Every now and then, an accident is so horrific that the news of it grips the nation. When 15 former marines from a motorcycle club in Massachusetts hit the road for a meeting in New Hampshire last month, they had no idea they would lose 7 members of their group in an accident. That crash is believed to be the deadliest accident involving motorcyclists in recent United States history, and it has brought into question the safety of motorcycles.
As freeing as they can be, we do know that motorcyclists are at a greater risk of injuries than other motorists. Many times, motorcycle accidents are caused by another driver, which means that the injured biker could be entitled to financial compensation. Let’s take a look at:
- Motorcycle Accident Statistics
- Common Motorcycle Accident Causes
- Rules of the Road
- When You Have a Case
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Fatalities from motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania are on the rise. Between 2006 and 2015, the number of registered motorcycles in our country has increase by more than 28%, from 6.6 million to more than 8.6 million. Those numbers are climbing, much in part to baby boomers who find the freedom of the open road very appealing. Unfortunately, the growing popularity of motorcycles is accompanied by a 17% increase in fatalities among riders age 40 and over.
The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration reports motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than car drivers to get into fatal accidents. This may come as no surprise given the make-up of a motorcycle. There’s no protective metal cage for riders and there are no airbags or safety restraints.
When there’s a collision, riders are at the mercy of physics—and often times that means the results are deadly or catastrophic. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Transportation reports in 2017 there were:
- 3,194 Motorcycle Accidents
- 180 Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
- 2,791 Motorcycle Accidents that Caused Injury
- 55% of Those Who Died in a Crash Were Wearing a Helmet
- 45% of Those Who Died in a Crash Were NOT Wearing a Helmet
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Nearly two-thirds of vehicle crashes involving motorcycles are frontal collisions—meaning another vehicle turned into the path of the motorcycle, not allowing the motorcyclist enough time or space to avoid the accident. In fact, 40% of fatal crashes involving a motorcycle and another vehicle happen when the other driver is turning left. Here are some other statistics surrounding the cause of motorcycle accidents:
- Surprisingly, only 2% of motorcycle fatalities are caused by weather and road conditions.
- More than a quarter of motorcycle riders killed in traffic accidents are above the legal limit of .08 BAC, and another 7% have some alcohol in their system.
- A third of all bikers involved in fatal crashes are speeding.
Rules of the Road
The Pennsylvania Helmet Law affords riders and passengers over the age of 21 the choice to wear a protective helmet, as long as they have two years of riding experience and a Class M license, or if they have completed a motorcycle safety course approved by the PA Department of Transportation. A little nugget we like to pass along—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports helmet use is 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries—meaning, wearing a helmet significantly reduces the chance of perishing in a motorcycle accident. Some other rules of the road include:
- Helmet speakers can be used, but only for communication
- Handlebars cannot exceed shoulder height in the seated position
- No more than 2 motorcyclists can ride side-by-side in the same lane
- Motorcyclists cannot operate in between specified lanes of traffic
At the end of the day, it is up to everyone, individually, to do what they can and want to ensure their own safety. That said, motorcyclists are less visible than passenger vehicles and have fewer protections. That’s why negligent and reckless drivers injure and take the lives of motorcyclists every day in our country.
When You Have a Case
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident and it was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to make a monetary recovery by pursuing a personal injury claim. In fact, you may be entitled to financial compensation even if the accident was partially your fault. Every case is unique, and the circumstances surrounding the various fact scenarios are all contributing factors when deciding if you have a case. Some of the most common types of damages awarded in a motorcycle accident include:
- Reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Compensation for projected future medical expenses
- Past and projected lost wages or income
- Pain and suffering
For Motorcycle Accidents, Call Georgelis First!
When you’re injured in a motorcycle accident, or any accident for that matter, Call Georgelis First! Our experienced, aggressive and successful attorneys have helped countless bikers get the compensation they deserve. In fact, we have won more than 99% of our cases and recovered more than $50,000,000.00 for our clients, including awards in excess of one-million dollars for motorcycle riders involved in accidents.
If you want the maximum compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries, we can help build your claim the way it should be. Our experienced, seasoned trial lawyers will aggressively fight to defend your rights! If you’re hurt, call 1-800-HURT-NOW. And remember, we never collect money until we get compensation for you!