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Government assesses motorcycle accident risks

Motorcycling is liberating and exciting, but riding comes at the cost of having the highest risk of injury among all vehicle users in this country. A recent National Transportation Safety Board report analyzed the most recent data and reported on the greatest risks associated with motorcycle accidents.

Deaths in motorcycle crashes are 28 higher than other vehicle deaths per miles traveled in this country. Like other vehicle crashes, these accidents are caused by several reasons. The NTSB evaluated motorcycle accidents in California between 2011 and 2016. All of the victims were wearing helmets as required under California law. The NTSB found that most accidents involved other vehicles. One major cause was the inadequate integration of motorcycles' warning and prevention systems.

Improving these systems, integrating motorcycles and improving motorcycle visibility in this technology would reduce accidents. In many crashes, the other driver could not detect the motorcycle or the existence of a dangerous condition. They did not have time to take effective evasive actions. Improving these systems would increase this time.

Motorcycles also need better braking and stability control systems. Their lack of stability compared to other vehicles makes braking, swerving and other avoidance maneuvers more complicated. Over a third of the crashes in this study involved a loss of control that caused accidents. Running wide on curves and slide outs because of inappropriate braking were among the most common causes of losing control.

The NTSB also called for better information on the role of alcohol and drugs in these crashes, which could help develop solutions to impaired driving. It also recommended evaluation of licensing requirements in all the states to ensure that motorcyclists are competent and skilled.

Motorcycle accident victims should seek prompt legal representation when their injuries were caused by another driver or by defective equipment. Lawyers can help seek compensation for a victim's injuries.

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