The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcycle accident victims are overrepresented in fatal motor vehicle accidents in the United States. There are many reasons for this sobering statistic, and Texas residents who ride motorcycles may have experienced firsthand some of the dangers that motorcyclists face when they take to streets and highways. Often, the reason for fatal outcomes in motorcycle accidents has more to do with the actions of vehicle drivers and less to do with wrongful behaviors committed by motorcyclists.
Build differences make motorcycles less protective than vehicles
When a negligent motor vehicle driver takes to the road, they put themselves and everyone they encounter at risk of accident or injury. If they allow distractions to cloud their driving abilities, they may crash into another vehicle where the driver and passengers are protected by seatbelts, airbags, and structural inclusions that allow their vehicle to weather crash without complete destruction.
When a distracted driver crashes into a motorcycle, however, its rider is left without the same types of protective equipment as the individuals in the motor vehicle. A motorcyclist may be thrown from their vehicle and subjected to incredible forces when their body is both hit by the vehicle and when it hits the ground.
Vehicle size may make motorcycles more difficult to see than standard vehicles
Anyone who has seen a motorcycle with their own eyes understands that it is a much smaller vehicle than standard cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles. A motorcycle is sleek and streamlined and can be easily lost on the road when traffic, weather, construction, or other obstacles are present. Some drivers may not take the time or give attention before they change lanes or make maneuvers and may inadvertently crash into motorcyclists when they turn their wheels. The relative size of motorcycles compared to those of other vehicles can make them more challenging for drivers to see when they do not intentionally and carefully pay attention to their surroundings.
Many motorcycle riders take precautions when they choose to ride their vehicles where others may be driving. They may wear protective gear, including but not limited to helmets, and may regularly perform maintenance on their motorcycles to ensure that they are running properly.
However, no amount of preparation can protect a motorcycle rider from negligent vehicle drivers. When motor vehicles crash into motorcycles, motorcyclists are often severely hurt. Victims of motorcycle accidents can choose to learn more about their rights under the law and to understand their options for seeking compensation for their damages.