Nearly 5,000 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2015, and 88,000 were injured, highlighting the dangers that motorcyclists face when they travel on the road. The biggest issue is that motorcycles are not as visible as passenger vehicles, so drivers of cars and trucks often have to take evasive action when they encounter motorcycles in traffic. But the other problem is that even when drivers take notice of motorcyclists, they often don’t practice safe-driving techniques that help to prevent accidents. Keep reading to find out when motorcycle accident lawyers might be needed.
Major Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable on the road, because they have no protection when a passenger vehicle hits them. Some of the major causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Changing Lanes – Because motorcycles are so small, motorcyclists are able to easily change lanes and weave through traffic. But if drivers are not paying attention, they can make a lane change and strike a motorcycle, causing an accident. That’s why it’s important for drivers to perform shoulder checks before making any lane change.
- Left Turn – A lot of motorcycle accidents occur at intersections when drivers of passenger vehicles are attempting a left turn and fail to see an oncoming motorcycle. And because motorcycles travel at a much higher rate of speed than most vehicles, they have a higher likelihood of hitting a car that is making a left turn.
- Dooring – A dooring accident occurs when the driver of a parked vehicle opens the front driver’s door in the path of an oncoming motorcycle. This causes the motorcycle to hit the door, and can eject the driver or cause a destructive accident that can injure both the driver of the parked car and the motorcyclist.
- Rear-End Collision – Because motorcycles are shorter than cars, some drivers tend to follow too closely, which causes rear-end accidents.
Major Injuries Resulting From Motorcycle Accidents
Some of the major injuries that are caused by motorcycle accidents include:
- Head Trauma – Although helmets can save the life of a motorcyclist, they don’t always prevent massive blunt force trauma to the head during a motorcycle accident. In fact, major injuries often occur to the brain in the form of concussions as well as skull fractures.
- Spinal Cord Trauma – Motorcyclists who are ejected from their bikes after an accident can suffer significant spinal cord damage, including fractured vertebrae and severed vertebrae. This can cause temporary, partial or permanent paralysis, depending on the area of the spinal cord that is affected.
- Road Rash – Road rash occurs when motorcyclists are ejected from a motorcycle during an accident, and their bodies scrape against the road. This can cause massive lacerations that expose the muscles beneath the skin, and can also create open wounds that have to be stitched closed. Road rash often occurs on a motorcyclist’s hands, knees, face and lower legs. Depending on the severity of road rash, a motorcyclist may require skin grafts to heal the injury.
As a motorcyclist, you can help prevent accidents by making yourself as visible as possible, especially when driving at night. You should wear bright clothing, and invest in reflectors that shine brighter when illuminated by headlights.
You should also limit the number of times you weave between lanes when traffic is stalled, because a driver who is not paying attention can change lanes and strike your motorcycle.
If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, the Law Offices of Steven F. O’Meara can help you get the compensation you deserve. Please call us today to schedule an appointment.