No one is immune to being injured in an accident on the road. Drivers of all vehicles—from trucks to motorcycles and everything in between—suffer approximately three million injuries each year in the United States. However, the more safety features and protections you have in and around your vehicle, the safer you can be. That’s why drivers of semi-trucks and big rigs are less prone to injury than drivers of passenger vehicles.
The same logic applies to cars and motorcycles. Today’s cars are equipped with various safety features that have been designed to reduce the number of fatalities on the road, including anti-braking locks, rear and side view cameras, seatbelts, airbag systems, tire pressure monitors, and collision warning systems. Motorcycles aren’t fixed with the same safeguards, so injuries and fatalities are more common. In fact, 13 out of every 100,000 cars are involved in a fatal accident, versus 72 per 100,000 motorcycles.
Why Are Motorcycles Crashes More Dangerous Than Car Crashes?
There are over 800,000 registered motorcyclists in California alone—the highest rate in the country—with an average of 15,000 injuries and 541 deaths recorded each year. There are many reasons why the rate of severe-to-fatal motorcycle accident injuries is so much higher than that of car accidents. From a lack of control to fewer safety regulations, here are a few indicators that explain why motorcycle accidents are more dangerous than car accidents:
- Motorcyclists have less protection: Motorcycles don’t offer the same safety features that passenger cars do. There are no seatbelts, airbags, or collision warning systems. Perhaps most importantly, motorcyclists don’t have a robust metal cage protecting them, so they must instead rely on helmets and protective riding suits to keep them safe. Even a minor accident can result in a catastrophic injury.
- Motorcycles have less braking power: Motorcycles have weaker brakes than traditional passenger vehicles, so it’s not uncommon for a bike to spin out of control. This may occur when a motorcycle travels at a rapid speed and encounters a sudden turn or change in elevation. The resulting injuries can be devastating, as the rider is often thrown from the vehicle.
- Motorcyclists have less control over their vehicle: The steering capabilities on a motorcycle operate much differently than in a car. In a passenger vehicle, the steering wheel is less sensitive and perhaps easier to utilize than the handlebars on a motorcycle. The primary mechanism for steering a bike is actually leaning the vehicle, not turning the front wheel. Because motorcycles have more sensitive steering when compared to that of a car, the bike can very easily spin out of control if the rider is startled or makes any kind of sudden movement.
Motorcyclists are not always at fault when involved in a crash. In fact, motorcycle accidents involving a negligent driver are more common than you might think. These types of accidents are typically a result of drivers not being able to see the smaller, quicker, and less noticeable motorcycle. If you think someone else may be at fault for your motorcycle accident, contact a credible attorney to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
How to Reduce the Risk of Injury in a Motorcycle Accident
While driving a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than operating a larger vehicle, there are a few ways to lessen your risk of injury. Here are just a few:
- Wear a helmet that’s been approved by the Department of Transportation
- Wear goggles or some other form of eye protection
- Perform regular maintenance on your motorcycle
- Wear bright or reflective clothing while riding
- Wear a Kevlar or leather suit to protect yourself against road rash
- Take a motorcycle safety course
- Never drink and drive
While it would be impossible to guarantee protection against an accident, it’s important to follow basic safety regulations to help avoid a disaster. In general, it’s always smart to slow down, look behind you when stopping at intersections, never share a lane with another car, and always keep an eye out for potential hazards.
Contact a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Adamson Ahdoot can help protect your rights and pursue a case for recovery. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our expert team is dedicated to keeping you informed every step of the way and helping you overcome this challenging time in your life. After meeting with you one-on-one, we’ll launch an investigation into the facts of your case and the circumstances that led up to the crash in order to get you the compensation you deserve for any lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and psychological trauma.
No matter the size or complexity of your case, we always devote our full attention and resources to all of our clients who deserve justice. For a free consultation, give us a call at (877) 871-3265 or complete our contact form today.