The popularity of motorcycles has increased significantly in recent years. The number of motorcycle accidents also increased. The Insurance Information Institute stated that there are 7.1 million motorcycles on the road in the United States. There are more deaths and injuries caused by motorcycle accidents in recent years than before. According to statistics, motorcyclist involved in a traffic accident faces a serious risk of injury or death.
The Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The number of motorcycle accidents increased every year for the last ten years. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you are thirty-seven times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than a car accident. Eleven percent of all roadway accidents that occur in the U.S.A. involve motorcycles. Here are some common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Speeding was a factor in 36% of fatal motorcycle crashes;
- Ignoring traffic signs;
- Poor weather conditions;
- Lane splitting (driving between two lanes);
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Forty-two percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involved a vehicle turning left while the motorcycle was going straight. This often happens when the motorcycle is in the process of passing or overtaking the vehicle.
- The use of helmets declined. Helmets are considered to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries.
- Faulty equipment, such as tires and brakes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the majority of motorcycle accidents involve collisions with another vehicle. The injuries suffered in a motorbike accident can include brain injury, spinal injury, broken bones, mental trauma and skin lacerations. A motorcyclist has little protection when colliding with another vehicle. If your injuries resulted from the negligence of another driver, you need to urgently seek the help of a St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer.
Consequences of a Motorcycle Accident
Once a motorcyclist has lost control or a collision has occurred, several common types of injuries can occur when the bike falls.
- Concussion and brain damage usually occurs when the head contacts other vehicles or objects.
- The most common breakages are the shoulder and pelvis. Breakage of joints, fingers, spine and neck can occur when the body contacts other vehicles or objects.
- Facial disfigurement can occur in the absence of a full-face helmet.
- Skin and muscle damage can occur as the body slides across the surface.
The Hurt Report found that 98% of multiple vehicle collisions and 96% of single vehicle accidents resulted in some kind of injury.
Your Personal Health and Safety
It is of the utmost importance that you report to the nearest hospital or make an appointment with your doctor after you are involved in a motorcycle accident. There are symptoms that can be experienced following the impact, but often develops after a couple of hours and may worsen during the next twenty-four or forty-eight hours. The visit to your doctor or hospital will be recorded in your medical records. The records may later be used as evidence to support your case.
Missouri Motorcycle Accidents Formalities
All road accidents should be reported to the police and if there are no injuries, they will notify you if they are not coming to the accident scene. Remain at the scene of the accident and immediately call 911 if anyone is injured. It is important to exchange names, addresses and insurance details. This is not always possible, as both parties may be injured. A motorcycle accident attorney can obtain the information from the police records.
Do not attempt to negotiate with the driver of the vehicle. It is not uncommon for drivers to initially accept blame and then later deny their negligence. Let the police document everything in the police report. It is also common for the police to issue a ticket to the at fault driver, which may be useful in settling your case with the insurance company.
Write down as soon as possible what happened, how it happened and where and when the accident occurred. Take note of the road and weather conditions. Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. If possible, have photos taken of your injuries. Leave your damaged motorcycle in the same state and do not attempt to fix anything. Take photos of your damaged motorcycle.
It is important that you do not admit liability to anyone at the accident scene or to the insurance companies. You can communicate with the insurance companies after you consulted a motorcycle crash lawyer. You should not sign any documents. Many accidents between motorcycles and cars involve complex legal issues. The victim of a motorcycle accident requires an experienced and skilled legal representative. Seek immediate legal representation. A expierenced motorcycle crash attorney will guide you through the process and negotiate with all the insurance companies.
Motorcycle Protective Equipment – Motorcycle Equipment
Governments and manufactures highly recommend motorcycle personal protective equipment, such as:
- Impact protection: Jackets and pants with extra padding provide protection.
- Abrasion Resistance: Tough leather provides abrasion resistance in an accident.
- Improved visibility: Motorcyclists prefer to choose bright colors and reflective surface strips on their jackets and pants to increase visibility.
- Weather protection: Personal protective equipment provides protection from rain, cold and wind.
- Helmet: A full-face helmet provides the best protection. Research found that thirty-five percent of accidents show major impact on the chin-bar area.
- Airbag system technology is now fitted to jackets and vests for accident protection.
It is a legal requirement to turn the headlights on as soon as the bike is started. Some bikes have modulated headlights and are legal in the United States of America. BMW introduced anti-lock braking systems in 1988. The anti-lock braking systems were soon adopted by other brands and are required on all new motorcycles with a displacement larger than 125cc.
What Can You Do To Prevent a Motorcycle Accident?
When driving a motorcycle, it remains smart to always wear the proper safety equipment and to keep your bike in an excellent working condition. Do not exceed the posted speed limit. Try not to drive your motorcycle in adverse weather conditions. You cannot eliminate every type of hazard, but you can drive as safe as possible. The use of alcohol is illegal for any person behind a wheel, including motorcyclists. We all have to share the roads and by working together we can limit motorcycle accidents and car accidents.