If you ride a motorcycle, then you have experienced the nearly spiritual feeling of freedom, openness, and a natural connection to your environment. You are exposed to the elements and attuned to the odors, sounds, and sights around you. People ride for recreation, commuting, or for the ease of maneuvering in traffic if not for the savings in gas consumption. However, riding a motorcycle does come at a price since motorcycles are often regarded as presenting an inherent risk to your health and safety.
There is nothing between you and the barren road or from your body colliding with another vehicle or some other object in the roadway. Wearing a helmet and protective clothing are certainly essential in guarding against head injuries, disfigurement, fractures, and serious burns to your arms, legs, and torso. However, you are still extremely vulnerable to catastrophic injuries and death in any collision with a careless or reckless motorist.
Motorcycles present a dilemma to other motorists. They are smaller than conventional vehicles, can appear suddenly in an adjoining traffic lane, and their speed and distance routinely misjudged by motorists when they attempt left turns at uncontrolled intersections.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Accident statistics on motorcycle accidents are sobering. Consider these facts from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the risks of motorcycle riding:
1 in 7 of all traffic fatalities are motorcycle riders and passengers
You are 35 times more likely to be killed in a crash than if you were an occupant in a passenger vehicle
At least 80% of motorcycle accidents result in an injury to the rider or passenger
Motorcycle passengers face an even greater risk of sustaining a fatal injury than the rider
60% of motorcycle accidents occur at night
Massachusetts averages around 46 motorcycle fatalities each year
Wearing a helmet is mandatory in Massachusetts since it substantially reduces the risk of head injury and death. However, in any collision, you are practically guaranteed to be ejected from your seat where you will either contact the road at a high speed; collide with another vehicle, median, tree, or other object; or suffer a crush injury if youdo manage to stay with your bike.
Survivors often suffer permanent and debilitating injuries to their face, limbs, or torso if not a traumatic brain injury.
Factors in Motorcycle Accidents
Slippery road conditions
Failure to see a motorcycle in blind spots resulting in unsafe lane change
Sudden stop by motorists with motorcycle in front of them
Defective road maintenance or design
In many motorcycle accidents, the issues are different than those found in typical car accidents. Your motorcycle accident lawyer may have to deal with biased and skeptical traffic officers and insurance adjusters. It is not unusual for your attorney to retain an expert in motorcycle accident reconstruction to prove liability. You will also need a seasoned and experienced lawyer who can document and support the serious nature and extent of your injuries, the reasonableness of your medical expenses and care, loss of income, and pain and suffering.