Statistics on Motorcycle Traffic Collisions

Stats on Rider Incidents

Ehline Law Motorcycle Accident Statistics Attorneys

In California in particular, big government, high gas prices and expensive social engineering, has cut considerably into the solemn property rights of Citizens domiciled in the Republic.  The ability of employers and many small businesses to to make a profit, means that mom and pop shops that create most of the jobs are closing their doors.  Jobs are fleeing the Soviet Socialist Republic of California in record numbers. Because of this, and the outrageously high costs of fuel, individuals are turning to motorcycles in an effort to afford remaining in the beautiful Golden State, and not have to move to an economically free state, like Texas. Of course, other riders enjoy the thrill and excitement that comes with riding, and still others, like members of the armed forces, ride to get to and from places quickly.  Avoiding missing man formations, AWOL, or UA is an important factor for military personnel who ride motorcycles.

Deaths and Serious Accidents

Deaths and serious accidents from both pedal powered bicycles, as well as motorcycles, have been steadily increasing since at least 1998. Noteworthy is the undisputed fact that California is the number one driver of motorcycle fatalities and collisions. [1. Motorcycle Fatalities By State]  Some of these are characterized as single vehicle collisions (only the motorcycle is involved), but most arise when another vehicle strikes the bike and rider.

CIty Riding

City riding in the Greater Los Angeles area, appears to be the most dangerous to life and limb. Cars are not as vigilant, or downright oblivious, when it comes to observing for motorcyclists traveling the roads, as they are when it comes to the less obvious car, truck, or bus. The City, County, or State becomes a defendant however, when the roads are poorly maintained or altered in such a way as to cause a single vehicle collision.  This happens when bikes fall in potholes, or in poorly marked construction zones, for example. But still, the greatest amount of motorcycle collisions consist of standard motor vehicles striking a motorcyclist that is riding down the highway on he surface streets. This means riders need to pay special attention when they are cruising around in cities, especially L.A.

Due to the nature of unprotected riding, serious bodily injuries and death, are a frequent occurrence. This should come as no shock to anyone with common sense.  When a person is launched from a motorcycle, the body flails around and rider has little control over where, and how he will fall to the earth. Many land on their head, shatter their shoulders and collar bones, and even snap their thigh bones.  Spine injury is a known cause of permanent paralysis. Even a more common injury like road rash, and hairline fracture, can cause you to lose time off of work. Lack of finances becomes real.

The cards are always stacked against a wounded rider. This is even more true, when a disfigured or broken motorcyclist is unrepresented by legal counsel. Overcoming a biased police report, and gathering evidence is so important, that it is crazy to not hire a motorcycle lawyer.

What the Statistics Tell Us About Hazards to Riders

Below, are a few of the various available statistics regarding motorcycle collision causes and types of harm. This is illustrative, but only based upon reported incidents. The facts as of 1981, relate that 3/4 of traffic mishaps involving motorbikes were primarily motorcars versus bikes. The other 25% of roadway hazards injuring riders, involved single vehicle spills caused by road defects, and striking or being struck by an object.  The studies assert that approximately 2/3 of those alarming cases, were caused solely to due to rider error.  A common error is over-reliance on the rear brakes, and spinning out.  Curb jumping, taking corners too fast, and fast riding in general, are all known causes of these crashes.

 

Left Hand Turn Accidents

By far, the greatest cause of injured riders is the infamous left hand turn incident. This happens most often when a car driver attempts to beat the traffic signal, and negotiates a left hand turn when a motorcycle is heading towards the intersection on a green or yellow light.  It cuts the rider off and causes him or her to slam into the side of the car.  Despite the fact that the biker had the legal right of way, the insurance company for the automobile that cut the rider off, almost always tries to argue that the cyclist ran a red light.  As an aside, this is why it is vital to gather witness statements of bystanders who will verify you had a green or yellow signal go ahead.

Riding Gear and Safety Measures

Statistics also indicate that injuries are lessened when people use headlamps during the day, wear special armored riding jackets and steel toe riding boots, etc. Wearing brightly colored helmets and vests is also recommended.  And these items do help prevent lacerations, road rash, etc.  But safety equipment does not always prevent more significant wounds like skull fractures, and broken bones. And no safety measures will prevent an aggressive auto operator with road rage, or some vengeful agenda, from running a motorcyclist over.  Could be they don’t like bikers, the color of your bike, your skin, who knows. So riders have to be on the lookout.  Basically, when riding, you need to keep your head on a swivel.

Helmets Are Vital

Wearing a proper riding helmet is the number one life saver in all motorcycle accidents.  This is because it protects your brain.  Without use of that grey matter, you would be a vegetable. A helmet drastically diminishes the chances of you obtaining a head, or neck injury, and seriously reduces the chances of a fatal brain wound, or loss of use of bodily functions post accident.

Experience is Not Conclusive in Accident Reduction

As we discussed previously, over half of the bikers in wrecks had 5 months or less rider experience . But astoundingly, acquaintance with the particular model of motorcycle is central to accident avoidance, not time riding bikes in general.

Over Relying on Rear Brakes

 

Another interesting discovery that riders over-rely on their rear brakes often. Many believe they will flip the bike in a nosedive if they use their front brakes. But this creates the problem of slide outs, which are also deadly.  A great tip for all riders, is to use front and rear in tandem.

Inattentiveness

The last most significant factor in accident causation if riders and other motorists, day dreaming, ho humming, or otherwise distracted by a phone, or other electronic device, or even a soft drink.

Weight Displacement

Good news to you Goldwingers and Harley Bagger Riders. Bikes with larger motors and overall displacement are involved in a lower percentage of overall roadway accidents. And as with any good news now comes the bad. When a larger bike does wreck, the injuries are statistically more devastating to the riders and passengers.

Inclement Weather

Interestingly, weather conditions by and of themselves, are not a statistically significant cause of traffic collisions involving motorcycles. But bad conditions often combine with some other man made condition to cause these types of wrecks.

Speed and Motorcycle Accidents

In fact, most accident happen at lower speeds of 30 mph or less, close to home, and during a trip that was intended to be quick, such as to and from the grocery store.

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