Motorcycle accidents are some of the most dangerous of all accidents in any kind of motor vehicle and single accident case. Not only do these accidents cause sever damage, but also lead to death. There are many distractions on the road today that can harm the thousands or Motorcycle Riders across the nation. From texting while driving, to talking on cell phones, the list goes on and on. The alarming statistics really can be a wake up call for riders across Arizona and even the nation.
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2006, 13.10 cars out of 100,000 ended up in fatal crashes. The rate for motorcycles is 72.34 per 100,000 registered motorcycles. Motorcycles also have a higher fatality rate per unit of distance travelled when compared with automobiles. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists' risk of a fatal crash is 35 times greater than a passenger car.
A major work done on this subject in the USA is the Hurt Report, with data collected in Los Angeles and the surrounding rural areas. There have been longstanding calls for a new safety study in the US, and Congress has provided the seed money for such a project, but as yet the remainder of the funding has not all been pledged.
The Hurt Report concluded with a list of 55 findings, as well as several major recommendations for law enforcement and legislation. Among these, 75% of motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, usually a car. In the MAIDS report, the figure is 60%.
Other notable findings in the Hurt report (quoted below) were:
- 75% of accidents were found to involve a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle, while the remaining 25% of accidents were single motorcycle accidents.
- "In the single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident precipitating factor in about two-thirds of the cases, with the typical error being a slide-out and fall due to over braking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering."
- "Almost half of the fatal accidents show alcohol involvement" and "injury severity increases with speed, alcohol involvement and motorcycle size."
- In the multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.
- The report's additional findings show that the wearing of appropriate gear, specifically, helmets and durable garment, mitigates crash injuries substantially.
- "Vehicle failure accounted for less than 3% of these motorcycle accidents, and most of those were single vehicle accidents where control was lost due to a puncture flat" and "Weather is not a factor in 98% of motorcycle accidents."
- "The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents... Conspicuity of the motorcycle is a critical factor in the multiple vehicle accidents, and accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps-on In daylight and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets."
Liability in an Arizona motorcycle accident is based on comparative negligence. We represent motorcyclists who are injured by drivers who claim they did not see them, road hazards, and defective motorcycle equipment. We represent clients who suffer from injuries such as broken bones, road rash, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
A Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer will tell you that in Arizona, pursuant to A.R.S. §28-964, requires that a motorcycle operator or passenger under the age of 18 must wear a protective helmet on the operator’s or passenger’s head in an appropriate manner at all times while the rider or passenger is operating or riding on the motorcycle. For those 18 years of age or older, the use of a protective helmet is optional. Furthermore, an operator of a motorcycle must wear, at all times, protective glasses, goggles or an approved transparent face shield, unless the motorcycle is equipped with a protective windshield. A Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer can explain these requirements to you further and can help you understand how these may affect your case.
It is also important to mention that Arizona’s insurance laws require that operators of motor vehicles, including motorcyclists, carry liability insurance at all times of operation of the vehicle. At a minimum, the insurance coverage must provide for $30,000 for all people injured in a motorcycle accident, $15,000 of bodily injury coverage per person injured, and $10,000 of property damage. It would obviously be in the best interests of riders to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Failure to carry, at least, the minimum required insurance coverage may be penalized and/or fined. A Phoenix personal injury lawyer is experienced in this field of law and is aware of how insurance coverage (or lack thereof) may impact your case.