The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration has recorded increases in motorcycle accident fatalities in 13 of the last 14 years. The statistics underscore just how serious motorcycle accident risks are, and the devastating nature of these accidents. Over the last decade, there has been an increase in the number of motorcyclists on our roads. Unfortunately, that hasn’t necessarily coincided with increased motorist awareness of motorcyclists’ rights.
Motorcycle Accident Causes
Many motorists believe that motorcyclists have no place on the highways. This attitude creates a hostile and potentially hazardous situation for motorcyclists. Such ignorance or lack of awareness towards motorcyclist rights can be seen in the fact that so many accidents are traced to the failure to yield to motorcyclists. In fact, failure to yield is one of the biggest causes of motorcycle accidents.
In 1981, the Hurt Report, a groundbreaking motorcycle safety study, found that most motorcycle accidents occur due to several primary factors:
- Failure to see the motorcycle by the car driver
- Violation of the motorcyclist’s right-of-way
In fact, as many as two-thirds of motorcycle accidents were linked to these causes. Flash forward to several decades later and not much has changed. These two factors continue to be the major causes of motorcycle collisions.
Many accidents are also caused because motorists turn right in front of motorcycles, without considering that a motorcyclist has a much more serious risk of injury or death in the event of an accident. The kind of accident that can occur in a situation like this can throw a motorcyclist several feet away from the point of impact, causing serious injuries or death.
Enhanced Risk of Injury In Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The toll in motorcycle accidents is so heavy, because these are typically devastating accident that resulted in serious injuries. A motorcyclist has very little protection from injuries in an accident, except for his helmet. Even a helmet may not completely guarantee protection from traumatic brain injuries. As a result, a motorcyclist can suffer from a range of injuries, that include brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, and blunt force trauma that can prove fatal.