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Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers / Kansas Personal Injury Attorneys

Motorcycle accidents are a very complicated type of traffic collision. This is because there are so many specific laws and insurance procedures that surround motorcycle accidents. The majority of motorcycle accidents involve a motorcyclist and an automobile. One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is a vehicle driver failing to see or notice a motorcyclist. Motorcycle accidents can be caused by any number of factors including debris in the road, negligent drivers, or a defective motorcycle.

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Figures and research come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has been tracking this information since 1982 and its latest report for 2011 shows:

  • 4,612 motorcyclists died in the U.S in 2011. This is a 2% increase in rider fatalities over 2010. That overall figure of 4,612 deaths also includes other types of bikes (scooters, three wheelers, mopeds, mini bikes, pocket bikes and off-roaders), so the actual two-wheel motorcycle fatality number for 2011 is 4,323.
  • A total of 8,009,503 “motorcycles” (including scooters, trikes etc) were registered in 2010 but this increased by nearly 5% in 2011 to 8,437,502.
  • Motorcycles apparently made up 3% of all registered road vehicles in the U.S. for 2011 with NHTSA including everything on two-wheels and three-wheels in this category. But 4,323 (94%) of 4,612 fatal bike crashes in 2011 were riders of two-wheeled motorcycles.
  • According to the findings 2,449 (49%) of all fatal motorcycle crashes were the result of a bike colliding with another vehicle. Only 6% of deaths in 2011 were due to a bike being hit from behind.
  • More than 42% (1,998) of motorcyclists in 2011 were killed in two vehicle accident and 38% (757) of these were the result of another vehicle turning left in front of the motorcycle that was either going straight, passing or overtaking another vehicle.
  • NHTSA’s figures also show that in 2011 of the 4000 plus motorcycle riders killed on the roads in the U.S. 40% were not wearing a helmet. And based upon all 2011 motorcycle crash information NHTSA estimates that 1,617 lives of riders were saved by wearing a helmet and a further 703 may have survived if they had been wearing a helmet. This data makes no distinction between types of helmets (full or open face).
  • However, the staggering number in all of NHTSA’s research is that of the 4,323 motorcyclists killed in 2011, 33% (1426) of the riders were under the influence of alcohol. That’s almost 1 in 3 fatal motorcycle accidents attributed to drinking and riding.

With more people in the United States riding motorcycles today than ever before, motorcyclist deaths and injuries are an important public health concern.

Motorcyclists are at such a great risk for injury and death due to negligent drivers. They are not protected by the steel frame of a vehicle, so if something happens and they take a fall, they are in instant contact with the street and vulnerable to being hit by other drivers.

Safety Tips for Riders:

To Aid in Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents, Follow These Tips to Stay Safe:

  • Always wear a DOT-approved helmet.
  • Never ride your motorcycle after drinking. Alcohol greatly impairs your ability to safely operate a motorcycle. If you have been drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi.
  • Don’t let friends ride impaired. Take their keys away.
  • Wear protective clothing that provides some level of injury protection. Upper body clothing should also include bright colors or reflective materials, so that other motorists can more easily see you.
  • Avoid tailgating.
  • Maintain a safe speed and exercise caution when traveling over slippery surfaces or gravel.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, we are here to help. Please contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys at Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC for your free consultation.