Risks of Riding a Motorcycle Versus Driving a Car
I’m Ed Smith, a motorcycle accident lawyer in Sacramento. The dangers of riding a motorcycle outweigh those of driving a car. In the absence of structural protection around one’s body to the need for near-perfect balance to stay upright and in control, motorcycles demand critical skills. Let’s look at the risks bikers must overcome when they take to the highway.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 29 times more deaths from motorcycle accidents than car accidents in 2015. In 2016, approximately 4,976 bikers died. The number of motorcycle deaths has been on an upswing in the last decade. Some things have changed during that time. Motorcycles have become more powerful, giving them the same speed as automobiles. This coincides with the age of bikers. Men and women over 40 are better able to buy bigger and stronger motorcycles. The age of those killed in crashes has increased too. The average age of those killed is approximately 42.
No Structural Protection
One of the most significant problems for motorcyclists is that they have no structural protection. While this freedom lures many to motorcycle riding, it is also a critical reason why bikers suffer fatal injuries. The automobile industry works hard to make cars safer, but designers and manufacturers cannot adequately do the same for motorcycles. Such items as airbag vests and smart helmets are providing some help. However, lacking the steel cage cars and trucks have is a significant factor in biker fatalities.
Lack of Stability
A biker must have a sense of balance to control their vehicle on two wheels. While some models add a third wheel, they are not as common. This is even more apparent when a biker tries to swerve or brake.
Motorcycles are less visible on the road. This causes many accidents, particularly when a motor vehicle driver is at an intersection. Left-hand turns are also a problem. Typically, the driver will check for another vehicle but will not see a motorcycle. Some experts have suggested that the car or truck operator may only be looking for other cars or trucks and be unaware of a motorcycle.
The condition of the road is a big factor in motorcycle safety. Debris on the road can cause a biker to lose control. Gravel can be a problem on any road but is more of an issue on winding roads. It can cause a biker difficulty when cornering. If the motorcyclist is traveling at a higher speed, gravel can cause a serious injury or death.
Other roadway problems include potholes and cracks due to weather. The city, state or federal government has a responsibility to repair the roads. Since this may involve a lawsuit against a government entity, it is essential that a motorcycle accident lawyer is consulted. Also, there is a different time limit for filing a claim, and the attorney’s insight into this is valuable. If you fail to submit a claim within the deadline, compensation cannot be pursued.
As with motor vehicle accidents, liability is based on negligence. In this sense, negligence is not driving in the way a prudent person would, causing injury. The motorcyclist or motor vehicle driver may be negligent. For instance, a car driver may not be vigilant for motorcyclists, especially when they are turning left. Either the motorcyclist or the motorist may display reckless behavior such as speeding or running a red light. A motorcyclist may cause an accident by cutting in and out in front of drivers or using lane splitting inappropriately.
The negligent party or their insurance company will be required to pay damages. If both parties are negligent, the extent of negligence for each will be calculated using comparative liability. If the motorist was responsible for 60 percent of fault and the biker was 40 percent at fault, the biker can still collect 60 percent of his or her damages.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a motorcycle accident lawyer in Sacramento. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, I am available to provide friendly advice that is free of charge. Just phone (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 to discuss your case.
Before you retain a lawyer, it is essential to learn about his or her practice. You can do that on the following pages:
I’ve been in Sacramento for 36 years helping those who live here and others throughout Northern California. I’ve assisted with traumatic injuries such as amputations and traumatic brain injury. I’ve also been here to help families when wrongful deaths occurred.
I’ve won client verdicts for $1 million and negotiated settlements for the same amount. Due to this, I was invited to join the Million Dollar Advocates as a California member.
My Verdicts and Settlements are available for your convenience here.
Photo Attribution: By “SplitShire” via Pixabay
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