Motorcycle use and ownership have been on the rise at a rate that has not been seen since 1981. In addition, motorcycle rider fatalities have been increasing since 1997. In 2004, 4,008 motorcyclists died while 76,000 were injured.
Roughly one half of all motorcycles in fatal crashes collided with some other vehicle. Unfortunately, the majority of these crashes were not caused by the motorcyclist, contrary to popular belief. In most multi-vehicle accidents, the accident was caused by some sort of passenger vehicle invading the motorcycle’s space. They do this by not seeing the motorcycle when changing lanes, pulling out in front of the motorcycle, and by turning into the motorcycle, for example.
One third of all of the cyclists that died were speeding that time of their accident. This is much higher than the rate for passenger vehicles. In addition, nearly half of the fatal motorcycle accidents in recent years show alcohol involvement. One quarter of all victims had an invalid license.
Part of the reason for the high rate of injury and fatality is that motorcycles are just less crashworthy than closed vehicles. Closed vehicles have an entire superstructure protecting the occupants from harm. Motorcycles, like bikes, lack this structure.
In addition to their lesser degree of crashworthiness, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to the hazards of weather and road conditions than their counterparts in closed vehicles. Whereas a car might be able to get by with one of its wheels not having traction on an icy road, a motorcycle cannot handle that.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Wausau motorcycle accident injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 800-242-2874 to discuss your case and to determine your legal options.