National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics reveal that 2,234 motorcyclists were killed and another 49,000 were injured in highway crashes in 1998. A significant portion of those deaths and injuries involved single motorcycle collisions with fixed objects or roadway defects. Per mile travelled in 1998, a motorcyclist was approximately 16 times more likely to die in a crash than an automobile occupant and 3 times more likely to be injured.
A more recent study showed that three-fourths of the motorcycle accidents studied involved collision with another vehicle, usually a passenger automobile. In two-thirds of the collisions involving another vehicle, the driver of that vehicle violated the motorcycle’s right of way. The failure of other drivers to see and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the major cause of motorcycle accidents.
Intersections are the most likely place for a motorcycle accident, with the other driver violating the motorcycle’s right of way and often violating traffic controls.
Though most associate speeding with motorcycle accidents, the study showed the median speed pre-crash was only 29.8 miles per hour. The typical motorcyclist has less than 2 seconds to complete all collision avoidance action.
The likelihood of injury is extremely high. Ninety-eight percent of multiple vehicle collisions and ninety-six percent of single vehicle collisions resulted in injury. Forty-five percent of the injuries were serious.
Woods Law KC has experience representing motorcycle riders in multiple vehicle and single vehicle accidents. Whether the wreck is caused by a roadway defect or another car, we are here to help.