Some newbies to riding often are attracted to the hottest race bike, after seeing a movie like Fast and Furious, or they may be attracted to a Harley Hog because they think it makes them seem tough. Either way, new and even experienced riders need to understand that they may be under or over estimating what these bikes can and cannot do in a life or death situation. As fuel costs skyrocket, and coolness trends in favor of having a crotch rocket, more and more crashes are being reported.
The trends show that a new bike, even in the hands of an experienced rider, is far more likely to be wrecked, than the daily driver bike the rider is used to riding. For novices, the risks of getting wiped out and becoming road pizza are even higher. Ehline Law Firm is run by a rider, and we provide this material to help you better understand the risks riders face, as well as why it is so important to retain a motorcycle injury lawyer with experience in these serious matters that alter the lives of so many innocent people in California.
The Alarming Figures
In 2006 alone, over 1 million motorcycles were sold. (Learn more.) As motorcycle popularity is increasing, so is the rate of motorcycle accidents. Between 1997 and 2006, motorcycle fatalities increased by over 127 percent. Most would be surprised to know that the rate of accidents isn’t due to the greater number of motorcycles on the road, however. Motorcycle debacle trends show that motorcycles still only comprise approximately 2 percent of all motor vehicles registered, while their crash and mishaps rate was 10% of all roadside calamities.
Motorcycles are much more vulnerable during a roadway accident than automobiles and can easily become a grim statistic. Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in an accident than four wheeled automobile drivers. While 20 percent of traffic collisions result in injury or death, a stunning 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in the same for a motorcyclist or their passenger (motorcycle deaths NHTSA.)
No matter what bike you buy, you need to know its strengths and weaknesses like the back of your hand. Having a great bike is not going to prevent the other guy from ruining your day to day activities. The vulnerability of a motorcyclist is underlined if one takes a look at the number of fatalities that occur to both motorcyclists and automobile drivers based on the number of tragedies occurring per 100 million miles of travel.
For multi-passenger automobiles, the fatality rate per 100 million miles of travel was 1.7 deaths. However, for motorcyclists, the fatality rate was 35.0 deaths per 100 million miles of travel. Even when everything seems to be running smoothly, riders are exposed to greater dangers, with their relatively unprotected vehicle.
Having an expensive, high performance machine can definitely give a rider a false sense of security. Some bikes are so stable at high speeds, that one forgets just how fast one is accelerating. Speed is helpful sometimes, such as when a rider has a bike known for sudden acceleration, and maneuverability, enabling it to get out of hazardous scenes rapidly.
Race bikes, as opposed to more lumbering, less nimble bagger bikes, come to mind. But speed can increase the chances for more serious injuries and death for a rider, much more so than for the driver of a car.
In 2006, speed was a factor in 37 percent of motorcycle fatalities, while fatalities for regular motorist collisions involving speed, were only 23 percent. However, most injuries from motorcycle accidents still occur in the less than 30 miles per hour range. Reducing speed doesn’t protect a vulnerable rider from all risks and contingencies out there in the asphalt jungle. Bottom line, if your used to riding a race bike, and all of a sudden want a Harley, you need to adjust your riding based upon the high and low speed performance of the bike.
Helmet and Equipment Usage and Accidents
Equipment, particularly helmets, can help reduce the severity of injuries and fatalities in accidents, but not prevent them. Fatalities in 2006 were 4,810. However, 1.658 motorcyclists were saved from fatalities by helmet usage in the same year. Helmets should always comply with the standards of safety set by the government. In 2006, had 752 motorcyclists involved in accidents complied with those standards for their helmets, they wouldn’t have died in their motorcycle accident.
One of the most tragic trends in rider killings, is that of alcohol usage. Drinking and driving is a major problem yet totally preventable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 30 percent of motorcyclists who died in crashes had a blood alcohol level of over 0.08 g/dL, the legal alcohol limit. Simply put: do not drink and drive.
A vigilant motorcyclist will keep up with current motorcycle accident trends, understand it is the rider and not the bike that keeps the biker safe. A rider need not become one of the statistics. If, however, you or your loved one is still injured as a result of another’s negligence, hiring a motorcycle accident attorney can help you protect your rights and pursue recompense for the losses resulting from your unfortunate event.
While out cruising and you get walloped by a negligent car driver, and your expensive bike gets wasted, then you have a whole other problem altogether. The sensible thing to do, is to engage a Motorcycle Lawyer. You could be leaving money damages on the table for both your and your bike. You are probably entitled to compensation if the injuries incurred were not your fault. For more detailed information contact us a 888-400-9721.