While it is true that motorcyclists are overrepresented in roadway fatalities, it’s hardly fair to place all of the blame on them. According to the United States Department of Transportation (NHTSA), per vehicle miles travelled in 2020, “motorcyclists [during this time frame] were about 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash, and were 4 times more likely to be injured.” Interestingly enough, according to the Indiana Public University Policy Institute, over 58% of the time, the accident is not the fault of the motorcycle driver.
Motorcyclists have all of the same legal protections of other drivers, so why are they so grossly overrepresented in fatality statistics, year after year? While these legal protections are in place, unfortunately, the physical protection of the motorcycle itself is far less than a passenger car. The lack of a frame, roll bar or cage that you see in passenger car manufacturing means that the driver is extremely vulnerable to fatal injury in the event of a collision.
In some states, motorcyclists are forced to wear helmets to provide an extra layer of protection, but some drivers complain that helmets obstruct peripheral vision and cause other issues with moving your head quickly. The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that the last calendar year that formal data was measured, 2017, saw over 1,800 lives saved due to wearing a helmet. The report also found that $1.5 billion in economic losses could have been avoided in the same year if helmets were worn by all cyclists on the roadway. It would stand to reason that this stems from the fact that helmets reduce head injuries by nearly 70%.
If cyclists are not usually at fault in fatalities, what can be done to protect them? For one, vehicle motorists should be made aware of these statistics. The stereotype of the risk taking, macho, speeding motorcyclist seems to just simply be untrue. Because of their small size, motorcycles can be harder for vehicles to see, but vehicle drivers can often be far more distracted than their more focused motorcycle counterparts because of their own assumed safety in the confines of their vehicles.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, chances are very slim that you walked away unscathed. In fact, according to several sets of statistics, living at all through a motorcycle accident can be viewed as a bit of a statistical anomaly. Over 5,000 motorcyclists die per year on the roads, according to the Insurance Information Institute. With distracted driving on the rise since the adoption of constant use of technology, it would be fair to say that driving a car, with all of it’s safety features, actually protects the drivers of those vehicles in order that they can continue engaging in dangerous behaviors. It’s ironic, since many motorcycle drivers say that the thing they love the most about driving them is that you can’t focus on anything else while you are driving them, giving the same zen like peace of any other pastime that requires extreme focus.
When you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need a trusted attorney that will build a professional relationship with you. This includes letting you know your rights, explaining all of your options, letting you know generally what to expect, and helping you in the meantime to stay on top of piling medical bills and even mental health issues that can arise after a serious accident. Stephen Gaubert has 18 years of proven success fighting insurance companies at the highest level to make victims whole after an accident has shattered their lives.
When you call The Law Office of Stephen Gaubert, you will speak to him personally. Our office is focused on building relationships, not billboard or television advertising. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, call us today for a free, confidential case evaluation.