Motorcycle accidents can be caused by a wide variety of things; unique elements play into each situation. If you ride a motorcycle, you should be aware of some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents so that you can avoid getting injured or killed. If you want to avoid having a motorcycle accident, read on to learn more.
Riding A Motorcycle Is Thrilling
Few if any other everyday experiences come close to replicating the thrill of riding your motorcycle out on the open road, free from any of those binding, constricting things you have to deal with when you drive a car or truck, for example. But those constrictions have benefits – benefits that you can’t get in a motorcycle; seat belts, for one, while they are intended to constrict your movement in a vehicle, also offer great safety and security. Being enclosed in a metal body frame also has benefits. Sure, it doesn’t allow you to feel the freedom and the wind on your body like you do on a motorcycle, but if you have a motorcycle accident, a car’s driver and passengers will have far more protection than you, and for that reason, they are far less likely to sustain major, life-threatening injuries.
Beyond that, because of their size and weight, cars are unable to go everywhere a motorcycle can go, which makes more of the world open and available to motorcycle riders. Furthermore, motorcycles are a lot more maneuverable; their thinner, sleeker body style and two wheels make them easier to handle, which can make them much more exciting for riders. Perhaps the most exciting – and dangerous – aspect of riding a motorcycle is speed: Thanks to their much lighter, smooth, aerodynamic bodies, motorcycles can get up to and maintain speeds much higher than normal cars. All of these things can be fun and thrilling, but also very dangerous and can result in a motorcycle accident.
Risks Of Motorcycle Riding
It doesn’t always happen this way – cars and trucks have accidents with each other, too – but usually, cars see each other; because they are considerably smaller in size, drivers may not notice or pay as much attention as they should to motorcyclists on the road. When a driver hits a motorcycle, it typically causes far more damage to the motorcycle and its rider than the car and its driver. Because nothing exists to secure them to their bikes, motorcyclists usually fall off of their bikes, which only serves to further injure the motorcyclists; drivers and passengers can get thrown out of fast moving vehicles in an accident, but it takes a lot more to accomplish that – they have to break out of a seat belt, move past any airbags, and to or through glass; motorcycles are already free, loose, and therefore much more at risk of serious injury or death.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
In a motorcycle accident, injuries are very common, and it’s highly likely that a rider will have much more serious, life-threatening or -ending injuries. With your whole body exposed, you could suffer bruises, cuts, muscle and nerve damage, broken bones, or head, brain, neck, and spinal injuries – all of which could have far-reaching repercussions. Your physical injuries are only one part of the total damages you suffer in a motorcycle accident; you could also experience (and get compensation for) your pain and suffering, any lost wages (present and expected future earnings), medical bills, loss of life enjoyment, and mental anguish.
Protective clothing (including helmets) only goes so far; more than a quarter of all motorcycle accident fatalities occur even when the rider was wearing a helmet, so don’t assume that just because you always wear a helmet, you’ll be free from harm. However, in some cases, it can help reduce the severity of injuries you could sustain in a crash. In Missouri, all motorcycle riders and their passengers are legally required to don a helmet every time they go for a ride; however, Illinois has no such law. Err on the side of caution; while a helmet may not be the most comfortable piece of equipment or the ultimate fashion statement, we would suggest you wear one every time you ride. It could be the difference between life and death.
Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents
Many of the causes for motorcycle accidents are the same as the causes of vehicle accidents, so if you drive a car, you may already be somewhat familiar with these. Watch out for these things any time you’re on the road, whether you’re driving a car, riding a motorcycle or bicycle, or walking or running.
- Distracted drivers – With so much technology available in cars these days (cell phones, GPS systems, sound systems, etc.), not to mention passengers in the car, it can be easy for drivers to get distracted and not notice a motorcycle until it’s too late.
- Dangerous roads and conditions – Although federal, state, and local governments are legally responsible for providing roads sufficiently safe for all vehicles (including cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, and bicycles), sometimes things are out of their control. Rocks and mud may slide down hills; an animal hit by another driver may be left in the middle of the road; things occasionally fall out or off of a truck. It can take minutes or even hours to clear the roadway to make it safe; you may need to use the road before it gets cleared, but when you do, practice caution as much as possible.
- Drunk drivers – While many things can make riding a motorcycle dangerous, perhaps the most dangerous is drunk drivers. Distracted drivers can be very dangerous, but at least they have the potential to focus on the road occasionally – or maybe that just makes them less predictable; drunk drivers, on the other hand, are drunk their entire drive.
- Other drivers’ failure to yield – Due to their size, motorcycles can be much more difficult to see; when other drivers don’t see them, it can cause unnecessarily tragic accidents. While an accident can happen anywhere, they are particularly common in intersections and areas where merging takes place, such as freeway onramps.
- Defective parts – Motorcycle tires, brakes, and accelerators are commonly recalled, so if you ride a motorcycle, you would be well advised to take your bike in for regular service and keep yourself informed of recalled parts.
If You Have A Motorcycle Accident In St. Louis
If the worst should happen and you have an accident, there are a number of steps you should take. First and foremost, call 911 to report the accident. If you or anyone else has been hurt, you should tell the dispatcher, who will certainly send an emergency medical vehicle or ambulance so that adequately trained staff will be able to help you as soon as possible. If you are able, you can help anyone else who was injured, particularly those unconscious or trapped in their vehicles. If you are diabetic, allergic to certain medication, or have other specific medical conditions, you may want to consider wearing a medical alert bracelet in the event that you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate with first responders.
When the police and emergency personnel respond to the scene, they will ask you what happened. Although it may be difficult, try to remember as much as you can, and be open and honest without admitting fault to anyone. The adrenaline surge you may experience after a crash can make you feel like you have not been injured, so make sure to wait to see a doctor before you say anything about whether you were injured.
Contact The Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Walton Telken
Anytime you have a motorcycle accident, trade insurance information with the other driver and report the accident to your insurance company. Additionally, if the other driver was at fault, and especially if you were injured (even if the accident was partially your fault), you should consider hiring an experienced attorney who will answer all of your questions, talk you through your options, and help you chart a course in the direction you want to take. That way, you can get the most compensation to help cover your medical bills, along with the many other expenses accidents usually entail. Call the knowledgeable St. Louis attorneys with Walton Telken toll free at (844) 307-7349. If you find yourself unable to travel, an attorney will travel to meet with you, even if you are still in the hospital being treated for your injuries. Further, we will take cases on contingency, meaning that if you don’t win anything, we don’t get paid either. Call us today; we’re here to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.