Motorcycle Accidents

The open road, wind blowing across your face, a sense of adventure, these are some of the reasons people have enjoyed riding motorcycles for decades.

Unfortunately, drivers of other motor vehicles often fail to notice motorcycles because the driver is focused on other motor vehicles.

The most common type of car versus motorcycle collision occurs when the car makes a left turn in front of the motorcycle. Lane change collisions on 2 or more lane roads are also common. Sometimes, it is not another motor vehicle driver but a roadway defect that causes a motorcycle crash. In these cases the town, city or state may be responsible. Other causes of motorcycle collisions are speeding, aggressive or distracted driving, blind spots in a car, not keeping a safe distance road construction and roadway defects such as potholes.

Following many motorcycle crashes, the other driver’s insurance company will often try to reduce its responsibility by claiming motorcycles are risky or attempt to portray motorcyclists as daredevils.

In 2011, almost 2,000 motorcyclists were killed in 2 vehicle collisions, of which 38% were the result of the other vehicle turning left. Sadly, many motorcyclists are killed each year. The most likely age group to be killed is 20-29. Compared by miles traveled, the number of deaths from motorcycle crashes was 26 times higher in 2013 for motorcyclists compared to drivers of other motor vehicles. More than 50% of non-fatal injuries are to the neck, back, legs and feet. Head injuries are also an ever present threat in motorcycle collisions, especially when the motorcycle driver chooses not to wear a helmet, a freedom permitted in many states. In 2013, more than 4600 fatalities resulted from motorcycle collisions while some 88,000 riders were injured in crashes.

In Pennsylvania, since 2003, a motorcycle driver over the age of 21 years old is not required to wear a helmet while traveling on a motorcycle. Nationwide, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that only 60% of motorcycle riders wore helmets in 2013. However, helmets save lives and we recommend always selecting and wearing the best possible helmet at all times while on board.

Motorcycles face stability and balance issues by design. Moreover, a motorcycle lacks the protection that an automobile provides wrapped in tons of steel. There is very little separating a motorcyclist from the road, and the types of injuries caused by motorcycle crashes can be tragic.

The most common types of motorcycle crashes are:

  • Motorcycle – Car Collisions: This is the most common type of collision and involves direct collision between the motorcycle and another car on the road. Many of these are due to the motorcycle being concealed in the car’s blind spot or going unnoticed by the car’s driver. Lane changes by the car also cause these collisions.

  • Single Motorcycle Collisions: These types of collisions are caused due to the motorcycle’s susceptibility to loss of control on certain road surfaces, road defects and striking fixed objects in an attempt to avoid another vehicle.

  • Open Door Collisions: This type of collision is common in urban settings where the motorcycles typically are required to ride close to parked cars. A driver exiting a car may fail to look in the mirrors and notice the motorcycle. This type of crash often leads to ejection of the motorcycle rider leading to severe impacts with the roadway surface of other vehicle.

  • Motorcycle-Pedestrian Collision: These collisions can occur when a pedestrian fails to notice the approach of a motorcycle. They typically occur at busy intersections in urban areas where pedestrian traffic is abundant.

Motorcyclists can suffer a wide range of injuries. Some can be minor while others can be life-altering, often dependent upon the speed of the vehicles involved.

Common Injuries include:

  • Road rash
  • Broken bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury leading to paralysis
  • Disfigurement and amputations
  • Fatality

If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, you should contact an experienced motorcycle collision attorney right away. We know how to seek eyewitnesses and preserve evidence. We will handle all contact with the other driver’s insurance company and negotiate a settlement that will fully compensate you for your injuries.