Motorcycle Accidents Who Is To Blame

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There are more motorcycles on the road than ever before. Between 1997 and 2005 motorcycle registrations in the United States increased by more than 60 percent. The popularity of motorcycles is due in part to a number of reasons. A few reasons sited for the increase in popularity of motorcycles is that they are efficient to use and they are also fuel efficient, generally getting better gas mileage than cars, trucks, and SUVs. While motorcycles have often been thought of as vehicles that appeal to younger riders, that is changing. Motorcycles have become popular with more affluent individuals, as well as with older riders.

With an increase in the number of motorcycle drivers, there has also been an increase in the number of reported motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The number of motorcycle fatalities reported by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics in recent years have been the highest since the agency first began collecting and recording this information.

Many times, when people think of motorcycle crashes, they think they are the motorcyclists fault; they may think motorcyclists speed and are reckless drivers. However, approximately half of all motorcycle crashes involve more than one vehicle. Of those crashes, nearly 40 percent are attributed to the other vehicle making a left hand turn in front of the motorcyclist.

There are many factors that may attribute to motorcycle accidents. A primary issue concerned in accidents that involve more than one vehicle is that other drivers may not see motorcycles. Motorcycles are much smaller than most vehicles on the road. Taking a quick glance in a rear view mirror or side mirror, or over the shoulder, a driver may not see a motorcycle coming behind him or her. In addition, at intersections, motorcycles may also be less visible than other vehicles, leading to accidents. Motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur on weekends, and at night.

Road hazards, marked or unmarked, may also pose problems for motorcycle drivers. Potholes, gravel, wet or slipper roads, seams in pavement, railroad tracks, and grooved pavement, which would be inconveniences to a driver of a car, truck, or SUV, can cause very difficult driving conditions for a motorcyclist. He or she may need to make quick adjustments to speed or where he or she is in the lane to avoid the issue. A quick change such as this could lead to an accident. The driver may overcompensate and lose control of his vehicle, or, if a car was behind him, a sudden change in speed could cause him to rear end the motorcycle or a host of other issues.

Alcohol is another factor that plays a significant role in motorcycle accidents. More than a quarter of motorcycle fatalities are the result of a blood alcohol content (BAC) level that was more than the legal limit (in any state) of .08 percent. Alcohol can significantly impair the driver's ability to drive and manipulate his or her motorcycle. In addition, motorcyclists may be the victim of accidents that are the result of another driver, in a four wheeled motor vehicle, having a BAC of more than .08 percent.

There are a number of laws and safety regulations in place to help ensure the safety of motorcyclists. These laws may vary from state to state, but include legislation on licensing and registration, helmet use, the use of headlights during the day, lane sharing, and motorcycle maintenance such as yearly inspections. Motorcycle laws will help drives and riders be more safe on the roads, but unfortunately, they will not eliminate accidents altogether.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is recommended that you speak with a lawyer in your state who is well versed-in motorcycle accidents. A lawyer will review your case, including a host of information collected at the accident scene. He or she attorney will be able to guide you through the legal process and help you seek compensation for medical expenses, as well other expenses you may have incurred.


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