What Percentage of Motorcycle Riders Have Accidents?

Interpreting the most recent accident data regarding motorcycle accidents in the United States can be incredibly challenging. All riders must remember that statistics are not firm indicators of safety or danger, and unexpected hazards can arise at any time. Available accident reports comparing motorcycles and other motor vehicles show that motorcyclists face many of the same risks as other drivers on United States roads, along with a few unique safety risks unique to motorcycles. To limit your risk of causing a motorcycle accident, you should know the biggest hazards you can face on the road.

Understanding Motorcycle Accident Statistics

According to the latest data, the number of motorcycle accidents reported in the United States each year compared to the number of registered motorcycles in the country shows an accident rate of only about 1%. While this may sound like the risk of having a motorcycle accident is very low, there is more than one way of interpreting the available data.

Determining an accident rate from the number of reported accidents compared to the number of registered motorcycles in the country is an inherently flawed measurement system. Not all registered motorcycles are ridden in the same locations or conditions the same way, nor are they all used with the same frequency. Not all motorcycle accidents are reported, either. It’s unwise for any motorcyclist to assume that they have a flat 1% chance of having an accident every time they ride; depending on environmental factors, traffic, and other variables, their actual risk is likely much higher.

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents happen for many of the same reasons that all other vehicle accidents occur. However, motorcycles lack the safety features found in most other passenger vehicles, so accidents tend to be far more damaging. The number of motorcycle accidents in the country is far lower than the number of passenger vehicle accidents each year, but this is primarily because there are vastly more passenger vehicles than motorcycles driving on American roads daily. While there are fewer motorcycle accidents than car accidents, motorcycle accidents have a far greater risk of resulting in catastrophic or fatal injuries.

Some of the most commonly reported causes of motorcycle accidents in the United States include:

  • Distraction. All drivers and motorcyclists have the same duty of care to operate their vehicles attentively. Unfortunately, a momentary distraction can potentially be enough to cause a devastating accident, and distracted driving continues to be the leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents in the United States each year.
  • Intoxication. Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is illegal in every state and incredibly dangerous. Accidents caused by impaired driving are more likely to result in injuries and fatalities, and drivers responsible for causing these accidents face criminal prosecution.
  • Speeding. Exceeding posted speed limits is very dangerous, and speeding can significantly increase the chances of an accident resulting in severe or fatal injuries. Speeding is widely acknowledged as a major contributing factor to the number of fatal motorcycle accident cases in the United States annually.
  • Moving violations. Whenever drivers violate traffic patterns, perform illegal maneuvers, or fail to navigate intersections correctly, they can easily startle others and cause serious accidents. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable in areas with highly congested traffic.

Ultimately, motorcycle accidents happen for many reasons. Knowing the risks you face when you head out on your bike can help you limit your risk of experiencing an accident, but you should know what to do if another driver causes an accident with your vehicle.

How to Recover From a Motorcycle Accident

Every state enforces laws regarding car accidents and drivers’ responsibilities regarding auto insurance. For example, California uses a fault-based system that requires all drivers to maintain auto insurance coverage. When an accident happens, the driver who caused it is liable for the damages, and anyone they injured may file a claim against their auto insurance policy. While this may be enough to resolve a minor accident, many vehicle accident victims must brace for more extensive recovery efforts after severely damaging accidents.

If an at-fault driver’s insurance cannot fully cover the losses they caused you to sustain in a vehicle accident, you have the right to file a personal injury suit against them to recover any losses insurance won’t compensate. California law permits the plaintiff of a personal injury case to seek full repayment of all their economic damages as well as reasonable compensation for their pain and suffering. California does not limit the pain and suffering compensation in auto accident claims; a good attorney can help you maximize this aspect of your recovery.

Motorcycles do not have crash-absorbing vehicle frames, seatbelts, airbags, or other safety features in enclosed passenger vehicles. As a result, when another vehicle collides with a motorcycle, the motorcyclist has no physical protection from this primary impact on the other vehicle. They also face a secondary impact of hitting the ground. Even when a rider uses the highest-quality helmets and riding gear, the best safety equipment can only mitigate injuries in a serious accident, not prevent them entirely.

Find Legal Counsel You Can Trust

A motorcycle accident can be a life-changing experience in many ways. Severe injuries can incur expensive medical bills, and a damaged bike is costly to repair or replace. In addition, the victim could be left unable to work, and their economic losses can quickly compound on top of the inability to work, creating a desperate financial situation for the victim and their family. While auto insurance may provide expedient compensation after a damaging accident, dealing with insurance companies can be very challenging. There is no guarantee they will cooperate with your claim.

Even if you manage to secure a favorable auto insurance claim payout, the damages from a serious motorcycle accident can easily eclipse the scope of available coverage. Therefore, if you find yourself in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident someone else caused in Southern California, contact Perry Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule your consultation with an attorney you can trust to handle your recovery efforts.