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Just How Dangerous is Motorcycling?

By DiBella Law Offices on March 8, 2022

A view of the highway from a motorcyclist's point of view.

As recent as 2021, motorcycle deaths in Massachusetts from January to July saw an increase of 31% compared to the previous five years of data. In that time period from winter to summer, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation recorded 37 motorcycle deaths across the state. In elaborating on these findings, government officials pointed out that automobiles were responsible for more than two-thirds of car-motorcycle accidents. The Central and Eastern parts of the state saw more motorcycle fatalities than its Western portion.

Motorcycle Accidents vs. Injuries in Cars

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle riders “continue to be overrepresented” in traffic fatalities. In highlighting just how dangerous motorcycling can be, the agency said that 5,014 motorcyclists died in 2019 alone. In that same year, per vehicles travelled, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle crash than a passenger riding in a traditional vehicle. The chances of injury were higher as well, with motorcycle riders being 4 times more likely to experience a serious injury.

Motorcycle accidents also put greater strain on a nation’s healthcare system. In an extensive Canadian study conducted from 2007 to 2013 that covered hospital and emergency treatments due to a motorcycle or automobile crash, motorcycle crash victims were more adversely affected by accidents on the road. Here’s what they faced compared to automobile drivers:

  • A motorcycle crash injury rate that was three times higher
  • A severity of injuries 10 times greater
  • Higher medical costs in the first two of years of treatment
  • Continued injuries and deaths while auto accidents declined over a 10-year window

The kinds of injuries motorcyclists can experience include road rash, fractures, and broken bones anywhere on the body. Of particular concern are severe injuries to the head, neck, and spinal cord. Emergency medical may include major surgery, and depending on the extent of an accident, amputation may very much be a part of the procedure.

Motorcycle Safety

Understanding the potential hazards on the road every time you set out for a ride is key to practicing motorcycle safety in Massachusetts. Motorcycle riders have a greater exposure to the road than those driving in vehicles. The slightest miscalculation in the speed you take a bike, the kind of turns you decide to make, and how you observe other vehicles around you can greatly impact how you are injured in an accident. While you are not responsible for the actions of others on the road, you can control your own navigation with caution by doing the following:

  • Wear protective gear, beginning with an appropriate helmet.
  • Use your turn signal when transitioning to another lane or merging.
  • Mind the speed limit.
  • Keep a safe distance between yourself and all vehicles.
  • Be aware of all traffic, looking to your mirrors and noting your blind spots.
  • Do not ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Avoid smart phone use, eating, drinking, and other common distractions.
  • Take steps to be visible to other drivers by riding where automobile drivers can see you

Liability After a Motorcycle Accident

It’s imperative that both automobile drivers and motorcycle riders be aware of each other on the road. Automobile drivers need to give motorcycle riders enough space in lanes, signal when appropriate, be watchful when a motorcycle is signaling to turn or merge, and not themselves drive impaired or distracted.

Massachusetts is a comparative negligence state. That means that the amount damages that you may be awarded after a motorcycle accident may be reduced, depending on how much responsibility it is determined that you had in your accident. If you are found to have above 50% responsibility in causing your accident, then you will receive zero compensation. This is why it is important to have an experienced Boston motorcycle accident attorney who has handled complex cases similar to yours on your side after your incident.

Contacting an Attorney After a Motorcycle Accident

As the victim of a motorcycle accident caused by another motorist, you have rights. The insurance companies opposing you after you file a personal injury claim will do everything in their power to amplify your responsibility after an accident caused by another driver.

Considering the injuries and potential loss you’ve experienced, you have too much at stake for this to happen. Let DiBella Law Offices, P.C. evaluate your accident and pursue all rightful compensation on your behalf. You could be entitled to medical costs, pain and suffering or emotional distress, lost wages, and more.

Call us at (617) 870-0907 to schedule a free consultation and get your life back on track.