Although motorcycle accidents do not necessarily occur with more frequency than other types of vehicle accidents, they may result in more significant injuries, especially to the motorcycle rider. Injuries on motorcycles can be as minor as scrapes and bruises or as severe as traumatic brain injury.
There are several causes of motorcycle accidents that cause more serious injuries than others, according to the Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorneys at Lundy Law.
A head-on collision is serious no matter what type of vehicle you are riding in, but when a motorcycle is involved in a head-on collision, the results can be devastating. In fact, 56 percent of all motorcycle accident deaths occur in head-on collisions. In almost 80 percent of head-on collisions, the car strikes the motorcycle as only five percent of accidents involve a motorcycle striking the rear of a vehicle. Even if the rider survives the accident, they can suffer injuries that may require lifelong medical care.
Although accidents caused when a car is making a left-hand turn are common among all types of vehicles, when a left-hand turn causes motorcycle accidents, the results can be traumatic. These types of accidents occur when a vehicle goes straight through an intersection, attempts to pass another car who is turning or tries to overtake another vehicle.
When a motorcycle rides between two lanes of stopped or slow traffic, it is known as lane splitting. In some states, lane splitting is illegal because it can be very dangerous, not only to the motorcycle rider but to the vehicles as well. Drivers do not expect another vehicle to pass them in slow or stopped traffic, and this can lead to accidents. In addition, the motorcycle rider has reduced maneuvering space and the cars in very close proximity to the motorcycle.
Speeding and alcohol use are also accident causes that are not limited to motorcycles, yet almost half of the accidents involving a single motorcycle involve speeding or alcohol use. Because motorcycle riders have very limited protection in a crash, the injuries sustained in speeding or alcohol-related crashes can be significant.
Almost twice as many motorcyclists are killed when they collide with fixed objects than those who are riding in other types of vehicles. This is because a motorcyclist is not protected by the safety features that many cars or trucks include. In addition, when a motorcycle strikes a fixed object, it is likely that the rider will be thrown, sometimes with great force, leading to traumatic and devastating injuries.
Because motorcycles are smaller and lighter, they are more at risk when road hazards exist than other types of vehicles. Uneven pavement, slippery roadways or even rocks or oil spills can cause a motorcycle to lose control, leading to injuries and even death, according to Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorneys.
Although there are not a significant number of high performance motorcycles on the road, those that are travelling on roadways can present risks to the rider. Supersport motorcycles are built on racing platforms and are lightweight with high-horsepower engines. Some can go as fast as 160 miles per hour. Sport motorcycles are similar but have a lower power-to-weight ratio. Typically, riders of high performance motorcycles are young, often under the age of 30, so they may lack the experience necessary to handle issues when they arise. They are also more likely to take risks than older riders.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which is why it is important to understand how these common causes of motorcycle accidents can lead to injuries that could lead to paralysis, severe head trauma or even death. Drivers need to be aware of motorcycles on the road and motorcyclists need to practice good safety habits in order to keep the roadways safe.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, or if a loved one has died in an accident, contact the Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorneys at Lundy Law to learn what rights you may have. You can arrange for an initial consultation by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or completing the easy form on our website.