Connecticut residents may not have heard the recent statistics concerning motorcycle accidents provided by the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the report, individuals who travel by motorcycle are 26 times more likely per vehicle mile to die in a traffic collision than individuals who travel by car. The department classifies motorcycles as being two or three-wheeled motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, mini bikes, off-road motorcycles and pocket bikes.
In 2012, 3 percent of all registered cars in America were motorcycles, and the vehicles accounted for around .7 percent of all vehicle miles traveled. However, that same year, 15 percent of all traffic-related deaths involved a motorcycle, and of the 4,957 motorcyclists who sustained fatal injuries, only 7 percent were passengers and the other 93 percent were drivers. These numbers accounted for a 7 percent increase from the former year’s reported 4,630 motorcycle fatalities. The NHSTA also reports that 93,000 motorcyclists sustained injuries in 2012, which was a 15 percent increase from the reported 81,000 injuries in 2011. In 2012, 93 percent of all fatalities involving a motorcycle were involved by two-wheeled motorcycles.
Statistics provided for that same year revealed that 52 percent of the fatalities reported involved a motorcycle colliding with another type of vehicle. Seventy-five percent of the two-vehicle crashes involved the motorcyclists colliding with the cars in front of them; only 7 percent of motorcycle crashes were caused by a hit from the rear.
An accident involving a motorcycle can be more severe than an accident involving two cars because the passengers on a motorcycle are completely exposed. Whenever a fatal accident involves a collision with a motorcycle, authorities may search for any factors that contributed to the collision, such as hazardous road conditions or distracted driving. If authorities find negligence contributed to the accident, the motorcyclist’s survivors may be able to seek compensation for damages in civil court.
Source: US Department of Transportation , “Motorcycles“, December 12, 2014