Unknown Facts About Motorcycle Safety You Need To Know

  • Jan 15 2016
  • Gilleon Law Firm, APC

motorcycle safety, factsMotorcycle riders often suffer from an unreasonable prejudice on the part of other drivers who assume that anyone riding a bike must be dangerous.  A few bad riders have given the vast majority of motorcyclists, who are safe operators, a bad name.  What are the real facts about motorcycle accidents and fault?  Are motorcycles really more unsafe than other methods of transportation?  Is it possible for the victim of a motorcycle accident to recover compensation from the driver who caused the crash?

The Truth About Motorcycles 

Due to their smaller size and lack of physical protection, motorcycles are less stable and harder to see than cars.  When they do crash, the riders are more likely to be injured.  Because of these facts, the fatality rate for motorcycles is 26 times that of passenger vehicles per miles traveled. 

Motorcycle riders accounted for 4,381 vehicle-related fatalities in 2013.  In all, motorcycle accidents accounted for 13 percent of all motor vehicle crash fatalities that year.  This is a surprisingly high number, given that motorcycles make up such a small percentage of vehicles on the road.

What is truly frightening, however, is the fact that motorcycle riders are rarely to blame for their own accidents.  One study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested that car drivers were partially or completely at fault for motorcycle crashes in 80 percent of cases.  This is often because a car driver misjudges the speed or distance of an oncoming motorcycle rider due to the smaller size of the vehicle.  Left turns in front of motorcyclists account for about 30 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes.

Keeping Motorcycle Riders Safe 

Helmets are one way to prevent head injuries on motorcycles, a leading cause of serious trauma.  Helmets can prevent about 37 percent of motorcycle deaths and about 67 percent of brain injuries.

Other steps motorcycle riders can take to stay safe include:

  • Never drink and ride. Alcohol is a factor in many fatal motorcycle crashes, and is a leading cause of single-vehicle motorcycle crashes.
  • Do not speed. Giving yourself time to brake safely can prevent many collisions. Speed is a factor in many fatal crashes and increases the probability of serious injury.
  • Yield the right-of-way. Even if you are in the right, never engage in a battle for the right-of-way with a passenger vehicle.

If you have been the victim of a motorcycle crash, contact personal injury attorney Daniel M. Gilleon in San Diego.  Mr. Gilleon has helped many motorcycle accident victims recover compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering and other costs.

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