Connecticut motorcycle accident lawyers at Eagan Donohue Attorneys at Law have handled numerous wrongful death matters and injury claims involving accidents between motorcycles and motor vehicles and no one has to tell you that riding a motorcycle is a hazardous activity. Just how hazardous it is, however, is important to know, especially for young people or retirees who think that they may enjoy becoming a biker. Hopefully, this short, to the point essay may change your mind.
The following statistics demonstrate that if you get on a motorcycle, there is a good chance you many never again be able to think straight, walk or talk properly again, and you may even die. One good way to illustrate just how dangerous motorcycles can be is to compare them to an alternative form of transportation like driving an automobile.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the official government agency that gathers and compiles statistics about motorcycle accidents amongst other things. Including those riders who take the precaution of wearing a helmet, the rate of getting in an accident when riding a motorcycle is about 600% or 6-times greater than if you were operating an automobile. If you are in a motorcycle accident you are 3500%, 35-times more likely to be killed than if you had a car accident. The risk of living through a motorcycle crash and being seriously injured such as being paralyzed, suffering brain damage, or having to have a mangled limb amputated, is about 1600% or 16 times as great. About 80% of all motorcycle accidents cause serious injury or death compared to only about 20% of automobile accidents.
Most motorcycles are known for their lightness and quickness. It is quite obvious that in a collision with another motor vehicle such as an automobile, package delivery truck, 18-wheeler or another type of vehicle, there is no question as to which win. Just the sheer weight and velocity of the other vehicle can produce forces that can rip a motorcycle rider to shreds or send one flying into a center divider, metal guard rail or into oncoming traffic. While other motor vehicles sport crumple zones, anti-lock braking systems, seat belt, shoulder restraints and other modern vehicle safety features, motorcycles offer virtually no protection in a crash other than the helmet that the rider is wearing.
If you must ride a motorcycle, at least make sure that you buy the best helmet available and use it 100% of the time you ride. It is estimated that helmet use is a major factor in preventing traumatic head injuries and deaths to motorcycle riders. Connecticut laws mandating helmet usage by all riders was repealed in 1976. In 1990 a law was enacted that requires anyone operating or a passenger on a motorcycle who is under 18 to wear a helmet.