One of the reasons many people enjoy riding motorcycles is the feel of the open road around them. However, this is also one of the reasons a motorcycle accident results in traumatic injuries and death for riders. Without the protections of a steel frame, seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features surrounding them, riders are at a higher risk of injury and death in a collision compared to the occupants of a passenger vehicle.
Recent Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the 2015 data regarding motorcycles in March 2017. The statistics were alarming. Some of the statistics for 2015 include:
- 4,976 motorcyclists died in 2015 nationwide, which was an increase of eighty percent from 2014.
- Roughly 88,000 riders were injured in crashes during 2015, which was a three percent decrease from 2014.
- Of the total traffic-related fatalities in 2015, 14 percent were motorcyclists.
- When taking into consideration the number of miles driven by motorists, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to be killed than passenger car occupants.
- The NHTSA estimates that wearing helmets saved 1,772 lives in 2015.
- 67 percent of motorcycle accidents occur at non-intersection locations.
It is tragic when even one life is lost in a motorcycle accident.
Common Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists can take all precautions when riding, including wearing a helmet and other protective gear, but the risk of injury remains high in a crash. While each accident is different, there are some injuries that are common in motorcycle collisions.
The most common injuries in a motorcycle accident are:
- Injuries to feet and legs, including broken bones, fractures, and loss of limb
- Neck and head injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) and other brain injuries
- Injuries to the back, chest, and shoulders, including spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Hand and arm injuries are also common, including broken bones and fractures
- Injuries to the hips and pelvis are also common
Other injuries that often occur in a motorcycle crash include road rash (abrasions), lacerations, burns, and internal bleeding. It is crucial that a rider seeks immediate medical attention after an accident. Injuries that appear to be minor at an accident scene can be very serious. Only a medical professional can diagnose an injury. For your health and to protect your right to file a claim, see a doctor as soon as possible after a traffic accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The causes of motorcycle crashes are varied, just like the causes of other traffic accidents. In 2015, over one-half of the fatal motorcycle crashes involved a collision with motor vehicles in transport. Nearly three-quarters of the collisions involved frontal crashes. Forty-one percent of fatal crashes involved another vehicle turning left in front of the rider, and 33 percent of riders who died in crashes in 2015 were speeding at the time of the collision.
In addition to speeding and collisions with other vehicles, common causes of motorcycle crashes include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- Road debris or road hazards
- Defective or malfunctioning parts
- Motorcycle lane splitting
- Collisions with fixed objects
Damages in a Motorcycle Crash
The causes of a motorcycle accident vary, but the damage caused can be substantial. A rider receives the full impact of the crash; therefore, injuries can be traumatic. Medical bills, lost wages, and other damages can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. By filing a motorcycle accident claim, you can recover compensation for your damages from the party or parties who caused your crash. However, your time to file a claim may be limited. Therefore, contact our attorney now to discuss your legal right to be paid for your injuries.