Motorcycle riders enjoy adventure, travel, group fun and even commuting in a whole new way. Since 1998, the number of motorcycles in the United States has increased by 34 percent according to motorcycles.org. However, the freedom of the road on a motorcycle comes with risk. For instance, the lack of any substantial protective barriers between a motorcycle and the road, as well as the difficulty that other motorists may have in anticipating and seeing a motorcycle, leave riders prone to serious injury in the event of an accident.
Understanding your rights as a motorcycle rider is important if you are ever involved in an accident. It's very important to consult with a lawyer for motorcycle accidents to understand specific laws in your state.
How dangerous is riding a motorcycle?
Riding a motorcycle is far more dangerous than driving or riding in a car. Motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to die in a crash than someone riding in a passenger car, and are 5 times as likely to be injured. Although the number of fatalities for drivers and passengers of automobiles and light trucks has been steadily falling since 1999, the fatality rate for motorcycle accidents has more than doubled in that time.
Who’s at fault in a motorcycle accident?
Like car accidents, motorcycle accidents are governed by the same principles of law where fault and negligence come into play. In two-thirds of motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle rider's right of way and caused the accident. Motorcycles make smaller visual targets, which are more likely to be obscured by other vehicles, or by road and weather conditions. This is an issue especially at intersections, where approximately 70 percent of motorcycle-versus-vehicle collisions occur.
In some instances, the motorcycle manufacturer could be held liable or at-fault for the accident. For instance, especially at higher speeds, the front end of a motorcycle may become unstable and begin to shake. This problem may be due to a misalignment of the front and rear tires of the motorcycle. If an accident is caused by such a high-speed wobble, the manufacturer of the motorcycle might be held financially responsible for any resulting injuries, under a product liability theory.
Keep in mind, a motorcycle requires much more skill and physical coordination to operate than a car. Many motorcycle accidents are caused in whole or in part by a rider's lack of basic riding skills, or failure to appreciate the inherent operating characteristics and limitations of the motorcycle. Make sure you understand the rules of the road, how your bike operates and ride within your limits.
Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law Is Here for You
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident and wondering if you need a lawyer, don’t wait, contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.