Motorcycle Fatality Accidents on the Rise: Motorbikes Have a Disadvantage on the Road
Motorcycle use has been on the rise. Unfortunately, the number of motorcycle fatality accidents has also increased substantially. High gas prices, or a desire for a smaller carbon footprint have driven many people out of their gas guzzlers and into vehicles that are much more fuel efficient. In some cases, their choice is the most fuel efficient vehicle on the road, the motorcycle.
Unfortunately, when it comes to sharing the road safely, motorcycles are at a supreme disadvantage with other vehicles when it comes to avoiding accidents. Their two-wheel design makes them less stable than other vehicles, and because they are small, they are often difficult for other drivers to see. And because motorcycle riders are uncovered and exposed to the elements, when an accident does happen, they are more likely to be injured or killed. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it’s estimated that based on miles traveled in 2010, the likelihood of a motorcyclist being killed on the road roughly 30 times that of passenger car occupants.
In 2011, a total of 4,388 motorcycle riders were killed in accidents, which is 14 percent of all deaths in motor vehicles for that year. That number has been trending up for a while, with the 2011 number being more than double the number killed in 1997. Among the most common injuries for motorcyclists is brain trauma, so helmet use is important, even in states like Texas, where riders over the age of 20 are not required to wear one. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.
Many of the accidents that occur between cars and motorcycles are due to the negligence of the car’s driver, often because the car driver doesn’t understand the rules of the road with regard to motorcycles. Because of their light weight, motorcycles stop much more quickly than a car, so the car shouldn’t follow too closely. At night, a motorcycle’s headlight can line up with the headlight of a car behind it thereby making the motorcycle difficult to see, so pay extra attention. It’s also very difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed and distance, so car drivers should never pull out in front of a motorcycle.
When motorcycle accidents happen, the victims and their families are often in need of proven experienced lawyers to stand up for their rights against insurance companies, other drivers, and those standing in the way of justice. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, please contact the Texas Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm today.