Riding a motorcycle is fun, economical, convenient, and it can also be exhilarating. Most regular riders would be hard pressed to give up the thrill, freedom, and feeling the wind on their faces and wheels on the ground. Southern California has some of the best weather for riding. However, there is a downside to riding a bike: It can be extremely dangerous. Tens of thousands of motorcycle accidents occur every year, and because motorcycles offer very little in the way of protection, most accidents result in injury or death.
While some motorcyclists can be faulted for causing accidents, many occur because other drivers are not watching for them or because of hazardous road conditions. If you should become injured on a motorcycle, the consequences can be devastating and may include the loss of your bike, other property, your health or even your life. The most effective way to fight for your rights and receive compensation for the damages sustained in such a situation is to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks and analyzes information about all of the traffic accidents in the U.S., including motorcycle accidents. According to the latest NHTSA report, the data from 2013 shows that 4,668 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents, and an estimated 88,000 people were injured that year alone.
In 2013, more than 8.4 million motorcycles were registered in the U.S., and they traveled a total distance of 20.4 billion miles. The sad fact, however, is that about one person for every 100 motorcycles was injured while one person for every 200 motorcycles was killed. To put these numbers into perspective, people traveling by motorcycle are 35 times more likely to experience a fatal collision than people in automobiles.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
The NHTSA and a number of independent organizations advocating motorcycle safety, including Dying to Ride and the Skilled Motorcyclist Association, have determined that about two-thirds of motorcycle accidents are caused by motorcyclist error, and one-third are caused by the behavior of other drivers. The top reasons motorcycle accidents occur are as follows:
- Alcohol use – About 29 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents are found to be operating their motorcycles while intoxicated, but about 20 percent of two-vehicle accidents with motorcycles occur when the other drivers are legally intoxicated.
- Speeding – About 33 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes have been found to have been exceeding the speed limit at the time of or shortly before the incidents occurred. However, 20 percent of passenger cars and 17 percent of trucks were also found to be speeding.
- Intersections – Intersections are the most dangerous places on any road for motorcyclists as 42 percent of all motorcycle accidents happen here. Sometimes, it is the fault of the motorcyclist not paying attention, but more often than not, the driver of another vehicle fails to spot the oncoming motorcycle.
- Road conditions – Motorcycles are not as stable as cars and trucks are, so road conditions have a greater impact on safety. Inclement weather, loose gravel, and other obstacles can easily cause motorcyclists to lose control.
Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle crashes are often fatal and even those who survive usually suffer serious injuries that may keep them from working temporarily or permanent disabilities that affect several aspects of their lives, including relationships with family and significant others. These times can be stressful and difficult, so it only makes sense to let a knowledgeable and reliable motorcycle accident lawyer handle the case.
An attorney practicing motorcycle law can get you the help you need and file a claim for damages that may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering. If you or someone close to you has recently experienced a motorcycle crash, contact Rizio Law Firm today for a free consultation by calling 888-292-8888 or contact us online. You can contact the firm 24 hours a day. With locations in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange County California, Rizio Law Firm is equipped to handle any of your legal needs.