February 24th, 2023|
For many Californians, riding a motorcycle can be liberating. Unfortunately, that freedom can sometimes come at the price of safety since there is less protection between them, the road, and other drivers.
Statistics show that if you are a motorcyclist who is involved in an accident with another vehicle, you are more likely to suffer severe injury or death than the passengers in the other vehicle. The question is: how much more?
The odds of surviving a motorcycle crash are hard to pinpoint since they depend on many factors such as speed, road conditions, the number and type of vehicles involved, the manner of collision, and the safety gear worn by the riders.
However, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that the odds of surviving a motorcycle accident nationwide range from 90-95 percent.
Motorcycle Fatalities Compared to Passenger Car Fatalities
While these seem like good odds, motorcycle fatalities are still relatively high compared with car accident fatalities. For instance, according to the NHTSA, in 2020, there were 5,579 motorcyclists killed, which accounted for 14 percent of all crash fatalities in the U.S. that year.
This means that in that same year, a motorcyclist was 28 times more likely to die and 4 times more likely to be injured in a crash than a passenger in a car.
What Are the Odds of an Injury on a Motorcycle?
Although the survival rate in a motorcycle crash is high, it doesn’t account for any injuries, which can often be quite severe. In fact, based on NHTSA data, only 1 in 4 motorcyclists walk away from an accident unscathed. In other words, about 80% of motorcycle-involved accidents result in some form of injury and most of those injured were on a motorcycle. Compare that with car accidents, in which 80% of those involved walk away without injury.
What You Can Expect When Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
If you’re ever involved in an accident in California, the first step is always to seek immediate medical attention. Once everyone at the scene is safe, the next step is to call the police to fill out an accident report and collect the contact information of everyone involved. It’s also a good idea to take photos with your phone of any injuries and/or damage to the vehicles involved before anything is moved. Also, keep careful records of all your medical and motorcycle repair expenses.
No matter the circumstances, never speak with the insurance companies or sign any documents without legal representation. Insurance companies, including your own, are looking out for their bottom line and will do whatever it takes to place the blame on you or pressure you to accept an offer that is lower than you deserve.
Therefore, it’s crucial to find the right motorcycle injury lawyer in Sacramento who understands the complex laws and circumstances related to motorcycle riding in California. They will have the expertise to build a strong case, find all the parties at fault, and negotiate a fair and comprehensive settlement with the insurance companies.
Tips to Avoid or Survive a Motorcycle Accident
While we never want or expect to be involved in a motorcycle accident, it can happen to the best of us. Therefore, if you want to be as safe as possible while riding on a motorcycle, here are some tips to protect yourself:
Wear a Helmet
While it’s good to be protected from head to toe, the #1 best line of defense is to wear a helmet.
In California, it’s the law for all motorcycle riders to always wear a helmet. This is because according to the CDC, wearing a helmet can help prevent serious head injury by 69 percent and death by 37 percent. When shopping for a standard-grade helmet, make sure that it has a DOT-approved safety rating and fits your head correctly.
While a few states are more lenient with their helmet laws, wearing one can save your life and even lower your insurance premiums. On the contrary, if it is found that not wearing a helmet contributed to your injuries, you may recover a smaller settlement award.
Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
Riding a motorcycle safely takes more skill, knowledge and practice than driving a car. In fact, riders who have never taken a safety course are at 30 times greater risk of being involved in an accident. The only way to gain knowledge without experience is through a safety course.
Some states require a safety course to get a motorcycle license; however, even if it’s not required, it’s a good idea to take one to learn about the specific laws and realities that motorcyclists may face on the road. Not only that, taking a course may result in a discount on insurance.
Make Safe Choices
Although you can never be 100 percent protected from factors outside of your control, making safer choices and following laws can reduce the risk of the most serious result. Here are some small things that can have a big impact:
Slow Down: Speeding is one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents. By reducing your speed on the road, you give yourself more time to react and brake as well as increase your visibility and reduce the force of impact in the event of a collision.
Perform Regular Bike Checks: Before every ride, check your tire pressure, brakes, and fluid levels and look around for any leaks or problems. Always stay up to date on routine vehicle maintenance.
Stay alert: Above all, it’s a good idea to stay off the roads when bad weather is predicted or when you’re under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. These precautions will help you to be better prepared in case of emergency.
How a Sacramento Motorcycle Injury Lawyer Can Help
No matter how safe you are, accidents still happen as the result of other drivers’ bad decisions or other unforeseen circumstances.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident at no fault of your own in the Sacramento area, our motorcycle injury lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers are here to help. In fact, for more than 40 years, we have been the motorcycle injury lawyers Sacramento residents have come to depend on, and insurance companies have come to know and fear.