Motorcycle accidents can be some of the most devastating crashes. Motorcyclists are more exposed than other motorists if they’re struck by another vehicle, leaving them potentially vulnerable to severe injuries and loss of life.
But how often do motorcycle riders get into accidents and crashes? While it’s difficult to determine the exact amount of crashes that happen each year, there are around 89,000 motorcycle accidents across American roads. That’s roughly 1% of all motorcyclists, according to federal motorcycle registration data.
These accidents can be of serious consequence. For example, of the more than 4,400 road fatalities reported in Texas in 2021, 519 involved motorcycles.
Several factors can cause motorcycle crashes. Each accident may have a unique set of circumstances and injuries they cause can range widely.
Some common causes of motorcycle accidents may include:
Distracted Driving: For drivers in cars and other vehicles, motorcyclists can be hard to see on the road. But they are even harder to see when another motorist is focused on their phone or not paying attention because of other distractions. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of all traffic accidents and can lead to several tragic outcomes for motorcyclists.
Ignoring Traffic Signals: Drivers who ignore traffic signals, stop signs and other rules of the road can also cause serious motorcycle accidents. If a vehicle fails to see a motorcycle rider while at a stop sign, it can cause a serious collision.
Left Turns: If you ask any motorcyclists, they’ll probably tell you they’ve had at least one close call with a driver turning left. And there’s a good reason for this. Drivers sometimes miscalculate the speed and distance of a motorcycle rider before turning left and into the rider’s path. This can cause them to slam into the driver’s vehicle and can cause serious injuries and damage.
Drunk and Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or drugs is dangerous for anyone who gets behind the wheel or handlebars. The impacts of impaired driving are well-documented as common factors in motorcycle accidents because they often lower response times, negatively impact coordination and concentration, and affect a person’s judgment.
Speeding: Excessive speeds are another frequent cause of motorcycle accidents. Higher speeds reduce the amount of time a motorcyclist can react to changes on the road and is also true for other drivers. These accidents can lead to devastating and deadly outcomes since higher speeds increase the force of a collision.
Dangerous Road Condition: Inclement weather can cause roads to become hazardous for motorcyclists. Water can cause slick roads and cause motorcyclists and other motorists alike to skid and veer with sometimes no warning. Tough and bumpy roads can also be difficult for motorcyclists to maintain control. At times, they may have to veer out of the path of potholes and objects in the road.
In 2020, fatal motorcycle accidents made up roughly 8.5% of traffic-related deaths across Texas. That figure is slightly lower than the national percentage of motorcycle deaths accounting for about 14% of fatal crashes.
Though this number may seem low –– after all, car and passenger vehicle accidents make up the majority of deadly crashes –– it’s important to also consider motorcyclists make up a small fraction of road users.
Overall, motorcycle accidents can be more serious for riders than motorists in cars and trucks. For every vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are about 29 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than people in passenger cars.
That’s because motorcyclists are far less protected from dangerous weather and impacts during collisions with other vehicles. This can lead to blunt force injuries that impact the head and spine, as blows that lead to broken bones, road rash, or internal injuries to organs.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation to help with your recovery.
Before you begin the process, it’s generally best to immediately seek medical treatment. Even if you think your injuries might be minor, sometimes seemingly minor injuries, like a bump to the head, can actually be pretty serious or worsen after time. Additionally, a doctor will be able to provide documentation about your injuries, as well as the course of action you may need to take in the future.
This is important information to have. If you decide to file a claim against another party’s insurance company, having a record of your medical bills and a rough idea of what they may cost you in the future can be included in your claim.
A motorcycle accident may have also caused you to miss out on work. In severe cases, you may not be able to return at all. If you file a claim, you are also able to seek compensation for time away from work as well as payment for wages and income you will miss out on in the future.
Motorcycle accidents can also cause emotional trauma. The shock of an accident can have a huge impact on your mental health and life. For those who experienced a life-altering accident, chronic pain and loss of physical functions can also take an emotional toll.
An experienced lawyer to guide you through the process can help you maximize your compensation or negotiate a full and fair settlement on your behalf. Additionally, a lawyer can help gather evidence and build a case that shows your injuries were the result of another party’s negligence.
If you or a loved one were injured, hiring an experienced San Antonio motorcycle accident lawyer can help you seek full and fair compensation for your losses. Though no amount of money can bring back a loved one who died as the result of a crash, we will fight to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.
At Khattar Law, PC, we’ve handled thousands of personal injury claims. Our team of committed and experienced lawyers will work with you based on your unique needs to help you reach a fair settlement or receive full and fair compensation.
Call today at (210)923-1234 for a confidential, and no-obligation consultation.