Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The high rate of motorcycle injuries is just the tip of the iceberg. NHTSA data also reveals that approximately 5,000 motorcyclists a year are killed as a result of motorcycle accidents. In fact, a motorcyclist is 35 times more likely to die in an accident than the driver of a passenger car. This isn’t because motorcyclists are more reckless behind the wheel, but rather because motorcyclists are more vulnerable than other drivers. They have less physical protection to mitigate the effects of an accident, and—perhaps more disconcertingly—they must contend on a daily basis with drivers who don’t always share the road.
In the event of an accident, a motorcyclist has about an 80 percent chance of experiencing a serious injury. Compare this to just 20 percent of passenger car drivers in the same situation. Even when a motorcycle accident doesn’t result in a fatality, the long-term effects can be devastating. Motorcycle accidents are among the most common causes of spinal cord injuries and paralysis, the treatment of which can cost $300,000 and $1 million just in the first year. The average lifetime medical cost for this type of injury is more than $4 million. Most victims are ill-equipped to pay for such treatments, and that’s just one of the reasons why it’s so important to contact a knowledgeable El Cajon motorcycle attorney in the event of an accident. You shouldn’t be forced to pay the price for another person’s negligence.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
The most common type of motorcycle accident is the left-turn accident. It accounts for about 42% of all motorcycle accidents. This type of accident happens when a vehicle—usually a passenger car—makes a sudden turn in front of a motorcycle and the motorcyclist has no time to avoid the collision. Another type of all-too-common accident occurs when a vehicle makes a sudden lane change in front of a motorcycle. The majority of fatal motorcycle accidents are the result of head-on collisions with other vehicles. In fact, Consumer Reports found that 56% of fatal motorcycle accidents result from head-on collisions.
Motorcycle accidents often occur because other drivers underestimate the speed or distance of motorcyclists; in many cases, they fail to spot motorcyclists at all because they’re just not looking for those types of vehicles. In California, lane-splitting is permitted for motorcyclists under safe driving conditions, but many passenger car drivers fail to consider this practice when checking their rear-view mirrors and changing lanes. They assume that if the traffic around them is moving slowly, it must be safe to change lanes. They fail to consider the presence of faster-moving motorcycles in their path.
Research shows that about half of motorcycle accidents involve alcohol use, so motorcyclists must also do their part to drive safely and responsibly and avoid any substances while riding.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Anyone who has been the victim of a motorcycle accident in El Cajon should call 911 immediately. Even if it seems like no major injuries have been sustained, it’s important to receive a thorough examination and a medical report. Some types of injuries don’t manifest themselves right away but can nevertheless prove serious over time.
After being checked out by a medical professional, the next step is to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in El Cajon. A motorcycle accident can take a serious physical, emotional, and financial toll and an experienced personal injury lawyer can help victims to obtain damages for loss of income, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. Contact an El Cajon motorcycle accident lawyer today for a consultation, and discover if you may be entitled to compensation.