Motorcycle Accident Stats
There are many misconceptions about motorcycle accidents. Most people (and potential jurors) believe motorcyclists to be reckless and often responsible for their own injuries. For instance, many people see motorcycle riders in California “lane splitting” or riding in between the lines of a highway while cars are stopped or slowed. Many car drivers view this behavior as “reckless” and project that sentiment to motorcycle accident cases. However, most motorcycle accidents involve a passenger car in which the driver of the passenger car was at fault. Specifically, many motorcycle accidents occur because the driver of the automobile “did not see” the motorcycle rider who had the right of way.
Most Motorcycle Accidents Involve A Car
Some car drivers may think that motorcycle accidents are often the result of motorcyclist error and involve motorcycle-only wrecks. In truth, only about a quarter of motorcycle accidents are single vehicle accidents with the motorcycle colliding with something in the roadway or another fixed object. Of those single vehicle wrecks, about two thirds are the result of the motorcycle rider’s error. In these single vehicle wrecks the motorcyclist was often speeding and slid out on a turn or fell while over-braking.
Most motorcycle accidents involve a passenger vehicle. Nearly 75% of all motorcycle accidents involve another motorized vehicle, most often a car, and nearly 66% of those accidents are attributable to the motorized vehicle (car) violating the motorcycle rider’s right of way. Many of these accidents that result from the car driver’s error is the result of not seeing the motorcyclist in traffic. Furthermore, many of these motorcycle accidents occur in intersections. Contributing factors to the car driver’s failure to see the motorcycle include glare or obstructed view.
Motorcyclists Can Take Preventative Measures
If you do not take certain preventative measures your recovery in a subsequent personal injury suit may be reduced. For instance, if you do not wear a helmet and sustain head injury in the accident, the other side will argue that you were also negligent in not wearing a helmet. According to one study, roughly 60% of motorcycle accidents in traffic involved riders not wearing helmets. Furthermore, nearly 75% of motorcycle accidents involve riders not wearing eye protection. The failure to wear eye protection (such as an eye shield on a helmet) inhibits the rider’s ability to detect hazards. In addition, motorcycle helmet use is lowest among young people on hot days during short trips, despite the fact that most motorcycle accidents occur during short trips. In light of this information, motorcycle riders can decrease their risk by wearing eye protection and helmets while operating a motorcycle. If a motorcycle accident involving a passenger car nevertheless occurs, at least you will not have been also negligent in not wearing a helmet or eye protection.