Are Motorcycles Actually Dangerous?
When most people think of a biker, they think of someone who is a thrill-seeker, someone who is a little edgy with a touch of danger. Ironically, that driver is actually the one who is in danger. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 88,000 motorcycle riders were injured, and 4,684 were killed in 2015.
Dangers associated with motorcycles
According to the NHTSA, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely than car occupants to die in a crash. But what makes motorcycles so dangerous?
Motorcycles are less visible than a traditional car, which makes them more likely to be struck by another motorist. All too often, motorcyclists are struck when another driver attempts to change lanes because the motorcyclist was in the driver’s blind spot.
The two-wheeled configuration of a motorcycle lacks the stability of a cars four-wheel base, making them more susceptible to lose balance on sharp turns. Having only two wheels also makes motorcycles vulnerable to the surface they drive on. The terrain is very important; one pothole could lead to a fatal incident.
No windows mean no windshield wipers. When it is raining motorcyclists don’t have clear visibility which increased the likelihood of an accident.
Motorcycles don’t have seatbelts which mean when struck by someone else on the road, the motorcyclist and passengers are likely to be thrown, putting their flesh and bones at the mercy of the pavement and other vehicles upon crashing.
Speed was a factor in 33 percent of riders that were involved in fatal crashes. Sport motorcycles are designed for speed and maneuverability. They can reach street speeds up to 190 miles per hour are four times more likely to die in a crash than riders of other types of motorcycles.
Driving a car is very different than riding a motorcycle. A motorcycle requires expert coordination and a good sense of judgment. Many new drivers do not take enough time to learn how to drive their motorcycle to fit their skill set. This lack of training puts motorcyclists at risk of injury.
Injuries associated with motorcycle crashes
- Cuts and lacerations
- Road rash
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Facial trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
Texas motorcycle helmet law
Approximately 40 percent of motorcyclists killed in crashes in 2015 were not wearing a helmet according to NHTSA. Helmets may not be the coolest accessory, but wearing one could save your life.
Under Texas law, all motorcycle operators and passengers are to wear a helmet meeting the Federal Vehicle Safety Standard #218. However, there is an exception. Individuals 21 and older who have completed a department approved Motorcycle Operator Training Course or if they can provide proof of at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage are exempt from wearing a helmet while operating or riding a motorcycle.
A motorcycle driver who chooses to ride without a helmet probably has not considered the cost of medical expenses associated with brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. Medical expenses associated with brain injuries are highly likely to surpass the minimum coverage offered by Personal Injury Protection insurance.
A study released by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that the median hospital charges for motorcycle riders who were treated for traumatic brain injuries were 13 times higher than the medical expenses for riders who were injured but did not suffer from brain injuries.
It’s important to note that helmet laws vary from state to state.
The importance of legal representation after a motorcycle collision
The laws regarding motorcycles can be very confusing. Motorcycle crash victims often make the wrong decisions and feel overpowered by aggressive insurance companies if they do not have an attorney on their side.
Insurance providers use tactics to make motorcyclists feel cornered into agreeing on a settlement amount that is lower than what they deserve. When you hire an experienced motorcycle lawyer, the burden of dealing with the insurance company is taken off of you.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle collision, it is in your best interest to hire a seasoned motorcycle attorney who is familiar with the different types of bikes and has an understanding of motorcycle culture. Your motorcycle attorney can help you value your claim and fight on your behalf to ensure you get all of the compensation you deserve for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Out of pocket expenses
- Physical pain
- Other damages and losses
Motorcycle safety tips
Wear a helmet-
This cannot be said enough. Wearing a helmet could be the determining factor between life and death if you were to be involved in a motorcycle collision.
Wear protective gear-
Your head is not the only part of your body that can sustain life-threatening injuries. A leather jacket will help keep your skin where it belongs in the event of a collision. Motorcycle boots and gloves are also essential.
33 percent of motorcycle crash fatalities involved speeding in 2015 according to the NHTSA.
Get your bike inspected-
Make it a routine to inspect your bike once a year. Check to see if antilock braking systems (ABS) can be installed on your motorcycle. It has been found that motorcycles with ABS are 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Check your engine, tires, and steering system to ensure they are in good shape.
Are motorcycles dangerous? How The Carlson Law Firm can help
At The Carlson Law Firm, we have made it our goal to effectively help clients through their specific and individual circumstances involving motorcycle accident injuries. Our team of motorcycle accident lawyers can help you establish who may be held liable and what types of damages you may be able to pursue. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us today for a free initial case evaluation. We care, we can help.
- Written by Adriana Torres