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Where is a motorcycle most likely to crash?

Where is a motorcycle most likely to crash?

A motorcycle crash. A motorcycle crash is a complex event involving the interaction of human, vehicle, and environmental factors. While there is no �typical� motorcycle crash, what is �typical� is that a motorcycle crash is a violent event. More than 80 percent of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist. The motorcycle itself provides no head injury protection to the rider or passenger. Ejection from the motorcycle is a common injury pathway. If a motorcycle comes to a sudden stop and the rider is ejected from the motorcycle, the rider will forcibly strike objects in the path as well as the ground.

Vehicle differences. A motorcycle lacks the crashworthiness and occupant protection characteristics of an automobile. An automobile has more weight and bulk than a motorcycle. It has door beams, a roof, airbags, and seat belts. It is also more stable because it is on four wheels. Because of its size, an automobile is easier to see. What a motorcycle sacrifices in weight, bulk, and other crashworthiness characteristics is somewhat offset by its agility, maneuverability, ability to stop quickly, and ability to swerve quickly when necessary.

Causes of motorcycle crashes. In 1996 there were 67,000 motorcycles involved in police-reported crashes, of which 40 percent (27,000) were single vehicle crashes. 6 Many of the causes of motorcycle crashes may be attributed to lack of experience or failure to appreciate the inherent operating characteristics and limitations of the motorcycle. These factors require motorcyclists to take special precautions and place more emphasis on defensive driving. A motorcyclist, for example, has to be more alert at intersections, where most motorcycle-vehicle collisions occur. About one-third of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes are a result of other motorists turning into the path of the motorcycle. More than other vehicle drivers, motorcyclists must remain visible at all times, and anticipate what might happen. For example, motorcyclists must anticipate that drivers making left turns may not see them and prepare to make defensive maneuvers. They also must be more cautious when riding in inclement weather, on slippery surfaces, or when encountering obstacles on the roadway. Motorcyclists must place greater reliance on their helmet, eye protection, and clothing to reduce the severity of injury should they become involved in a crash. And they should attend a motorcycle training course to learn how to safely operate a motorcycle.

Approximately 43 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve alcohol.7 A motorcycle requires more skill and coordination to operate than a car. Riding a motorcycle while under the influence of any alcohol significantly decreases an operator’s ability to operate it safely.

An estimated one-third of motorcycle operators killed in crashes are not licensed or are improperly licensed to operate a motorcycle.8 Being licensed to operate a car does not qualify a person to operate a motorcycle. By not obtaining a motorcycle operator’s license, motorcyclists are bypassing the only method they and the state licensing agencies have to ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed to safely operate a motorcycle.

The helmet at work. The single most important safety device a motorcyclist can have is a helmet. Motorcycle helmets have a hard outer shell that distributes the force of an impact to protect the skull and prevents objects from piercing it. The crushable inner liner limits the force of impacts by absorbing a portion of the energy that would otherwise reach the head and brain. As the helmet does its job, the number and severity of head injuries are significantly reduced.

Helmets cannot work if they are improperly designed. Federal safety standards determine the amount of force helmets should absorb and the amount of peripheral vision the helmets must allow. Only helmets that meet or exceed these standards should be worn.

Maine Motorcycle Accident FAQ

motorcycle accident

Q: What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?

A: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are about 37 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash and 9 times more likely to be injured.

  • In 2008, 5,290 motorcyclists were killed, and 96,000 were injured, which is a staggering 14% of the total traffic fatalities, 17% of all occupant fatalities, and 4% of all occupants injured.
  • Of those killed, almost 50% were from collisions with another type of motor vehicle.
  • In 41% of these crashes, the other vehicle was turning left while the motorcycle was going straight, passing, or overtaking the vehicle.
  • In 28% of the collisions, both vehicles were going straight
  • Motorcycles are more likely to be involved in a fatal collision with a fixed object than other vehicles.
  • In 2008, 25% of the motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with fixed objects, compared to 19% for passenger cars, 14% for light trucks, and 4% for large trucks.
  • Intersections are the most likely location for motorcycle accidents.
  • Motorcycle operators between 16 and 24 are more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Almost half of fatal motorcycle accidents are alcohol-related.
  • A typical motorcycle accident allows the motorcyclist less than two seconds to complete a collision-avoiding action.

Q: What happens if the crash involves only a single-vehicle motorcycle?

A: Approximately one-quarter of all motorcycle crashes are single-vehicle motorcycle accidents. Bikers involved in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident should never automatically assume that they have no recourse for compensation simply because another vehicle might not have been involved. Furthermore, a motorcyclist’s insurance company may attempt to avoid paying full coverage for damages and injury since another vehicle was not directly involved. This is where the experienced motorcycle accident lawyers of Hardy, Wolf & Downing become necessary. In the State of Maine, contact between vehicles is NOT required to find fault. So when a car cuts you off and you swerve to avoid it, inadvertently hitting a telephone pole, you may be entitled to compensation for your motorcycle injury. You need an attorney who knows motorcycles and the laws in Maine to help protect your interests.

The attorneys of Hardy, Wolf & Downing have the expertise and experience to handle any motorcycle accident case no matter how complex. To speak with a motorcycle accident injury lawyer about your case, contact the Maine law firm of Hardy, Wolf & Downing today.

Causes of single-vehicle motorcycle accidents

Over the last decade, more than 10,000 people were killed, and more than 250,000 were injured in single-vehicle motorcycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 40% of serious motorcycle accidents reported abrupt braking and steering maneuvers immediately before the accident. These findings suggest that some single-vehicle motorcycle accidents can be traced back to the interaction of the motorcycle with another hazard on the roadway – a reckless driver, road hazards that should have been repaired or removed, or even a child’s toy out in front of your bike.

Along with skilled accident reconstruction experts, an experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer from Hardy, Wolf & Downing will diligently work to locate the responsible party or parties involved in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident and obtain compensation for the rider or the rider’s loved ones.

Q: What if I had defective equipment?

A: In motorcycle crashes caused by a defective product, the rider may not know why the accident occurred. Despite precautions and safety measures a motorcyclist may take, a bike can fail to work correctly, and serious injuries can occur.

  • Turn signals not working
  • Faulty brakes and brake lights
  • Tire blowouts
  • Faulty headlights
  • Bad wiring and fuel lines

When you take precautions to ensure your safety and are injured by a poorly manufactured product, contact the motorcycle personal injury specialists at Hardy, Wolf & Downing for effective representation.

Q: I don’t know what happened. How can I prove anything?

A: A motorcycle accident happens suddenly. Victims may have only a very brief perspective of the accident’s cause if they have any recollection. In some cases, the cause of a single-vehicle motorcycle accident can be even more difficult to determine because the rider is the only person at the scene. Quite often, injury victims in motorcycle accidents accept low settlements or receive no compensation because they do not or cannot identify the cause of the accident. The professional motorcycle accident injury attorneys at Hardy, Wolf & Downing, who cover Portland, Lewiston, and all of Southern and Central Maine areas, utilize their years of experience in accident reconstruction to identify its cause and will seek full compensation for victims based on the investigation’s findings.

Q: Why call Hardy, Wolf & Downing, Maine’s motorcycle accident lawyers?

A: Motorcycle injury cases are usually very complex. Accident victims require lawyers who are experienced in dealing with the bias bikers often face from law enforcement officers investigating the accident, insurance adjusters, and juries. A motorcycle injury lawyer from the Maine law firm of Hardy, Wolf & Downing will aggressively defend your rights as a motorcyclist and fight for compensation for your injuries. Contact Hardy, Wolf & Downing for a case review today.

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7 Surprising Stats About Motorcycle Accidents and How to Prevent Them

Motorcycles are exhilarating and a great form of transportation. But unlike automobiles motorcycles aren’t exactly built to withstand crashes and r eports show that motorcycle accidents are on the rise . However, the data demonstrates that with the proper gear, training and due diligence many of these accidents can be prevented. And when not preventable, the same care can reduce the impact of the damages to the rider and their passengers. Continue reading for seven surprising motorcycle accident statistics and safety tips to help prevent them.

1. Motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in a crash.

7 Surprising Stats About Motorcycle Accidents and How to Prevent Them

As exciting as they are to ride, motorcycles are statistically more dangerous than other vehicles to operate. They are generally less stable, harder to see by other drivers on the road, and provide less physical protection from the environment. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) accidents involving motorcycles represent a disproportionate amount of all traffic accident deaths. Riders are 26 times more likely to die as a result of their injuries.

While accidents can’t be avoided riders can take steps to reduce the chances of them occurring and the risk of injury when they do occur. Proper training, licensing, and wearing the right gear are all prudent steps every rider should take to reduce their risk of injury or death in an accident.

2. Head injury is the #1 cause of death in motorcycle accidents.

One of the more serious injuries sustained by motorcycle riders is a TBI or traumatic brain injury. A TBI is a disruption in the normal function of the brain that usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head. Even if it doesn’t result in death a TBI can have a serious impact including bruising of the brain, torn tissues, bleeding and other long-term physical damage that can have wide-ranging physical and psychological effects.

The best way to reduce these injuries is to wear a DOT approved motorcycle helmet . Studies show that helmets use reduce the risk of motorcycle deaths by as much as 42%.

3. Men account for 91% of all motorcycle deaths.

Although the number of women riders is increasing men make up vast majority of all motorcycle fatalities. While there are no gender specific motorcycle safety tips for riders everyone should follow these basics guidelines when riding:

  • Be prepared.
  • Follow the three-second rule.
  • Wear a helmet.
  • Share the road.

These tips won’t avoid an accident but they will significantly decrease the chance that one will occur.

4. The rider in 29% of motorcycle fatalities had high blood alcohol content levels.

Nearly one-third of motorcycle fatalities in two-vehicle accidents involved a DUI. That percentage increased to 42% in single vehicle crashes.

Don’t drink and ride. It’s not safe or smart.

And it is illegal.

5. 63% of motorcycle fatalities occur between May and September.

So this statistic may not be so surprising. As the seasons change from winter to spring riders can’t wait to get back on the road. Especially riders in states that have traditional cold weather winters. More riders during these warmer weather months means an increased chance of accidents. So don’t just jump on your bike on the first 60- or 70-degree day. Make sure you and your bike are ready to ride safely.

6. 48% of motorcycle deaths happen on the weekend.

Weekend rides are fun. And if riding is your hobby riding on the weekend is not only normal but expected. But if you’re a motorcycle enthusiast who only rides when the weather is just right on the weekends, make sure you keep your skills up and take refresher courses as needed to make sure you’re ready for those rides.

7. One-Third of riders in motorcycle fatalities are not licensed.

Data from the NHTSA shows that approximately 33% of riders in fatal motorcycle crashes are not properly licensed. Getting your motorcycle license is not optional. Regardless of your skill, maintaining your license indicates that you are properly trained and have the requisite understanding of the unique state laws and safety requirements. Making sure your license is in order is a critical step in preparing to ride and should not be skipped.

8. What happens if I am involved in an accident?

As with any automobile accident the consequences for all involved are potentially life altering and devastating. If an accident while riding a motorcycle, the liability or fault for the accident will most likely be attributed to the negligent party. Therefore, any medical injuries or damages to personal property of everyone involved in the accident will be the responsibility of the that person. A professional familiar with the nuances of these complex issues is a great resource to consult in these situations and can help you determine damages, liability, and other factors relevant to the resolution of your matter.

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