In 2019, motorcycle accidents claimed the lives of 186 people in North Carolina and 5,014 nationwide. Less stable and far more exposed than cars and trucks, motorcycles present serious and unique safety risks to riders. Unlike passenger vehicles, motorcycles do not have a crumple zone in front and back to absorb the impact of a crash. They don’t have seat belts or airbags, and the rider’s body is completely exposed.
Nevertheless, Americans, including many folks in Fayetteville and the Cumberland County area, remain avid bikers. As of 2020, there were nearly 9 million registered motorcycles in the United States (200,000 in North Carolina). Many bikers cite fuel efficiency, cost-effective repairs and camaraderie with other riders as benefits of motorcycles. Nevertheless, there always remains a risk that someone else’s negligence will cause a serious wreck resulting in lifelong harm. Motorcycles are the most dangerous form of transportation.
Knowing the risks and causes of motorcycle accidents can help prepare riders, but another driver’s negligence is always a threat. Here, we’ll look at common injuries, causes, and preventative measures involved in typical crashes.
Whether or not a crash is fatal, injuries from a motorcycle accident can be life-altering. Common injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) – Symptoms can be immediate or delayed, but require immediate medical attention. Sudden trauma to the brain causes behavioral changes and death.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – Damage to the spinal cord of any caliber can result in loss of sensation, chronic pain, or paralysis.
- Fractures – The lack of protection surrounding the body means fractures are common among crash victims and survivors.
- Internal Injuries – These injuries can be less obvious and, for that reason, all the more deadly. Examples include bleeding around the lungs and tears to the aorta, liver, spleen, kidneys and more.
Some estimates indicate up to 75% of motorist/motorcycle accidents are the fault of the motorist. The most common causes of accidents both fatal and non-fatal:
- Distracted Driving – Cars or motorcyclists who don’t give their full attention to the road reduce reaction time for unexpected events
- Visibility – Passenger vehicles have a more difficult time seeing motorcyclists, especially if the driver is distracted
- Right of Way Violation – Cars who do not yield properly to a motorcycle’s right of way can be much deadlier for the cyclist than for passenger vehicles
- Speeding and Weaving – Motorcyclists operating at extremely dangerous speeds, weaving quickly between lanes, passing cars without warning
Motorcyclists can mitigate the risk of injury by following Traffic Safety guidelines such as:
- Preventing Drunk Driving – Alcohol-impaired riders made up 42% of single-vehicle motorcycle fatalities in 2019.
- Becoming Properly Licensed – 31% of fatalities involved unlicensed motorcyclists
- Wearing a Helmet – Use of a helmet is the single most effective tool for riders against TBI and other head injuries
- Avoiding lane-splitting – Even as a cyclist, your responsibility remains to respect the rules of the road. Therefore, it is illegal for riders to weave through lanes of traffic or change lanes without warning.
The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) found fatalities for motorcyclists were 29 times more likely than for passenger vehicle operators. For that reason, it’s important for all drivers to remain aware of their surroundings and especially conscious around motorcyclists.
Fayetteville Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle crash due to someone else’s negligence, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Britton Law may be able to help. We offer free consultations and you’ll owe no attorney’s fees until a settlement is reached.