You knew from the first time you rode your motorcycle that you are far more vulnerable to accidents, injuries and even fatality than drivers of passenger vehicles. But you still enjoy riding. So the best approach to your use of your motorcycle is that of safety, insurance and awareness. Always try to be as safe as possible, maintain an insurance policy that includes uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, and keep aware of the circumstances and other vehicles on the road.
Despite being as careful and aware in your riding as possible, you still are vulnerable to the actions and behaviors of other drivers. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, it is important that you seek the guidance and help of an experienced phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer. A personal injury claim following your accident may be the only pathway to ensuring you can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, property damage and other accident-related costs.
Facts of Motorcycle Crashes, Injuries and Fatalities
According to data released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration in mid-2016, American motorcycle fatalities increased by ten percent from 2014 to 2015. About 5,010 fatalities occurred in motorcycle accidents during 2015. This was only the third time in history that annual fatalities exceeded 5,000. Thirty-one U.S. states suffered increases in fatalities among motorcycle riders as a result of crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nine of every 100,000 automobile drivers and passengers are involved in a fatal accident. But 56 of every 100,000 motorcyclists are involved in an accident with fatalities. In accidents involving a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle, the most frequent fatality is the motorcyclist.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to be killed in an accident, versus passenger vehicle occupants. Motorcyclists are also five times more likely to be injured in crashes.
In 2014, 4,586 people died in motorcycle accidents and 92,000 riders were injured. 39 percent of those who were killed were not wearing a helmet.
How Age Is a Factor in Motorcycle Accident Fatalities
NHTSA data reflects that in 2014, older motorcyclists accounted for more than half of all fatalities in motorcycle accidents. In fact, 54 percent of those riders killed in crashes were aged 40 and above. From 2005 to 2014, the number of motorcycle riders aged 40 and over who were killed in accidents rose by 14 percent. But fatalities for all age groups combined only rose by one percent during that same period. The average age of motorcycle riders who are killed in accidents is 42.
Older motorcycle riders also sustain more serious injuries than their younger counterparts in riding. Brown University research showed that this is primarily related to declining vision and reaction time, as well as due in part to larger and heavier bikes typically ridden by older riders. These heavier motorcycles tend to roll over in accidents and fatally injure older riders who have increased fragility due to their age.
Also learned during this study, the steepest rise in injury from motorcycle accidents from 2001 to 2008 occurred among riders aged 60 and over. These riders are two and a half times more likely to sustain serious injuries than younger riders. The older riders are also three times more likely to require hospitalization after motorcycle accidents, usually suffering fractures, dislocations and even traumatic brain injuries that are less likely among their younger counterparts.
Helmet Use and Motorcycle Accident Fatalities
According to the NHTSA’s 2015 National Occupant Protection Use Survey, ten times more unhelmeted motorcyclists died in states not requiring helmet wear than in states that do require helmet wear. In states that require use of helmets by motorcycle riders, about 80 percent of riders follow the law and wear a DOT-approved helmet. In states not requiring helmet wear by all riders, only 42 percent of motorcyclists wear a helmet.
The NHTSA reports that helmets saved 1669 lives in accidents during 2014 and 1640 lives in accidents during 2013. In 37 percent of motorcycle accidents, helmets save lives of the primary motorcyclist and in 41 percent of motorcycle accidents the passenger’s life can be saved by use of a helmet.
An Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You Reach an Accident Settlement
When you have been in a motorcycle accident that was the fault of someone else, the other driver’s insurance company will owe you compensation for your sustained injuries, lost income, property damage and pain and suffering. With the help of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in your state, also known as a phoenix personal injury lawyer, you can negotiate a positive settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If a settlement cannot be reached, your personal injury lawyer will take the case to court on your behalf for a suitable judgment.