Motorcycles Can Be Accidents Waiting to Happen

According to the federal government, motorcyclists suffered more than 35 times as many deaths per mile driven in 2006 accidents in which they were involved than people suffered in automobile accidents. If you are a motorcyclist, you need to be aware of the increased risks and potential causes of an accident, so that you are better able to avoid a potentially fatal encounter. And drivers of other vehicles need to be on the lookout to avoid tragic collisions with motorcycles. The high fatality rate for motorcyclists should not be surprising, given the greater risks with which they must contend:

  • They are less visible to automobile drivers, especially at intersections, than other vehicles.
  • They are more likely to lose control of their motorcycles as a result of road hazards, such as debris, uneven surfaces or wet pavement, than are drivers of other vehicles.
  • They are not protected by seat belts, air bags or any external shielding and are therefore more vulnerable to impact in an accident.
  • Because they have only two wheels, motorcycles are less stable than automobiles.
  • Motorcycles are more difficult to drive, and a rider’s lack of skill plays a disproportionate role in accidents.

Tennessee is one of 19 states that require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, which are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.

Leading causes of motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle mishaps can occur in many different scenarios:

  • Most are collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles, and about four out of five of those are head-on collisions.
  • About two out of five collisions between a motorcycle and a car occur when the car makes a left-hand turn and the motorcycle is going straight through the intersection in the other direction.
  • “Lane splitting,” when the motorcyclist attempts to drive between vehicles in traffic lanes, can cause accidents.
  • About half of all accidents involving a single motorcycle are due to speeding, alcohol use or both.
  • About one out of four motorcyclist deaths are caused by motorcycle hitting a road hazard or a fixed object such as a railing, post, trestle or concrete barrier.

Drivers of high-performance motorcycles — those with greater horsepower and more advanced transmissions — are far more likely to be involved in accidents, especially fatal ones, because they tend to drive at higher speeds and engage in riskier maneuvers. If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle-related crash in the Tri-Cities area of Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City, contact the motorcycle accident lawyers at Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C. Relying on more than 75 years of combined experience, we work hard to help you obtain full and fair compensation. Call our office today at [ln::phone] or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.