Motorcyclists are not only among the most vulnerable road users, they are treated with less respect and regard by drivers. When a motorcyclist is hit by a negligent or reckless driver, the outcome can be catastrophic.
Last month, we discussed important safety tips for motorcyclists. It is crucial that we touch upon the causes of motorcycle crashes so motorcyclists can be more aware of the dangers they face on the road.
Injuries motorcyclists are likely to sustain in crashes
Motorcyclists are more likely to sustain severe or fatal injuries because they don't have the protection of a metal frame, seat belts or airbags. In 2018, 145 motorcyclists were killed in crashes across Ohio — 48 were helmeted and 95 were not.
Even when motorcyclists survive crashes, the most common injuries they sustain include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Crushed limbs
- Road rash (severe abrasion caused by contact with the road)
- Bruises and lacerations
What causes motorcycle crashes?
Motorcycle crashes can be linked to driver negligence. The leading causes of motorcycle crashes include:
- Negligent lane changing — Drivers sometimes don't see motorcyclists in their blind spots. When drivers don't look over their shoulders to check blind spots, they could cause lane-departure crashes.
- Distracted driving — Drivers who use cellphones or multitask often fail to see motorcyclists.
- Speeding and reckless driving — Speeding and reckless driving can increase the chance of a crash occurring and the damage caused to a motorcyclist.
- Sudden stops in traffic — Sudden stops in traffic can occur due to a crash, road debris or roadside construction. This can lead to rear-end collisions, where a motorcyclist either crashes into the back of a car or vice versa.
- Left turning at intersections — Intersections can be a dangerous place for motorcyclists. Many motorcycle crashes occur when drivers make left turns at intersections without having the right-of-way.
- Car doors opening — When a driver or passenger suddenly opens a car door, a motorcyclist may have very little time to stop or swerve. Motorcycle crashes involving dooring can be especially devastating since they can happen at full speed.
- Drunk or drugged driving — It's illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Yet, many drivers do it anyway and often endanger motorcyclists.
- Inexperienced drivers — Teen drivers and other motorists who lack driving experience may make errors that endanger motorcyclists. This could include failing to yield the right-of-way or following too closely.
What are my legal rights if I was injured in a motorcycle crash?
If you're a motorcyclist who was injured in a crash, you may be entitled to compensation. Getting compensated isn't easy. Dealing with insurance companies who have a bias towards motorcyclists can be even more frustrating.
That's why it's important that you speak with an experienced Ohio motorcycle accident attorney who can build a solid and accurate claim and deal with the insurance companies on your behalf. To get started on your claim, contact Michael D. Christensen Law Offices LLC in Columbus and schedule your free and confidential case evaluation.