What do I need to know about motorcycle accidents?
The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that there were over 8.5 million registered motorcycles throughout the country in 2019. During that same year, there were more than 5,000 fatal motorcycle accidents and 84,000 injuries. What’s more, the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that over 80% of all reported motorcycle accidents result in the injury or death of the rider.
Motorcycle accidents are far more likely to result in serious injuries and fatalities when compared to those involving passenger vehicles. The reason involves basic physics. The motorcycle is a smaller vehicle and offers less protection to its riders while a passenger vehicle is heavier and has doors, air bags and other devices that protect those within the vehicle. When a relatively smaller motorcycle collides with a car or larger vehicle on the road, more force is sent through the motorcycle. As a result, the rider, who has less protection to begin with, is more likely to get injured.
What can I do to reduce my risk of a motorcycle accident?
A motorcycle crash is the result of a unique combination of human, vehicle, and environmental factors. Although there is no easy way to avoid these accidents, there are steps riders can take to reduce the risk of a crash. The III reports that riders who have taken motorcycle safety education courses and take the time to gain experience on their bikes are less likely to get into a crash. Riding a bike with an antilock braking system can also reduce the risk of an accident. This is because the system will help reduce the risk that the brakes lock when the rider brakes to avoid an accident.
Motorcyclists are also wise to proceed through intersections with caution. Drivers often misinterpret the speed of an oncoming motorcycle. This can result in the driver pulling out in front of a biker. Watch for this possibility and prepare to drive defensively if needed.
What if I am injured in a bike crash?
Legal remedies may be available through a personal injury lawsuit. It is important to note that some riders may hesitate to pursue this option because they were not wearing a helmet. They may fear that this will make it impossible to build a case. This is not true. Although North Carolina and many other states have laws that require motorcycle riders to wear helmet, failing to follow this law does not mean you lose the chance to hold the other driver accountable for their negligence. You can still move forward if the other driver’s negligence contributed to the crash.