Motorcycle Collisions: Assessing and Examining the Risks

Motrorcycle that collided with a car
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Motrorcycle that collided with a car

Despite the mainstream presence of motorcycles in many parts of the United States, collisions with autos are still an ever-present hazard facing motorcyclists. The dangers of motorcycle come with extreme and potentially fatal risks, and motorists and motorcyclists should take steps to minimize the likelihood of collisions.

The growing prevalence of motorcycles in Denver and across other major cities throughout the United States does not mean that motorists, in general, are not more aware of their presence in the road.  Even today, motorcycle collisions and associated injury cases have increased significantly over the past few years. A seasoned accident lawyer can be instrumental in arguing in favor of injured parties who have been gravely hurt in a motorcycle collision.

The Challenges of Motorcycling

Although motorcycle collisions are no more frequent than other vehicular accidents, their consequences can be severe. Motorcycles, due to their design, are a lot less resilient in the face of a crash. Small, lightweight, and poorly visible, motorcycles are especially vulnerable to collisions, which subsequently have a high likelihood of injuring fatally harm its riders.

Statistically, collisions, where motorcycles are hit from behind, are not very common (at 5% of all collisions) as those that take place in the front or the sides. Motorcycle accidents more commonly happen when cars making are left-hand turns, which comprise yet another 42% of all individual overall cases of motorcycle collisions across the United States.

Collisions between other vehicles and motorcycles comprise more than 56% of deaths from motorcycles, with the majority of them (78%) taking place head on. Moreover, motorcycle collisions have started to climb since 2015 and 2016, with fatalities from these events rising to 60% in the past year.

Liability Conundrums

In cases surrounding motorcycle accidents, liability is determined by negligence. Courts must determine which party involved in the accident was deemed negligent.

On occasion, it is possible for motorcycle riders to be negligent of their safety (either by speeding, distracted riding, or riding while under intoxicated). In most cases of motorcycle collision injury, however, it is often the motorist who struck the motorcycle that is held liable. This is due to the nature of motorcycle driving and that of the types of accidents.

Riding a motorcycle requires a significantly different skill set to riding a car, and even experienced drivers are prone to blind spots in their vision. In addition, there’s no barrier between the rider and the road; because they are exposed, riders are especially vulnerable to hazards like road conditions and extremes of weather.

Minimizing Accidents

Motorcycle rider that met an accident with a car

Because of the immense risks surrounding accidents, motorcyclists should never underestimate the importance of safety and defensive driving. Riders should always wear appropriate protective gear such as helmets and follow proper group riding etiquette when riding alongside others.

Motorcyclists should choose moderate speeds that wouldn’t compromise their reaction times and should always be aware of their surroundings and the dangers posed by their blind spot. Much as they would with an automobile, riders should only operate a motorcycle when they are sober and alert. Riders should also avoid staying in lanes that motorists are likely to move into during to prevent being hit from the left of the rear.

If possible, motorcyclists should also avoid riding to their destinations at key points of the day. Areas with many taverns, for instance, may not be the safest place to drive after due to the increased likelihood of encountering reckless intoxicated drivers.

Even the most cautious of motorcyclists can only do so much to address vision limits and react to oncoming motorists and other unexpected dangers. People driving cars and trucks usually have a better field of vision. Thus, it usually falls on other motorists to remain aware of motorcyclists.

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