Many people ride motorcycles because they’re an economical form of transportation. Many also ride just for the sheer joy of the open road. Unfortunately, motorcycles don’t offer the same protection as cars and trucks.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 5,000 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2018. Motorcycle deaths account for 14% of all traffic-related deaths, even though they account for only 3% of the vehicles on the highway.
The key reasons motorcycle crashes are more serious than car accidents
- The physical features of the vehicle itself. Motorcycles offer very limited physical protection to riders. Without a roof or a steel frame, any hit could be enough to send a rider flying off his or her bike.
- Safety features. All cars are equipped with airbags to cushion the blow of a crash. Cars and trucks also have seatbelts which restrain the driver and passengers from being ejected from the vehicle or striking another object inside the car in the event of an accident. Motorcycles have neither, though there is a patent pending for a seat that would eject a rider and cushion him/her in a type of “airbag suit,” and riders can purchase airbag vests.
- The lack of voluntary protective equipment. As of right now, Connecticut only requires helmets for riders up to the age of 17. A bill in the Connecticut legislature which would have raised the age to 21 passed the CT House of Representatives, but died in the state Senate. Riders who opt not to wear helmets or other types of protective clothing put themselves at risk of serious injuries.
- The inability to avoid road hazards. A pothole is annoying for car and truck drivers, but could be deadly to a motorcycle rider if he or she cannot avoid it in time. Road wash outs and debris pose a much greater risk to a biker, even though bikes are, theoretically, more agile than other vehicles.
- The weather can be a major problem. Cars and trucks are secure from rain, wind, and snow. That is not the case with motorcycle riders. All the elements, including glaring sun or ice on the road, increase the possibility the driver may get into a serious or deadly motorcycle accident.
Boots, pants, gloves, and jackets can help make a rider more comfortable as well as protect their outer body in different types of weather, but the best clothed driver is no match for the hard asphalt or a multi-ton vehicle when an accident occurs.
Survivors of motorcycle crashes often suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, cuts and bruises, internal bleeding, road rash, and other injuries.
When you’re injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, our skilled Hartford motorcycle accident lawyers can help you seek compensation for your injuries. When that crash is fatal, our attorneys have the experience and resources to help families achieve justice. At Barry, Barall, & Spinella, we have a strong track record of success helping victims who suffer any type of short-term, long-term, or lifetime injury. We have offices in Hartford and Manchester. Call us at 860-649-4400 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.