While people can sustain severe injuries in accidents between two four-wheeled vehicles, injuries are often most severe for motorcyclists who collide with passenger vehicles. When you consider the size difference between them, it’s easy to see why. Head injuries are the most common and serious injury sustained in these crashes. Drivers and passengers of motorcycles may receive a concussion or traumatic brain injury due to how hard their head strikes against the pavement. That is true even when they wear a helmet. Other common injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes include:
- Arm: This injury occurs when the motorcycle driver or passenger braces for impact by placing their arms in front of them. Even though this act is instinctual and often unconscious, it can cause permanent and severe injury to the nerves of the arms.
- Leg, feet, and muscle: Injuries to the feet and knees are common because of how drivers and their passengers sit on the motorcycle. As with arms, people tend to stick their leg in front of them to break the impact of a fall. Many people don’t realize they have muscle damage immediately after the accident, which makes it more difficult to treat later.
- Road rash: This happens when the driver or passengers of a motorcycle gets dragged across pavement. It causes any uncovered skin to become bruised, cut, and scraped. A severe impact can cause road rash even with the legs and arms covered completely.
Actions Leading toCollisions Between Motorcycles and Vehicles
Frequency Of Motorcycle Crashes
Although motorcycle drivers don’t get into accidents more often than those who drive cars and trucks, accidents are much more severe when they do occur. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that motorcyclists die from their injuries 35 times more often than the drivers and passengers of other types of vehicles. Traumatic brain injuries and paralysis can cause lifelong complications and require millions of dollars’ worth of care.
It’s a common misconception that crashes between motorcycles and cars or trucks occur due to the cyclists driving aggressively. The leading reason for these crashes is that drivers of private or commercial vehicles don’t see the motorcyclist. That can happen when the biker is in the other driver’s blind spot or riding in poor weather conditions or after sunset. Even so, all drivers must continually check their blind spots and slow down and look both ways when approaching an intersection.
Commoon Causes Of Motorcycle Crashes
- Rear-end collision: A sudden stop resulting in one vehicle striking the back of another vehicle is often not dangerous when it happens between cars or trucks of equal size. Unfortunately, a sudden-stop collision can be deadly when a car strikes a motorcyclist from behind. The bike can flip over and throw the driver and passenger to the ground with intense force. Even a light bump from behind can cause severe injuries if it throws off the driver’s footing.
- Left-hand turns: A driver trying to turn left in front of an ongoing motorcycle is a common cause of accidents. If he or she doesn’t allow enough time to finish the turn before the motorcycle reaches the same area, it will result in a crash between the two. Motorcyclists typically sustain serious injuries from striking the passenger side of the vehicle that was attempting a left-hand turn.
- Distracted driving: A driver who is looking at his or her phone, changing the radio station, or paying more attention to passengers than the road can easily run into someone driving a motorcycle. Such distractions leave the driver with little time to stop and can result in a forceful impact causing significant injury.
- Lane changing: Bikers are more at risk when a car or truck driver changes lanes because it’s easy for the motorcycle to disappear into the driver’s blind spot. Drivers, failing to look for bikes before signaling their lane change, typically will sideswipe the motorcycle. The biker gets thrown to the ground and can sustain injuries that are serious and long-lasting.
- Moving motorcycle striking the door of a parked vehicle: A driver who has just parked their car and opens the driver-side door without first checking for other traffic can put motorcyclists at risk.
The Aftermath of Motorcycle Crashes
Knowing what to do after you’re in an accident is important. Motorcycle accident victims often wonder why they should hire an attorney. The most obvious answer is that you likely have medical expenses due to the crash. That is true even if you traveled at a low speed while wearing a protective helmet and clothing.
The reality is that you won’t be able to get the care you need without the money to pay for it. Loss of financial resources is another good reason to work with a motorcycle accident attorney. Missing several days, weeks, or months of work takes a toll on your finances, even if you receive partial pay during your recovery. Some people injured in motorcycle accidents never return to work or can no longer do the same job. That has a negative impact on their earning potential for years.
If you get injured in a motorcycle crash, consider meeting with a local personal injury attorney to discuss your options for filing a lawsuit. Most law firms don’t charge for the initial consultation, and they’ll usually take cases on contingency. That means you don’t pay any legal fees unless the court decides in your favor.