Driving a motorcycle is not about running errands or simply going to work—its about enjoying the open road with the sun at your back. These rides, however, can often turn dangerous or even deadly due to the carelessness of other drivers on the road.
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS ON THE RISE
Despite car accident deaths declining in the United States, motorcycle accident deaths continue to rise. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (“IIHS”) reports that, nationwide the percentage of fatalities on motorcycles, as compared to those in cars have been increasing in recent years. Historically, this percentage was anywhere from 5% to 10%. This can be contributed to not only more motorcycles on the road, but also due to increased distractions while driving, thereby creating a more dangerous environment for motorcyclists. In Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation (“TxDOT”) published the following statistics relative to motorcycle accidents:
- There were 9,655 motorcycle accidents reported in a single year in Texas
- 501 motorcyclists did not survive
- 2,101 motorcyclists suffered injuries suspected or known to be serious
- 3,430 motorcyclists suffered non-incapacitating injuries
- 1,994 motorcyclists suffered “possible” injuries
- 1,411 motorcyclists did not suffer any injuries
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT INJURY
As evidenced by the statistics above, once involved in an accident, a motorcyclist is at a greater risk of significant injury due to the lack of protection and safety features afforded by motorcycles. As such, the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) advises that motorcyclists ensure they are properly licensed, check their tires for proper tread depth, wear the proper protective gear, including a helmet, and always operate the motorcycle while drug and alcohol free.
Even when doing everything correctly, you could be involved in a motorcycle accident. There are a number of factors which can contribute to a motorcycle accident including the inattention of other drivers on the road, other drivers misjudging the speed of a motorcycle, and distracted driving. In addition to the perils of other drivers on the roads, a motorcyclist also contends with roads which may not be properly maintained.
Motorcycle accidents, even when personal protection equipment is used, result in significant injuries. The most common types of injuries after a motorcycle accident include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (“TBI”);
- Amputation of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Facial fractures
- Severe skin abrasions, also known as “road rash”
While these types of injuries are prevalent in any type of accident, the severity of these injuries is generally worse.
After a motorcycle accident, while you may not immediately feel your injuries, it is important to take the correct steps after an accident to fully protect yourself, as well as the other drivers involved in the accident. The first thing you should to is check yourself and others for injuries, and then call 911. While waiting for first responders, if you are able to safely do so, it is important to take pictures of the scene of the accident before any of the vehicles involved in the accident are moved. Lastly, it is important to get the contact and insurance information for all other drivers involved in the accident.
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
Once able, it is also important to speak with a personal injury attorney. If the accident you were involved in was the result of another’s negligence, it is important to fully understand your legal rights—including recovery for damages resulting from your accident.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Ted Smith Law Group, PLLC know what it takes to recover from a motorcycle accident, and will fight to ensure you get the help you need. Contact us today to discuss your situation and see how we can help you get on the road to recovery.