When we compare motorcycle accidents to other motor vehicle collisions such as car accidents, they are categorized differently. This is due to several factors including the risks involved with driving a motorcycle, the causes of motorcycle accidents, the severity of the injuries sustained, and liability complications.
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While there are similarities between motorcycle accidents and car accidents, there are numerous factors that complicate these forms of motor vehicle collisions.
Below, learn more about the differences between motorcycle accidents and car accidents.
According to PowerSports Guide, the average motorcycle size is:
This compares to the average car which is 14.7 feet long, with the potential of cars and trucks to range from 10 to18 feet long.
When traveling at high speeds, the size of the motorcycle versus the car, in addition to the lack of metal barriers around the motorcycle, leaves the motorcycle rider more susceptible to injury and death in a collision.
Further, studies have found that the size of the motorcycle engine leaves motorcyclists more likely to suffer moderate to fatal injuries. One study concluded that motorcycle engines of less than 250 cubic centimeters increased the risk of an injury crash by at least 50%.
The United States requires that motor vehicles have certain safety features to protect drivers and their passengers. These include:
In more modern vehicles, there are safety features that while not required under any law or regulation, have just become industry standards in safety. These include things such as:
However, these are not features that are in motorcycles. Motorcycles lack seatbelts and airbags, and they only have two wheels, making them more difficult to control, and more likely to have difficulties with traction on certain roadways, especially in hazardous weather conditions.
In addition, when looking at motorcycles’ physical ability to avoid accidents, motorcycle riders often exhibit greater collision avoidance problems as the reaction to the accident or potential accident is to over brake and skid the rear wheel. This can minimize the ability to countersteer and swerve, resulting in injury or accident.
When you consider the size of motorcycles compared to other standard motor vehicles, it’s not surprising that drivers may find it difficult to see motorcycles on the roadways.
It is estimated that in half of all multi-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles, the view of the motorcycle is limited by glare or is obstructed by other vehicles. Some studies suggest that motorcyclists wearing brighter colors in the daytime, having brighter lights on the bike at night, and reflective clothing could help with these dangers.
It is important to note that the main distinction of injuries between car accidents and motorcycle accidents is not in the type of injuries sustained, but rather the severity and likelihood of fatality.
In a study by HG.org, it was estimated that motorcycle accidents were more likely to end in injury to the driver. This includes 98% of multiple vehicle accidents and 96% of single-vehicle accidents resulting in some form of injury to the motorcycle rider and 45% of those accidents ended in a more serious injury for the motorcyclist.
When involved in an accident with a car, a motorcyclist is also more likely to suffer one of the following injuries:
Of those injuries, those most likely to turn fatal were those that occurred to the head or chest.
Unfortunately for motorcycle riders, when an accident occurs, the other parties involved are going to be looking to shift blame by any means possible. This may include saying the motorcycle rider was driving recklessly, speeding, or even being aggressive between lanes. However, that often isn’t the case.
Common features of roadways like debris, oil spills, potholes, etc. make it more difficult to operate a motorcycle. And very rarely is weather or alcohol to blame for these collisions–though it does happen.
Unfortunately, these biases against motorcycle riders can make it difficult for them to seek compensation when they are injured in a collision.
Other reasons motorcycle riders face more adversity following an accident include:
While these factors do make motorcycle accidents more complex compared to car accidents, a motorcycle accident attorney can help injured riders through the process.
It is estimated that 80% of motorcycle accidents end in fatality. While some may end in minor to severe injuries, these collisions still likely result in the motorcycle rider needing extensive medical treatment and physical therapy. Unfortunately, this also means the person will likely be out of work for some time, or unable to return at all.
These accidents can result in hardship for the entire family. And when they occur, finding an advocate who understands the differences between car accidents and motorcycle accidents can be the difference between moving forward or being stuck in a lifetime cycle of hardship.
A motorcycle accident attorney can help.
At Regan Zambri Long, our DC, MD, and VA, motorcycle accident attorneys can help you and your family through the legal process of filing a motorcycle accident claim. We work hard to:
Not all personal injury lawyers are prepared to handle the intricacies of motorcycle accidents. But we are.
If you or a loved one were injured or if you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you must seek legal representation from a Washington, DC motorcycle accident attorney. No two personal injury lawyers are the same, but at Regan Zambri Long, we have a long proven track record of helping motorcyclists in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area.
We will review the circumstances of your case, determine who is at fault for the collision and be responsible to provide compensation for your injuries, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and even funeral costs.
For a no-obligation, free consultation, contact the motorcycle accident attorneys at Regan Zambri Long PLLC at (202) 960-4596 or discuss the details of your case by using our online contact form. We represent motorcycle crash claims in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and other states.