NHTSA statistics and motorcycle crashes

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NHTSA statistics and motorcycle crashes

A frightening amount of injuries and deaths result from motorcycle accidents.  The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that over 125,000 bikers died in accidents between 1966 and 2006.  More recently, another NHTSA report noted that 2008 saw 5,290 motorcyclists lost their lives in traffic crashes in America while an additional 96,000 suffered injuries.  Pennsylvania happens to be the fourth deadliest state for motorcycle riders in the country, trailing behind Texas, California, and Florida, with 227 fatalities in 2008.

Motorcycle crashes also account for a significant percentage of all traffic fatalities.  In 1995, 5.3 percent of all traffic deaths were motorcycle riders. That number increased nearly 80% over the next nine years when in 2004; fatal biker crashes comprised a whopping 9.4 percent of all traffic fatalities.  In terms of miles traveled per vehicle traveled in 2004, the average motorcycle rider was thirty-four times more likely than the average passenger vehicle driver to die in a traffic accident. This is mainly due to the fact that motorcyclists have little to no protection, except for a helmet, while they are riding.  

Hazards on the road contribute to serious motorcycle crashes

Motorcycle Collision in PhiladelphiaMotorcycle accidents happen all too often in Pennsylvania, in no small part due to aggressive drivers and busy roadways.  When passenger car drivers demonstrate reckless, aggressive, or careless behaviors on the road, they create hazards for motorcycle operators as well as other drivers.

While there are virtually unlimited risk factors that could lead to a motorcycle accident, a few common causes of motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania include:

  • Driver’s negligence – Laws pertaining to traffic on the road, such as speed limits, exist in order to keep everyone on the road safe.  When drivers deliberately disregard such laws by acting reckless or being distracted around motorcycles, accidents happen.
  • Hazardous construction sites – Dangerous conditions and material hazards tend to be commonplace at sites of construction.  These can include uneven pavement and walkways, construction equipment, or potholes, all of which can lead to motorcycle operators and passengers falling off of their bikes.
  • Impaired drivers – Psychoactive substances and operating motor vehicles are never a good mix.  Alcohol and drugs can change an individual’s mindset, reaction times, perception, and vision.  When an impaired driver recklessly collides with a motorcycle rider at high rates of speed, serious injuries occur.
  • Road hazards – Sub-par road conditions such as sharp curves, potholes, or steep hills tend to present severe problems for bikers and can lead to crashes and injuries.

Multiple parties can be liable in motorcycle accidents

Following a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania, an injured passenger may sue the motorcycle driver for acting with negligence, for example, if he or she has been speeding or acting erratically on the road.  Motorcycle passengers can also sue other drivers on the road whose negligence may have been a factor in causing the crash.

If a hazardous road condition contributed to the crash, the injured biker or passenger could be able to sue the city, county, or construction company for failing to maintain safe road conditions.

If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle crash in Pennsylvania, call our office today to schedule a consultation.