How Motorcycle Accidents Are Different From Car Accidents
There are some similarities between accidents between two vehicles and those that involve motorcycles. There are, however, also a lot of differences, which can have a significant impact on how victims go about recovering compensation after an accident. Read on to learn more about the main differences between these kinds of crashes.
Motorcycles are Less Stable and Less Visible
Because their vehicles only have two wheels, no seatbelts, no airbags, and are much smaller than passenger-sized vehicles, motorcyclists face a lot more risks than other drivers. For instance, they lack the protection of being enclosed and shielded by a vehicle and are also far less visible to drivers. Motorcyclists also have a harder time seeing road hazards, like debris, rocks, and mud, and if they do encounter such hazards, are much less stable on those surfaces.
Most vehicle-vehicle collisions and vehicle-motorcycle crashes have similar causes, many of which involve driver error. There are, however, a few things that are more likely to cause motorcycle accidents. Low visibility, for instance, while dangerous for all drivers, can be particularly perilous for motorcyclists, who are already far less noticeable. Riders are also more likely to be involved in collisions with fixed objects, like a tree or a light pole, on the road. In fact, hitting a fixed object is thought to account for around 25 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents.
Motorcyclists Sustain More Serious Injuries
Because they are less protected than occupants of passenger vehicles, motorcyclists often suffer more severe and permanent injuries in the event of a collision. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that motorcyclists are nearly 30 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of passenger vehicles. Head and neck injuries, even amongst those who wear helmets, are common, as are facial and dental fractures, chest injuries, like punctured lungs and cardiac trauma, internal injuries, lacerations, and broken or crushed bones.
There are also some injuries that are unique to motorcycle accidents. For instance, motorcyclists often suffer from road rash, which occurs when, upon being dragged along the asphalt at high speeds, friction burns shear away the skin and tissue. Biker’s arm is another unique motorcycle injury where a rider suffers severe damage to the bones and tissue in the arm when it absorbs the impact of a collision. These kinds of serious injuries are not only painful, difficult, and expensive to treat, but often leave victims with permanent disability and ongoing medical bills.
Motorcycles Aren’t Equipped with Safety Features
Modern vehicles are often equipped with various safety features that are specifically designed to reduce the number of accident-related fatalities. Newer cars, for instance, have anti-lock brakes, airbag systems, electronic stability control, and collision warning systems. Many have backup cameras and side-view cameras, while some have pedestrian detection systems. Unfortunately, motorcycles often don’t have these same safety features, which means that riders may be more likely to be involved in a collision.
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