Motorcycle accidents are a frequent cause of serious injury or death because motorcyclists are more vulnerable than occupants of an enclosed vehicle. Considering that motorcyclists have little protection other than their clothing, they are more than twice as likely to suffer severely following a collision.
In a collision, a motorcyclist is four times more likely to be injured and 14 times more likely to be killed than the occupant of an enclosed vehicle. The likelihood of an injury is extremely high in motorcycle accidents – 98% of the multiple vehicle collisions and 96% of the single vehicle accidents resulted in some kind of injury to the motorcycle rider.
FACT: In 2006, there were 2,889 people killed and 199,337 people injured in road crashes in Canada.
As with all roadway accidents, many factors can contribute to collisions involving motorcycles. One common cause is motorists who do not see motorcyclists, and cut them off or run into them. Speed is also a common factor, with the likelihood of injuries increasing with higher rates of speed. Motorcyclists traveling too fast and losing control can lead to deadly accidents, as can other motorists speeding and being unable to avoid hitting motorcyclists. Poor road conditions, adverse weather, and poor visibility are also frequent contributing factors to motorcycle accidents.
Common Types of Injuries
In the unfortunate situation that a motorcycle accident occurs, there are several common types of injuries that can occur:
- Concussion and brain damage: a result of the head violently making contact with other vehicles or objects. Riders wearing an approved helmet reduce the risk of death by 37%.
- Bone and Joint Breakage: (elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and wrists), fingers, spinal injuries and neck. The most common breakages are the shoulder and the pelvis.
- Road Rash: Soft tissue (skin and muscle) damage as a result of the body slides along a surface.
- Biker’s Arm: where the nerves in the upper arm are damaged during the fall, causing a permanent paralysis of arm movement.
- Facial disfigurement: as a result of the unprotected face sliding across the ground or smashing into an object (in the absence of a full-face helmet). 35% of all crashes show major impact on the chin-bar area.
How to Minimize Injuries
In order to avoid being injured in the likelihood of a motorcycle accident, riders are encouraged to wear Personal Protective Equipment which can include the following:
- Jackets, generally made from leather and include special padding on elbows, spine and shoulders.
- Pants, made of the same material as jackets, usually including special protection for the knees and hips.
Many of the factors that lead to accidents involve negligence on the part of one or more operators. The serious nature of motorcycle accidents requires an experienced personal injury lawyer who can represent individuals with severe injuries. If you were injured, take comfort in the fact that our personal injury lawyers have the expertise and resources to recover maximum compensation for our clients. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Martin G. Schulz & Associates for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.