Motorcycle Accidents: A Serious Cause For Concern in Virginia
Motorcycle riders face risks every time they get on the road. Each year, an average of 5,000 bikers are killed on U.S. roadways. It’s a sobering statistic, especially when you consider that motorcycles only make up around three percent of vehicles on the road. In 2021, 2,048 motorcycle crashes occurred in Virginia, a 12.1% increase over 2020. According to the Virginia Highway Safety Office, in 2021:
- 102 motorcycle riders were killed
- 1,682 motorcycle riders were injured
- 737 motorcycle riders were seriously injured
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Rear-end collisions by cars and trucks
Improper lane changes or the failure to use turn signals
Motorcyclists forced off the road by a car or truck entering their lane of traffic
Poor road conditions, such as potholes and excessive gravel on the highway
Excessive speed causes reckless and careless driving
Drunk drivers and drivers under the influence of drugs
Failing to obey traffic laws – running stop signs, red lights, failing to yield
Texting and distracted drivers
Bikers Are Highly Vulnerable in Crashes
Cars and trucks have undeniable advantages when it comes to protecting motorists. Airbags, seat belts, and significant “right of weight” make it far easier for a person in a car to survive a collision with a motorcycle. In contrast, bikers are highly vulnerable to serious, catastrophic injuries, including:
Head Injuries: Motorcycle accidents frequently lead to head injuries, ranging from minor concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries, due to the lack of protection offered by a motorcycle in the event of a crash.
Back Injuries: Motorcycle accidents can also cause serious back injuries, such as spinal cord damage, herniated discs, and fractures, which may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Neck Injuries: Neck injuries are a common consequence of motorcycle accidents and can range from whiplash to cervical spine fractures, often leading to chronic pain and mobility issues for the victim.
Amputation Injuries: Motorcycle accidents can cause devastating amputation injuries, often involving limbs crushed or severed during the crash, which can have profound physical and emotional consequences for the victim.
Wrongful Death: Tragically, motorcycle accidents caused by other drivers can result in wrongful death, leaving families and loved ones devastated and facing emotional and financial challenges.
Steps Motorcyclists Can Take to Stay Safe
Preventing motorcycle accidents is crucial to ensuring the safety of riders and other road users. One of the most critical steps riders can take is to wear appropriate safety gear, such as a DOT-approved helmet, protective clothing, and sturdy boots.
Motorcyclists should also practice defensive driving, anticipate potential hazards, and obey traffic laws. It’s essential to remain visible to other drivers by using headlights and reflective clothing and avoiding riding in blind spots. Regular motorcycle maintenance is also essential, such as checking brakes, tires, and lights to ensure they are in good working condition.
Finally, it’s crucial to avoid riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as this can significantly impair the rider’s ability to operate the motorcycle safely.
What Drivers Can Do to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
It’s not just motorcyclists who are responsible for preventing accidents; other drivers can also play a significant role in keeping motorcyclists safe on the road.
One of the most important things drivers can do is be aware of their surroundings and watch for motorcycles, especially when changing lanes or making turns. Drivers should also give motorcyclists plenty of space, as motorcycles have a much smaller profile than cars and can be challenging to see.
Avoiding distractions like texting while driving is also crucial, as it can significantly reduce reaction time and impair the driver’s ability to spot a motorcycle. Finally, be patient with motorcyclists, especially when riding defensively or taking evasive actions to avoid a potential hazard.
Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
As a personal injury attorney, Richard Serpe fights for those injured in accidents caused by a negligent party. He’s earned a reputation as a well-respected, hard-working attorney with a tenacious approach to every case he takes on. As well, Richard Serpe has a track record of success in obtaining favorable jury verdicts and settlements for his clients. If you or your loved one was injured in a Virginia motorcycle accident, contact our law firm for a free consultation. Call or text us at 757-233-0009.