Motorcycle accidents are just as common as automobile accidents, and statistics show motorcyclists have a 50 percent higher chance of being involved in an accident than automobile drivers. Since motorcycle riders are relatively unprotected, motorcycle collisions usually involve serious risk of injury. If you ride a motorcycle, it’s very important that you protect yourself by carrying adequate insurance – especially Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage and Personal Injury Protection coverage.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of motorcycle crash-related fatalities has more than doubled during the past decade. Motorcycle riders accounted for 14% of total traffic fatalities.
Motorcycle accidents occur as a result of a variety of factors, most of which include inattentive drivers, failure to yield at an intersection, hazardous road conditions and manufacturer defects.
Inattentive driving is generally the failure to pay proper attention to the road while driving. Cell phones, other wireless or electronic units, and other distractions can result in serious or fatal injuries. Due to the difference in size between motorcycles and automobiles, motorcyclists end up on the pavement with severe injuries, while automobile drivers usually incur fewer injuries.
Failure To Yield At An Intersection
Motorcyclists know that intersections are the most dangerous part of the road for them and their safety. Occasionally, drivers waiting to make a left turn at a light do not see the motorcycle coming and turn, causing an accident. Even if a driver does see the motorcyclist, they might hit the gas and misjudge the situation, believing they have enough time to turn. The result can be a catastrophic or fatal injury.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Just as drivers have a responsibility to drive safely, government agencies and their contractors have a responsibility to keep the roads safe. Roadway design, maintenance, and construction are generally directed toward the needs of multi-wheel vehicles, with the needs of motorcycles often addressed as an afterthought.
Construction zones, gravel, pools of water, potholes, poor road design, and debris on the road contribute to motorcycle crashes, injuries, and fatalities – especially if warning signs are not in place.
When purchasing any product, you trust the manufacturer to make it safe. In the case of motorcycles, the motorcyclist’s life is at risk if there is a defective part. Motorcycle defective product claims come in two forms:
Defectively manufactured motorcycles or parts: this may be the result of an error at the manufacturing facility where the motorcycles or part was made, or a problem that occurs during shipping or at the dealership or supply store.
Motorcycles with an unreasonably dangerous design: this involves motorcycles or parts that, although properly manufactured, have an unreasonably dangerous design that results in injury or other damages. In some cases, the motorcycles is the subject of a safety recall, which may be initiated by the NHTSA. In the event of a safety recall, the manufacturer must take specific steps to notify motorcycle owners and then provide a remedy – usually a repair, repurchase, or replacement of the motorcycle or part.
Motorcycle riders must be constantly alert and drive very defensively. Wearing a helmet and protective clothing can help minimize any injury that might occur. If you are injured, you will likely need the services of a personal injury attorney to assist with your claim for damages.
If you have been in an accident, do not provide a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company, as they will often try to twist your words. It is important to have a skilled personal injury attorney on your side because it can be the difference between getting what is fair – or getting an inadequate settlement. At Miller & Hine, we will fight for our clients to ensure that they receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free case consultation.