Recovering from Motorcycle Accidents
As opposed to when you're in a passenger vehicle, when you're on a motorcycle, you're on two wheels rather than on four. You automatically lose 50 percent of your stability. You're also highly exposed and defenseless in the event of an accident. Although you might be wearing a helmet and leathers, motorcycles don't have any roofs, bumpers, crumple zones, airbags or seat restraint systems to protect you. It's inevitable that if you're in a crash, you're going to impact with another vehicle, a stationary object, the ground or all three.
Some Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
As a result of motorcycles affording less protection than cars and trucks, the likelihood of severe injuries and fatalities in motorcycle accidents increases dramatically. As per a Federal Highway Administration report of 2018, 5,286 motorcyclists died from injuries suffered in traffic accidents in 2016. More than 100,000 were believed to have been injured. Motorcycle accident statistics maintained by the NTSB indicate that per mile traveled, fatalities occurred nearly 28 times more often than fatalities of occupants of passenger vehicles. Here are some of the NTSB's findings as to the causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Most motorcycle crashes involved a collision between a motorcycle and another vehicle.
- In the majority of such crashes, the driver of the other vehicle either didn't see the motorcycle or didn't see it until it was too late.
- Motorcyclists had only a couple of seconds to react to a vehicle failing to yield the right-of-way. They had insufficient time to act and successfully completed a collision avoidance maneuver.
- Enhanced braking and stability control systems on motorcycles can improve safety and effectiveness of braking.
Most motorcycle crashes with other vehicles occur in intersections. NTSB motorcycle accident statistics indicate that about 56 percent of the time, the driver of the other vehicle was making a left turn in front of the motorcyclist when the motorcyclist was proceeding straight ahead.
Motorcyclists, Alcohol and Drugs
When you're in control of a motorcycle, you're required to maintain your balance while using your vision, depth perception, hands and feet to control it. You also need clear judgment from your brain on a roadway that is continually changing. Both alcohol and drugs will slow a rider's reaction time and diminish their ability to quickly respond to changing roadway conditions by as much as 25 percent.