The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that motorcycle-related deaths have increased by 55 percent since the year 2000. They also report that the economic burden from crash-related injuries and deaths total $12 billion annually. Motorcycle riders are one of the most vulnerable roadway user groups. Even with helmets, boots, gloves and jackets, motorcycle crashes involving other motor vehicles can be devastating, catastrophic or even fatal. Bikers are further put at risk due to the increased number of distracted and texting drivers on U.S. roadways. Whether you were injured in a left-hand turn accident or struck by a distracted driver, you need to speak with a personal injury attorney who has proven motorcycle accident case experience as soon as possible after your crash.
U.S. Motorcycle Crashes by The Numbers
- In 2012, 4,986 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes.
- In 2013, 4,668 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes.
- In 2013, 457 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in Texas.
- An estimated 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in traffic crashes in 2013.
- The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,630 motorcyclists’ lives in 2013.
- Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclist fatalities occurred 26 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes.
Motorcycle Riders: A Tough but Vulnerable Roadway User Group
When we think of motorcycle riders, images of black leather jackets and boots are conjured in our minds. The image of bikers as incredibly tough and resilient men and women is a cultural standard in Texas and across the nation. We can’t forget that although these men and women are strong and tough, they’re actually one of the most vulnerable roadway user groups. Collisions with cars, trucks and other larger passenger occupant vehicles can be absolutely devastating for motorcycle riders. Even seemingly minor crashes at relatively low speeds can have catastrophic consequences for bikers. They don’t have air bags, seat belts or steel safety cages to protect them in the event of a crash. Ejection is a high likelihood in the event of a collision. Even with helmets, boots, jackets and other protective gear, motorcycle riders can become injured or killed in accidents involving other motor vehicles.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
- Swerving in front of motorcycles
- Cutting off motorcycles at intersections
- Pulling out in front of motorcycles
- Failing to yield
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Failing to leave sufficient room between your vehicle and a motorcycle
- Speeding or aggressive driving
Left-Hand Turn Accidents
Left-hand turn accidents can be particularly devastating for motorcycle riders. Motorcycle riders are acutely aware of the dangers of cars making left-hand turns in front of them. This type of crash happens when cars make left-hand turns directly in front of motorcycles. Drivers are either distracted and not paying attention to oncoming traffic or they inappropriately judge the distance between their cars and the motorcycles involved. Subsequently, motorcyclists don’t have enough room to stop or maneuver around the vehicle and slam into the offending car. With this type of crash, it’s common to hear the driver say something like “I didn’t even see the motorcycle.” Distracted driving is a common cause for left-hand turn accidents.
Road Hazards, Distracted Drivers and Motorcycle Safety
Motorcycle riders are also very aware of their surroundings and potential roadway hazards. A pothole might not be a big deal for somebody in a minivan, but it could send a motorcyclist to the hospital, or worse. Slick roads, debris, gravel, potholes and a variety of other hazards make roadways in Texas and across the nation potential mine fields for riders. Motorcycles can’t stop on a dime either, so it’s critically important to give them the space and respect they deserve. If you’re tailgating a motorcycle or trying to share a lane with a rider, you’re putting that rider’s life at great risk. Motorcycle riders need additional room to maneuver in the event of a roadway hazard. Crowding a motorcycle is dangerous and deadly serious. A rider needs the appropriate amount of space to maneuver in the event of a roadway hazard or emergency.
Injuries Commonly Associated With Motorcycle Accidents
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- “Road rash”
- Internal bleeding
- Facial injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Severe lacerations
- Brain damage
Conroe, Texas Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Even seemingly minor motorcycle accidents can leave victims in the hospital, out of work and feeling like they’re out of options. Whether a distracted driver injured you in a left-hand turn accident or you were run off of the road, the sooner you speak with a personal injury attorney, the better. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident in Texas, contact the Scott Law Firm at (936) 270-8100 for a free case consultation today.