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Motorcycle Accidents

Advocates for Motorcycle Crash Victims

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), per vehicle mile traveled in 2014, motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 27 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes. Motorcyclists were also five times more likely to be injured in a crash. Several factors can cause motorcycle accidents, from speeding and objects in the roadway to mechanical issues and alcohol use.

COMMON CAUSES OF MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS

  • Speeding
    • Speeding is a factor in most motor vehicle accidents. For motorcycle operators, both low and high speeds can cause accidents.
    • At high speeds, the front end of a motorcycle may become unstable and begin to shake or “wobble,” increasing chances of an accident. High speeds also lower the amount of reaction time drivers have.
    • Slow driving, or not keeping up with the flow of traffic, is another cause of motorcycle crashes.
  • Objects/items in the roadway
    • Hazards that may be minor irritations for an automobile can be major threats for motorcyclists. Potholes, uneven pavement, debris or objects in the road (like tire treads, things fallen from trucks, branches, or rocks) can quickly cause an accident.
    • Objects in the road can cause the motorcyclist to swerve to avoid a crash or the object itself can hit and seriously injure or kill the rider.
  • Motorists not seeing the motorcycle
    • Because motorcycles are smaller and more easily hidden by objects on or off the road, other vehicles are less likely to see them.
    • Many automobile drivers claim they “never saw” the motorcycle before a collision.
  • Mechanical issues
    • A defect in a motorcycle’s design or manufacturing can easily cause an accident; this could be the basis for a product liability case.
  • Alcohol use
    • Alcohol can blur the vision and inhibit the body’s natural balance system and reaction time. All of these are crucial to operating any motor vehicle.
    • Forty-two percent of motorcyclists who were killed in single-vehicle wrecks were alcohol-impaired in 2015.

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS

The following information regarding motorcycle accidents is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • 4,976 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015 — an increase of eight percent from 2014.
  • Motorcyclists injured in crashes decreased in 2015, with an estimated 88,000 sustaining injuries in motor vehicle wrecks compared to 92,000 in 2014.
  • Although motorcycles accounted for a mere three percent of all registered vehicles in the United States in 2014, motorcyclist fatalities accounted for 14 percent of all traffic crash deaths.
  • In 2015, one-third of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding.
  • Florida lead the nation in motorcyclist fatalities (616) followed by California (462) and Texas (443).

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