The motorcycle, once a symbol of freedom, is fast becoming a symbol of tragedy as motorcycle accident statistics continue to rise year after year. For the victims of these accidents and their families a moment in time can become a life changing event. Since 1980 motorcycle ownership has increased and with it there has also been an increase in motorcycle traffic on our roadways. Unfortunately, the automobile driving public is not always ready for these changes and as such most accidents occur between automobiles and motorcyclists with deadly effects for the motorcyclist.
In 2009, motorcycle fatalities declined for the first time in 11 years dropping from 5,312 to 4,462. Even so, that number does not account for all of the motorcyclists who are only injured by their accidents. Without the protective shell of an automobile, a motorcyclist is defenseless to most injuries when involved in an accident. Left only with a helmet and whatever other protective gear the motorcyclist is wearing between them and the road, the consequences can be devastating. While technology is improving and motorcyclists do have access to more options where protective gear is concerned, these items are usually prohibitively expensive for the garden variety motor cycle enthusiast.
Injuries Common to Motorcycle Accidents
- Concussion and brain damage, as the head violently contacts other vehicles or objects
- Joint injury or breakage, including:
- Bone injury or breakage, including most commonly:
- Shoulder and Pelvis, but also
- Soft tissue damage
- Nerve damage (which can cause permanent paralysis)
- Facial disfigurement
How can We Prevent Future Deaths and Injuries?
In 1981 the Hurt Report which used motorcycle accident data collected in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas as the basis for its conclusions was published. This report showed that 75% of motorcycle accidents in the Los Angeles area involved a collision with another vehicle. In addition, in two thirds of those accidents the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident. The report stated, “The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents.”
The sad truth is, until automobile drivers begin to pay attention and to give motorcyclists the right of way these statistics will not improve.
BE AWARE: There is a time limit to file suit against the person who caused your accident. If you miss that deadline you may be barred from filing suit in the future.