There are significantly more car accidents than motorcycle accidents in the U.S. each year. However, when they do happen, motorcycle accidents are far more likely to cause serious injuries or death.
While only 3% of registered vehicles in the U.S. are motorcycles, they account for 14% of traffic-related deaths. There were nearly 28 times as many deaths in motorcycle crashes per mile traveled than in car crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Motorcycle Accident Causes in Huntsville AL
Distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are some of the most common causes of crashes, no matter the type of vehicle. Many of the causes and effects of road accidents are similar, but motorcyclists face an even higher risk from these common causes and experience some risks that might not affect occupants of cars.
The primary cause of motorcycle crashes is a collision with another vehicle. The percentage of motorcycle accidents caused by cars is particularly high for other vehicles turning left while an oncoming motorcycle was trying to go straight or pass another vehicle. Some other common causes include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to share the road with motorcyclists
- Failure to “notice” motorcyclists
- Distracted driving
- Road hazards
The National Safety Council says that over 90% of crashes are caused by human error. Examples of these errors include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive driving
- Impaired driving
Studies and Statistics Regarding Motorcycle and Car Accidents
- Over 42% of fatal two-vehicle crashes involved a car making a left-hand turn.
- Over a quarter of car wrecks involve someone using a smartphone.
- Over 30% of motorcyclists killed in crashes were speeding.
- Almost 30% of motorcycle riders killed in traffic accidents had alcohol in their system.
- Almost 30% of motorcyclists in fatal crashes didn’t have a valid motorcycle license.
- Almost 40% of motorcycle drivers and over 60% of motorcycle passengers who were killed in accidents were not wearing helmets.
Tips for Staying Safe on the Road in Huntsville
Given the statistics above, some people wonder, “Are motorcycles worth the risk?” While most riders recognize these hazards and accept them, there are measures you can take to be safer when riding a motorcycle. These safety tips include:
- Take a motorcycle safety course. Riding a motorcycle requires special training and skills like balance, shifting gears, and coordination. Courses and certifications help prepare you for handling this type of vehicle.
- Wear protective gear. Bright colors and reflective strips can help make you more visible to other drivers. Additionally, clothing with Kevlar or leather can help protect your skin from “road rash,” which can include gravel getting embedded in your skin if your body hits the road.
- Wear a helmet. Helmets significantly reduce your chances of being killed or suffering a traumatic brain injury in a crash.
- Stay alert. Be aware of vehicles around you, especially those drivers who might not be driving responsibly, and limit your own distractions.
- Maintain your vehicle. Before you ride, make sure the lights, signals, and brakes work properly, the tires and fluids are at proper levels, and any cargo is safely secured.
What to Do If You Have Been Involved in a Motorcycle Versus in a Car Accident
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash, be sure to take the following steps to protect your health and any injury claim that you might need to file:
If you didn’t get medical attention immediately after you were in a motorcycle accident, have a doctor evaluate your injuries as soon as possible. Crashes are all too common, no matter what type of vehicle you’re driving. If you’re on a motorcycle, the accident can be even more devastating. Injuries aren’t always apparent right away, so visit your doctor as soon as possible to get a thorough evaluation.
As soon as you can, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Given the complexities of motorcycle crashes, hiring a skilled lawyer like the attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., can improve your chances of getting justice and fair compensation. On top of the catastrophic injuries motorcyclists face in crashes, they also find that it is more challenging to pursue an injury claim than those hurt in car accidents.
Getting full compensation is challenging because motorcycle accidents are often more severe than car accidents. Motorcycle riders are at greater risk for severe and costly injuries since their vehicles are much smaller and less visible than cars, plus they don’t have safety features like seatbelts. Motorcyclists are also more vulnerable to road conditions, such as loose gravel, uneven lanes, potholes, and debris.
Additionally, several different parties, including other drivers or even the manufacturer, might be responsible for a motorcycle accident. No matter how safe motorcyclists are driving, they can’t control the negligence or carelessness of other people and hazards on the road. However, it’s often the motorcycle drivers who are often seen as reckless risk-takers, which gives them an unfair disadvantage in court.
Insurance companies often use unfair anti-biker prejudices in an attempt to shift the blame onto the motorcyclist. Get a lawyer who knows that most bikers are cautious and won’t let the insurers get away with blaming the victim.
How Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., Can Help You with Motorcycle and Car Accidents
If you were severely injured or if your loved one was involved in a motorcycle or car accident, it’s vital to have a trusted injury lawyer on your side. With over 50 years of experience, the lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., have a proven track record of providing compassionate and effective legal representation. We’ve won over $113 million in damages for our clients and received positive testimonials from community members and past clients. We are committed to helping care for our Alabama communities, and we want to do the same for you.