Missouri has thousands of dedicated motorcyclists. Unfortunately, approximately 100 of those die in motorcycle accidents every year on Missouri’s roads. Nationally, there were approximately 7.1 million motorcycles in use on America’s roads in 2007. That same year, 123,000 motorcycles were involved in crashes with 5,145 fatalities. This is the highest level of motorcycle deaths since the Department of Transportation began collecting data in 1975 and the tenth year in a row that motorcycle fatalities have increased. Interestingly, the biggest jump in fatalities has been motorcyclists over the age of 40.
By its very nature, driving a motorcycle is dangerous, leaving motorcyclists at greater risk for serious personal injury than other motorists. Those who have been involved in Missouri motorcycle accidents may face broken bones and other serious injuries, such as:
If you are injured in a Missouri motorcycle accident, you may have concerns about how your medical bills will be paid, whether you can collect your lost wages, whether you will be able to do your job and are likely concerned about future wages. If a loved one has suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, you may be facing long-term care issues as well.
With these stressors, you don’t want to have to deal with insurance adjusters who will work hard to make sure you receive as little money as possible for your injuries. If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, our St. Louis personal injury lawyer will protect your legal rights.
The U.S. Highway Safety Authority reported that motorcyclists are 209% more likely to be in a fatal crash than accidents involving passenger cars. Why the large disparity between motorcycles and other motor vehicles? Motorcycle collisions often occur because motorcycles, by their very nature, are smaller and more difficult to be seen. Statistics show that many collisions involving motorcycles are the fault of the other driver involved because they were not paying attention and failed to the the motorcyclists.
Too many accidents happen when motorists changing lanes fail to see the smaller motorcycle. Even low speed impact collisions can cause serious injuries to the motorcyclists.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident in
Missouri, call the Terry Law Firm at (314) 334-1435 to discuss your case for free.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in St. Louis
Let’s start with the obvious, motorcycles simply do not provide riders with the same protection cars and trucks provide in the event of an accident. As a result, when motorcyclists are involved in a crash, they are especially vulnerable to suffering catastrophic or fatal injuries. But this is not to blame motorcyclists. All motorists have a duty to follow the rules of the road and that includes watching out for individuals riding motorcycles.
Other common causes of motorcycle crashes are:
- Distracted drivers: Too many motor vehicle drivers are distracted. Whether they are texting while driving, changing the radio station, engrossed in a conversation or otherwise distracted, drivers can drift into the neighboring lane or slam into the vehicle in front of them. When that other vehicle is a motorcycle, it is far more likely that the motorcyclist will sustain devastating injuries.
- Failure to yield the right of way: Sometimes drivers just don’t see motorcyclists and will pull out in front of them when they should be yielding the right of way. While it is important for motorcyclists to wear clothes that make them more visible, the responsibility is still on the drivers of motor vehicles to keep a watchful eye out for those riding motorcycles.
- Dangerous roads: What may be a little bump for a car, can result in a serious crash for a motorcycle. Potholes, bumps and other road defects can easily cause a motorcyclist to lose control of motorcycle and cause a crash. Roads are supposed to be constructed safely and kept in safe condition for all motorists. If a roadway is defective, there may be a claim against the governing body responsible for that roadway.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funded an extensive motorcycle accident study referred to as the Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures. This study is often referred to as the Hurt Study after lead researcher Harry Hurt. Here are many of the conclusions reached by this study:
- Most accidents involving motorcycles happen because motorists do not see the motorcyclist.
- 77% of two vehicle accidents occur in the 10, 11, 12, 1, and 2 o’clock positions of the motorcycle. Rear-ed impact accidents where the motorcycle hits the back of another motor vehicle occurs on only about 3% of accidents.
- Two-thirds of the accidents involving multiple vehicles, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcyclists right-of-way, causing the accident.
- Most motorcycle accidents occur on short trips, very close to the point of origin. 92% of motorcyclists involved in accidents received no formal training; rather they were self-taught or learned from family or friends.
- Lack of attention to the driving task is a common factor for the motorcyclist in an accident.
- 73% of the accident-involved motorcycle riders used no eye protection and it is likely that the wind on the unprotected eyes contributed in impairment of vision, which delayed hazard detection.