A motorcycle accident can turn your life upside-down. Because the rider and passengers are vulnerable, serious injuries or death frequently occur after a collision. Only 20 percent of riders who wreck their bikes escape with minor injuries like bruises or road rash. Motorcyclists are five times as likely to be injured in a crash as drivers of other vehicles. They are also 27 times more likely to die as a result of a collision. Motorcyclists and their passengers who are seriously hurt usually require long periods of rehabilitation. By being aware of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, you’ll be better prepared to avoid them.
The most common cause is motorists who either do not see the motorcycle or do not realize how fast the motorcycle is moving, especially in heavy traffic. Numerous reports have documented that up to 65 percent of motorcycle accidents occur because a car or truck turned in front of a motorcycle rider, ignoring the motorcyclist’s right of way. Many times we will use an accident reconstructionist to determine the speed and position of the vehicles involved in the accident or to refute the other drivers testimony. Information from the scene, such a location of debris, size and direction of skid markets, contact point and resting position can all be evaluated to help determine the cause of an accident.
Violating a motorcyclist’s right of way may be the most common cause, but there are plenty of other causes as well. Inexperienced riders who cannot control their bike frequently spin out and dump their bikes. Others run off the road into trees or telephone poles. New riders like to push their bikes beyond the speed limit, which gives them less time to react to other traffic. Novice and experienced motorcyclists like to feel their motorcycle’s power on the open highway. However, when traveling over the speed limit while just a few inches above the ground, all it takes is a stray rock or slick spot to turn an afternoon ride into a ride in an ambulance.
A biker’s own negligence is also a common cause of motorcycle accidents. In cases where the motorcycle is the only vehicle involved in the wreck, drivers frequently don’t slow enough to safely turn a corner. They can also underestimate the turn and not turn widely enough to avoid the curb or shoulder of the road. Once a bike has crashed, leaking gas can ignite and injure the biker even more. Some 60 percent of motorcycle accidents involve fire.
Improper maintenance is another common cause. Under-inflated tires can make handling spongy and imprecise. Worn brakes and cables can prevent accurate stopping, which can lead to rear-end collisions with other vehicles. Usually a motorcycle loses when it strikes a car from the rear.
Motorcyclists should always wear heavy boots, preferably with steel tips. Leather jackets and pants are great for reducing the amount and severity of road rash. Leather gloves improve the rider’s grip on the throttle, clutch and brakes. Helmets are mandatory for optimal safety. The best way to avoid a motorcycle accident is to be aware of your surroundings, your bike’s capabilities and the traffic that is surrounding you. By driving defensively, you can reduce the chances of an injury accident on your motorcycle.
If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence call our Philadelphia injury lawyers at 800-753-4257 to see how we can help, or contact us online to submit a free case evaluation.