle crashes
- Unlicensed riders were involved in over 30% of 2019 motorcycle fatalities
- About 41% of motorcycle deaths are riders without helmets
- Most motorcycle injuries happen on urban roads in good weather conditions
How Do Motorcycle Crash Statistics Compare to Those of Car Accidents?
Remember that when you ride a motorcycle, you may not be seen easily by other motorists; they may not be familiar with your movements, and you are not protected as well as they are in their vehicles. These factors have a substantial influence on the difference between car accidents and motorcycle crashes. Consider the following:
- Motorcycles hit fixed objects much more frequently than motor vehicles
- Driver fatigue and distracted driving are more prevalent in car accidents than motorcycle crashes
- It is 29 times more likely for a motorcyclist to suffer fatal injuries than a passenger in a car
- 42% of accidents between a motorcycle and a car are due to a car making a left-hand turn
These details regarding motorcycle vs. car accidents have been relatively unchanged for decades and are directly proportionate to the way motorcycle injuries line up with fatalities. Understanding the inherent dangers of riding a motorcycle compared to a passenger vehicle is vital in maintaining strong safety protocols.
What Are the Primary Safety Tips for Motorcyclists?
For motorcycle riders to ensure their safety and that of others on the road, they must acknowledge that the practice comes with risks and be vigilant about safety practices. Some of the basics that can help prevent injuries and save lives include the following.
- Never ride when intoxicated. This applies to anyone on the road, regardless of the type of vehicle they are operating. Regardless of whether it is alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, or recreational drugs, no one should ever operate a motorcycle or any vehicle while under the influence.
- Don’t risk lane splitting. Even if the motorcycle rider is in a state where this practice is legal, lane splitting is generally not a good idea. The individual may perform this maneuver with caution, but it is an unnecessary risk.
- Avoid riding when the roads are bad. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but motorcycle riders should avoid traveling in snow, rain, and poor visibility whenever possible.
- ATGATT (all the gear, all the time). Wearing protective clothing is one of the best ways to stay safe if an accident happens. In addition to a helmet, this includes motorcycle jackets, gloves, and pants.
Remember that the effects of a crash are greater for motorcyclists than those in passenger vehicles simply because they aren’t as well protected. Remembering this while making safety procedures a priority whenever a biker hits the road is the best way to avoid injury and death.
If You Are Hurt in an Accident, Trust Guenard & Bozarth, LLP
Unfortunately, accidents occur every day, and people suffer injuries and fatalities. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, it is vital to seek a Sacramento motorcycle accident lawyer with the experience to help you navigate the court system. Contact Guenard & Bozarth online to see how we can assist you.