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Common Factors That Lead to Motorcycle Accidents

Common Factors That Lead to Motorcycle Accidents

According to 2016 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,286 motorcyclists were killed that year, which was a 5.1-percent increase from the number of fatalities in 2015. When it comes to per vehicle miles traveled in 2016, traffic deaths involving motorcyclists happened nearly 28 times more often than occupants in passenger vehicles.

The main reason why motorcycle accidents are more devastating than car accidents is because motorcyclists suffer more serious and permanent injuries because of their vulnerability on the road. Despite wearing the proper safety gear and helmet, the lack of protection afforded to motorcyclists compared to occupants in a passenger vehicle often results in more brain and spinal injury. In fact, 55 percent of fatal collisions involved an automobile.

The following are the common causes of motorcycle accidents and fatalities in the United States:

  • Cars turning left – 41 percent of two-vehicle fatal crashes were caused by automobiles making a left turn while motorcycles were going straight, passing other vehicles, or overtaking a vehicle. In many cases, motorcyclists attempting to pass a car within the same lane and the driver cannot see or anticipate the rider’s maneuver.
  • Head-on collisions – In regard to crashes involving two vehicles, 72 percent of the motorcycles involved in crashes with motor vehicles were struck in the front, while only seven percent happened in the rear.
  • Car doors – When a driver opens the door of their parked car in the path of an approaching motorcycle, the motorcyclist either slams into the door or attempts to avoid the swinging door and accidently collides with oncoming traffic.
  • Drunk drivers – Despite the dangers of drunk driving, it is still a common issue in Massachusetts and the rest of the United States. Any amount of alcohol in a driver’s bloodstream can have an impact on their ability to operate a vehicle, putting motorcyclists at risk.
  • Distracted drivers – Whether it’s texting while driving or changing the radio station, distractions can take a driver’s attention away from the primary task of operating a vehicle, hands away from the wheel, and eyes away from the road.
  • Dangerous road conditions – Although a car can drive over gravel, crumbling pavements, small debris, and even potholes without significant issue, a motorcycle driving over these conditions can result in a crash. In these type of cases, fault for this type of accident could be on a local jurisdiction who is responsible for maintaining the roads.
  • Motorcycle defects – A manufacturer can be held liable if a poorly designed or manufactured motorcycle causes a malfunction which results in a motorcyclist’s injuries or death.

If you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, it is imperative to seek legal representation from an experienced lawyer to help you obtain the financial compensation to recover from your injury. At Morgan & Murphy, our New Bedford personal injury attorneys are prepared to protect your rights and best interests during this trying time, and ensure you obtain the monetary damages and justice you deserve. We also serve clients in Hyannis, Brockton, Plymouth, Fall River, Framingham, and Quincy.

For more information about motorcycle accidents, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.

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