You can find motorcycle enthusiasts everywhere in the world. Bikers love this free and exciting way to travel, but sadly statistics shows that motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a collision than are passengers in the motor vehicle that hit them. They are also five times more likely to sustain an injury.
The concern for motorcycle safety is more relevant now than ever because more people are buying them. There has been a 67% increase of purchases since 2019 and the trend is not expected to change for 2023. In addition, the bikes being purchased are more powerful. A couple of reasons cited for this increase are that people are worried about gas prices, and after years of Covid restrictions, they find motorcycles a great way to enjoy the outdoors.
Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous
A few 2022 statistics from the National Safety Council (NSC) show that those riding a motorcycle as a driver or passenger have an increased risk of being injured or killed in a crash.
- Motorcycles make up 3% of all registered vehicles
- Motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities.
- Of all who died in a motorcycle crash, 33% were alcohol impaired.
- Seventy-one percent of riders who died in a motorcycle crash were male.
Serious injuries, other than tragic fatalities, can arise from motorcycle crashes including broken bones, facial disfigurement, concussions, traumatic brain injury, road rash and biker’s arm (a nerve injury).
What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Even though it may be uncomfortable to talk about, it’s important to understand how a motorcycle accident can occur so that you can avoid one. What follows are some of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes that happen because of other drivers and road conditions. However, keep in mind, motorcyclists can also be negligent if they are speeding, driving recklessly, are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, lane splitting, or have a lack of experience.
- Inattentive driving: Vehicle driver inattentiveness is a major cause of motorcycle accidents. So many things can be distracting these days – texts, food, phone calls, podcasts, children, and more.
- Traffic movement: Larger vehicles changing lanes or merging are a constant hazard to motorcyclists. Because motorcycles are smaller, they are harder to see. Those who have hit a motorcyclist consistently report that they did not see the motorcycle, and it’s probably true. A driver looking for cars perceives an absence of cars, not the presence of a motorcycle.
- Roadway conditions: A real threat to cyclists can be the condition of the road. Poorly maintained roads with cracks and potholes can cause a motorcyclist to lose control of his bike as can, gravel, debris, mud, dead animals, and spills. When they come up suddenly, or the cyclist doesn’t slow down, the motorcycle can lose traction resulting in a crash.
- Left-hand turns: The most common type of motorcycle accidents occurs at intersections when the driver of a vehicle is making a left-hand turn in front of the motorcyclist. These accidents frequently occur when the motorcycle is going straight through the intersection, or is passing a car. In addition, drivers find it difficult to gauge the speed of motorcycles when passing them or when turning into an intersection.
- Lack of protective gear: Many states, including Florida, do not make it mandatory for a rider 21 or older, to wear a motorcycle helmet. There is no real rider protection for a motorcyclist, and if a rider opts not to wear a helmet and/or appropriate clothing to prevent severe road rash, the consequences can be severe.
If you ride a motorcycle in Florida or in any other state, please follow the law and stay focused on the road and what is around you. Motorcycling is a great way to travel, it’s fun, it’s adventurous, but please, stay safe out there.
For more information on motorcycle safety, the NSC has some excellent information.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, or have any questions about this article, or any other questions related to personal injury law, please call Julian Rudolph Law at (305) 300-2702, or send us an email. Our personal injury consultations are always free,