Motorcycles account for less than 2 percent of the nation’s motor vehicles, yet are involved in 5 percent of all the nation’s accidents, according to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In many cases motorcycle crashes are single-vehicle events caused by rider error, or—note Florida motorcycle accident attorneys Johnson & Gilbert—by hazardous roads. Defective roads include including lack of proper paving, improper signage, faulty traffic signals or other controls, hazardous roads and construction debris. Any of these defects could be a result of business or government negligence.
Nearly 40,000 motorcyclists die in accidents annually, according to the NHTSA study. Looking at all traffic accidents, motorcycle riders are three times as likely to be fatally injured in crashes, compared to car and truck drivers, and 18 times more likely to die in a crash than car or truck passengers.
Helmets Seen Reducing Fatalities by 50 Percent
The study notes fatalities are reduced by 50 percent in crashes where motorcyclists are wearing protective headgear.
Speed and darkness contribute well more than half the single-vehicle fatal accidents among motorcyclists, the study found. Some 67 percent of accidents were attributed to speed, while 60 percent of the fatal accidents occur at night.
With maneuvering and braking issues involved in nearly one-quarter of all single-vehicle crashes, Johnson & Gilbert’s Ormond Beach motorcycle accident lawyers note hazardous roads are sometimes a factor.
NHTSA Study Profiles Typical Single-Vehicle Crash
Among the study findings regarding the circumstances of single-vehicle motorcycle accidents were:
- Most fatalities involved males, aged 40 or older
- Rural roads were involved in the majority of accidents
- Elevated blood alcohol levels were found in a significant number of cases
- As many as half the cases involved riders unable to properly negotiate curves
- Some 90 percent of motorcycle accident fatalities involve the operators, not passengers
In addition to the possibility of unsafe road conditions, lack of appropriate training and safety preparations are also seen as major contributors to the fatalities and serious injuries experienced by motorcyclists.
Ormond Beach motorcycle accident lawyers at Johnson & Gilbert, P.A., have been helping clients successfully recover losses and resolve legal issues for more than 15 years. If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, call them at 386.673.4412 or toll-free at 800.556.8890 for a free consultation.