A recent AAA Mid-Atlantic Report says that the number of motorcycle accidents have increased over 70 percent in the last five years and have tripled over the last decade.
The recent increase in motorcycle accidents is due, in part, to the increase in motorcycle riders taking the street. In the last ten years, millions more people have joined the ranks of registered motorcyclists.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following national statistics regarding motorcycle riders:
· In the United States, 4553 motorcyclists were killed in 2005.
· In Maryland, 85 motorcyclists were killed in 2005.
The “Hurt Report” offers a number of motorcycle accident cause factors and identification of countermeasures. Here are some of them. You can view the rest of the information by clicking on the PDF document at the bottom of this blog entry.
1. Approximately three-fourths of these motorcycle accidents involved a collision with another vehicle, which was most often a passenger automobile.
2. Approximately one-fourth of these motorcycle accidents were single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment.
3. Vehicle failure accounted for less than 3% of these motorcycle accidents, and most of those were single vehicle accidents where control was lost due to a puncture flat.
4. In single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident-precipitating factor in about two-thirds of the cases, with the typical error being a slideout and fall due to overbraking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering.
5. Roadway defects (pavement ridges, potholes, etc.) were the accident cause in 2% of the accidents; animal involvement was 1% of the accidents.
6. In multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.
7. The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in a collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision or did not see the motorcycle until it was too late to avoid the collision.
8. Deliberate hostile action by a motorist against a motorcycle rider is a rare accident cause. The most frequent accident configuration is the motorcycle proceeding straight, then the automobile makes a left turn in front of the oncoming motorcycle.
10. Intersections are the most likely place for the motorcycle accident, with the other vehicle violating the motorcycle right-of-way and often violating traffic controls.
In Maryland and Washington D.C., the personal injury law firm of Lebowitz and Mzhen handles lawsuits that are a result of vehicle-related accidents that occur due to the negligence of another driver. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident or car collision that was not your fault and you would like to speak with an attorney regarding your case, contact Lebowitz and Mzhen for a free, no obligation consultation.
Cycle Safety, Cumberland Times, October 30, 2006
The “Hurt” Report (PDF)
2006 Maryland Motorcycle Safety Program