How Dangerous Are Motorcycles?
As you may know, motorcycles are quick and easily maneuverable on the road, but how dangerous are motorcycles? Motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users. Motorcycle riders are exposed to many dangers that drivers of passenger cars and other motorists do not have. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are approximately 29 times more likely to die than occupants of passenger vehicles per vehicle miles traveled. If you or someone you love has been involved in a motorcycle accident, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer at Labrum Law to determine if you are entitled to compensation in your case. Consider calling at (615) 338-9500 today.
The Dangerous Design of Motorcycles
Motorcycles are less visible on the road, not to mention that these vehicles are less stable because they only have two wheels. When a motorcycle collision occurs, bike riders are more likely to suffer catastrophic and life-altering injuries.
Unlike passenger cars, motorcycles are not equipped with airbags and seatbelts, not to mention that motorcyclists are not protected by a cabin reinforced by a steel frame. Due to the dangerous design of motorcycles, motorcyclists must exercise more caution and stay vigilant at all times when sharing the road with other vehicles.
Basically, the only safety gear that protects motorcycle riders from life-threatening injuries is a helmet. However, many motorcyclists fail to wear a helmet, putting themselves at risk of sustaining deadly injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 800 lives could be saved annually if all motorcycle riders wore helmets while riding.
10 Dangers Unique to Motorcycles
In order to understand how dangerous motorcycles are, it is crucial to take a look at the unique risks and dangers associated with riding a motorcycle:
- Visual recognition. Motorcycles are smaller than most other vehicles on the road, which is why many drivers fail to notice motorcyclists, especially when bikers linger in blind spots.
- Poor road conditions. Because motorcycles have two wheels and are less stable than other vehicles, motorcyclists are more likely to lose control of the vehicle when they ride over a pothole, debris on the road, uneven pavement, or other poor road conditions.
- Wobbling at high speeds. A motorcycle may wobble and become unstable at high speeds, which may result in a collision, especially if the rider is not experienced enough.
- Unsafe lane changes. It is not uncommon for car drivers to make illegal lane changes, resulting in preventable collisions with motorcycles. Motorcycle riders are small visual targets, which is why a driver may not notice a motorcycle when checking the rear- or side-view mirrors. Lane splitting (riding between lanes of stopped or slow traffic) contributes to accidents caused by lane changes. Lane splitting is illegal in Tennessee ( Code § 55-8-182).
- Opening car doors. Bicyclists and motorcyclists are prone to being struck when a car door swings open, especially if the rider travels at high speeds. These accidents happen when the vehicle driver or passenger fails to check mirrors before opening the door.
- Left-turn collisions. A large percentage of motorcycle collisions occur when a car driver is making a left turn at an intersection. In many cases involving left-turn collisions with bikers, the driver is either distracted or fails to yield the right of way.
- Aggressive driving. Motorcyclists are common victims of aggressive driving on the road, mainly because riders often ride between lanes of traffic (lane splitting). Road rage can become the cause of a motorcycle accident.
- Rear-end collisions. While everyone on the road can be involved in a rear-end crash, motorcyclists can suffer severe injuries when someone crashes into their bike from behind, even at a low speed. A rear-end collision with a motorcycle is likely to happen when the driver behind is not paying attention to the road or fails to maintain a safe following distance.
- Bad weather. While most motorcyclists avoid riding in inclement weather, those who stay on the road when it is raining, snowing, or the visibility is reduced by fog are at risk of accidents due to slippery roads or impaired visibility.
- Motorcycle defects. Many motorcycle accidents occur because of defects in the bike or the lack of proper inspection and maintenance. When a crash is the result of a defect, the injured motorcyclist may bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the bike.
These are some of the most common factors that contribute to motorcycle collisions. If you suffered injuries in a crash while riding your bike, consider contacting a Nashville motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss liability in your case and determine if you are entitled to compensation.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
A good way to answer the question, “How dangerous are motorcycles?” would be to review the most common injuries suffered by motorcyclists.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Motorcycle riders are likely to suffer head trauma when they strike their head in an accident, especially if they are not wearing a helmet.
- Spinal cord injuries. Many motorcyclists who sustain spinal cord injuries in a motorcycle crash have a chance of developing partial or total paralysis.
- Lower-extremity injuries. Injuries to the lower extremities are some of the most common injuries sustained by motorcycle riders. These injuries include fractures in the two lower leg bones and knee injuries.
- Internal injuries. Common types of internal injuries suffered by victims of motorcycle accidents include a collapsed lung, internal bleeding, cuts or blunt trauma to organs, hemorrhage, and others.
- Broken bones. The human bone cannot withstand the violent impact of a motorcycle accident, which is why motorcyclists often suffer broken bones.
- Road rash. A motorcyclist is likely to suffer severe skin abrasions, also known as road rash, when their skin makes contact with the road surface.
Consider Contacting a Nashville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Labrum Law
If you or someone you love has been involved in a motorcycle collision in Nashville or elsewhere in Tennessee, consider speaking with a knowledgeable attorney to determine if you can receive compensation for your injuries and losses. Consider contacting Labrum Law for a free case evaluation at (615) 338-9500 and speak with our Nashville motorcycle accident lawyer.