It’s no secret motorcycles are much more dangerous than cars. They’re lighter, which means they’re much capable of traveling at faster speeds. They also don’t recover well from bumps and debris in the road. Likewise, if a motorcycle and a car collide, the driver in the car has a metal cage to protect him or her, while the motorcycle rider has nothing. In 2015, 4,976 people died in motorcycle crashes, and another 88,000 were injured, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. We’ve listed some of the most common reasons bikers get into accidents on roads and freeways across the United States.
Lane splitting, or lane sharing, happens when a biker drives through two lanes of stopped or slow-moving vehicles. It usually occurs during traffic jams. While Ohio doesn’t explicitly outlaw lane splitting, bikers could be cited for failing to drive in marked lanes or engaging in unsafe lane changing by law enforcement. So, bikers in Ohio could participate in lane splitting if they don’t mind risking the citation to get to their destinations more quickly. The danger in this practice is car drivers don’t always expect a motorcycle, or anything else for that matter, to be between their cars and the cars in the next lane. While they may check for large objects in the rearview mirror, they may not check again, during which time a biker could have driven into their way while they changed lanes. Bikers are also in much closer proximity to cars and have less room to maneuver if they need to get out of the way quickly.
Speeding can be dangerous in any vehicle, but it’s particularly deadly on motorcycles. According to statistics, half of the accidents involving a single motorcycle are caused by speeding or alcohol use. Motorcycles can go incredibly fast, particularly those designed for racing, such as supersport bikes. Their light frames and lack of protection make crashing a deadly experience for any driver, and the faster you go, the less control you have over the vehicle you’re driving.
Drinking alcohol and driving any vehicle is a poor decision, but it can lead to severe consequences for bikers in particular. Just as speeding can result in many crashes, alcohol makes its own contribution. Alcohol lowers the inhibitions of those who drink it, which means people are more likely to make poor decisions when driving, such as speeding. Likewise, it can influence the balance and coordination of the drinker. Because motorcycles require balance to drive them well and safely, a drunk biker can often lose that balance and fall over. At high speeds, this could be disastrous.
Motorcycles are less able to respond to dangers on the road than cars and other vehicles. While they are more maneuverable, if the driver doesn’t have enough time to avoid road hazards, such as potholes, road kill, ice, or sand, one of the wheels could slip over the hazard and take the driver down. These accidents are more likely to happen if drivers take blind corners at high speeds.
Around 56% of all motorcycle-related deaths involve crashes of motorcycles and other vehicles. In many of these accidents, the car strikes the motorcycle from the front. In only 5% of accidents, the car will hit the bike from behind. If there is a head-on collision between car and bike, the motorcyclist will often die as a result. As stated earlier, the fatality is largely the result of the severe lack of protection a motorcycle offers its driver. When bikes collide with fixed objects as well, it can lead to deadly results. Around 25% of motorcyclist deaths involve colliding with fixed objects, such as walls or trees.
Cars making left-hand turns account for about 42% of all accidents involving motorcycles and cars. When the turning car strikes a motorcycle, the bike is usually going straight through an intersection, passing the car, or trying to overtake the vehicle. While these types of accidents can also affect cars, again, the car offers more protection for its occupant than the motorcycle.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to call our experienced Columbus car accident lawyers. These types of collisions often involve high medical bills and lots of recovery time, which could prevent you from working. If your accident was the result of another driver’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to pay for the damages done to you and your property. Henderson, Mokhtari & Weatherly attorneys are trusted, reliable, and respected, and we do our best to use our 70 years of collective experience to help each client get the compensation they deserve. We have successfully resolved thousands of cases and have earned a proven record of success in negotiations and in the courtroom. Our attorneys are also highly rated, some of them being named Top 40 Under 40 by National Trial Lawyers and Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers.
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