How Are Motorcycle Accidents Different From Car Accidents?

Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Pius Joseph with Law Offices of Pius Joseph.

How Are Motorcycle Accidents Different From Car Accidents?
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It’s not surprising that motorcycle accidents and car accidents have significant differences. Due to the smaller size of motorcycles, lack of exterior protection, and lack of visibility to other vehicles, motorcycle accidents tend to be more severe with consequences ranging from injury to death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to be killed in a collision than those in a passenger vehicle.

While motorcycles can be a fun and economic way to get around, it’s important to exercise extreme caution when taking one out on the road, especially around other vehicles. Motorcycle cases can also be harder to prove in court, even if another driver seems obviously responsible. Juries have a tendency to be biased against motorcyclists, so it’s important to make sure you have the best insurance possible in case of an accident to mitigate the need for filing an accident claim in court.

What are the dangers of motorcycles?

There are a variety of safety features that are present in traditional automobiles which are simply not possible to employ on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, this lack of safety features opens up a rider to the possibility of great physical harm or even death in case of a crash. Some features of a motorcycle which make it inherently more dangerous than a traditional passenger vehicle include the following:

  • Lack of seatbelts
  • Lack of airbags
  • Lack of electronic support including collision warning, tire pressure monitors, and more.
  • Lack of a protective exterior body
  • Lack of visibility

Department of Transportation (DOT) approved safety gear is paramount to rider safety.

One of the best things a rider can do to ensure their safety on the road is to purchase a DOT approved helmet. Experts and long-time riders agree that the helmet is the most important to a rider’s gear, and can prevent a potential personal injury claim from becoming a wrongful death claim in case of an accident. In some states, wearing a DOT approved helmet is required. Regardless of the state where a collision occurs involving a motorcycle, it’s important to note that juries tend to have a bias toward motorcycle riders, often making the automatic assumption that the motorcyclist was likely responsible for any unsafe behavior on the road. While this is often not the case, failure to wear a DOT-approved helmet may only strengthen a jury’s position against the eligibility for an injured motorcyclist to receive compensation.

Other types of protective gear that are recommended but not required include a protective jacket, riding pants, gloves, and boots that cover the ankle. Every piece of this protective gear can protect not only a rider’s soft tissue from being damaged in an accident, but can even prevent minor breaks and fractures from occurring depending on the material used. It’s also important to ensure that your helmet and/or protective gear contains bright colors or reflective material to increase your visibility to surrounding vehicles. To learn more about motorcycle accident litigation, seek legal counsel from a motorcycle accident attorney.

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