Motorcycles allow riders an unmatched sense of freedom when they ride. They’re also far more dangerous than motor vehicles because they lack the physical protection of a car or truck. Understanding the dangers of motorcycling will allow you to prevent an accident the next time you’re on the road.
How Big a Problem is This?
How are Motorcycle Accidents Researched?
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute published in 2016 a study on factors that make motorcycling more and less dangerous. They chose 100 riders aged 21 to 79 in four states, attached five video cameras and data-logging equipment to each bike, and recorded them for 366,667 miles.
This approach allowed researchers to see what happens before, during, and after thirty accidents and 122 near-accidents. Past research focused on reconstructing what happened and why after crashes happened.
What Did We Learn?
Study authors discovered many things, including conclusions that may go against popular belief.
- A motorcycle striking it from behind is the most common scenario of a collision or near-collision with another vehicle. They were 35 of the 99 recorded accidents or near-accidents with other vehicles. Riders are nearly twice as likely to hit a parked car in front of them compared to one striking a vehicle turning into their path
- Intersections are hazardous. An uncontrolled intersection is nearly 41 times more dangerous than a section of road without an intersection. A parking lot or driveway intersection is more than eight times riskier, and an intersection with a signal is nearly three times as risky
- Riders often do nothing to avoid accidents. Researchers found no evidence many riders acted to prevent a crash though afterward, they claimed they did. They were unlikely to change their stories even though cameras and onboard computers contradicted their explanation of the accident
- Compared to a flat section of road, riding downhill has four times more risk, and riding uphill poses twice the risk of an accident
- Gravel or dirt roads are nine times more likely to be the scene of a crash or near-crash than a paved road
- A right turn is twice as likely to result in an accident than riding on a straight section of road
- Maneuvering to avoid something in the roadway (an object, a pedestrian, or an animal) increases the risk factor by 12
The study found that riders frequently dropped their bikes during rides. Though this isn’t considered a vehicle crash, it creates a potentially dangerous situation where a vehicle could strike a rider trying to get their motorcycle back on two wheels.
How Does Aggressive and Unskilled Riding Impact Crash Risk?
Researchers divided rider behavior leading to crashes and near-crash into two categories: aggressive riding and rider inattention/lack of skills. Aggressive riders were 18 times more likely to be in an accident, while inattentive riders were nine times more likely. If a rider is both, the rider’s thirty times more likely to be in a crash.
If I Make a Mistake Riding, Can I Still File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
You may file an insurance claim against the other driver. A negligence lawsuit could be filed if we can’t reach a reasonable settlement. Kentucky has a comparative negligence system, so your share of the responsibility is deducted from your compensation. If a jury decides the two of you are equally to blame, your potential recovery would be split in half.
Take the Next Step After a Motorcycle Accident – Call Tyler Fleck
Tyler Fleck is an experienced Kentucky motorcycle crash lawyer who can help you and your family after an accident leaves you injured. Call him at (270) 446-7000 to schedule a free consultation. We’ll discuss the accident, your injuries, Kentucky law, and your best options to proceed. Insurance companies have lawyers. You should have one too.