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Why motorcycle accidents are more severe than car accidents

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2023 | Personal Injury

In 2022, the Connecticut Department of Transportation reported 62 motorcycle accident deaths. Motorcycle accidents are often more deadly than car accidents.

They also differ significantly when it comes to the types of injuries sustained. There are two main reasons why motorcycles have a higher chance of more severe accidents.

Lack of protection

One reason for a higher injury and death rate in motorcycle accidents is the lack of protection for motorcyclists. While car occupants are inside a metal shell with airbags and other safety features, motorcyclists have complete exposure to the outside elements, making them more vulnerable. In the event of a collision, the risk of ejection is high for motorcyclists, which can lead to serious injuries like head trauma, spinal cord damage and road rash.

Head injuries are particularly common in motorcycle accidents. The absence of a helmet or inadequate helmet use can lead to traumatic brain injuries. Car accidents are less likely to result in head injuries of the same severity, thanks to the protection provided by seatbelts and airbags.

Modern cars have crumple zones that absorb the force of impact. Additionally, seatbelts play a significant role in preventing occupants from colliding with the interior of the car. These factors contribute to a lower rate of severe injuries in car accidents.

The lack of protection for motorcyclists, along with the higher risk of severe injuries, means that a significant proportion of motorcycle accidents result in death.

Reduced visibility

The smaller size of motorcycles makes them less visible to other drivers, increasing the risk of accidents. This inherent size disparity means that motorcycles occupy a smaller portion of the road, where they can easily slip into a driver’s blind spot.

The narrow profile of motorcycles, particularly from head-on or behind, can make them difficult to notice in traffic. The slender silhouette of a motorcycle can blend into the background, especially in busy urban environments where there is a multitude of visual distractions.

When a crash occurs due to visibility issues, it may not give drivers time to react. This can mean higher speeds involved and more intense collisions between vehicles.

Motorcycle accidents tend to be more severe and result in higher chances of injury or death than car accidents. The lack of protection and reduced visibility of motorcycles are the main reasons for these disparities.


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