Car and Motorcycle Accident Causes
Drivers must look out for one another when they’re sharing the same road. The feature that most entices motorcycle riders is the very feature that places a motorcycle rider at extreme risk for serious injuries. This is the feeling of openness or “being free”. And, as long as car drivers and motorcyclists look out for one another and drive in a responsible manner, motorcycle riders can experience safe travels, just like everyone else. This blog answers the question of “What is the most common collision between cars and motorcycles?”
When drivers fail to look out for motorcycles or when they engage in reckless driving behavior, the results can lead to catastrophic injuries for motorcyclists.
If you were involved in one of these catastrophic car and motorcycle accidents caused by another negligent driver, a Houston motorcycle accident lawyer at Reich & Binstock may be able to help you seek financial compensation for your injuries. Every personal injury attorney at Reich & Binstock operates on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe us anything unless your personal injury claim is successful. Call our law firm today at 713-622-7271 for your free consultation.
Most Common Cause of Car and Motorcycle Accidents
The most common cause of motorcycle crashes is driver negligence. When car drivers fail to exercise proper care when driving, they place everyone, especially motorcycle riders, around them at risk for serious injuries.
According to various studies, motorists are at fault in over half of all multi-vehicle accidents involving cars and motorcycles. Additionally, a motorcycle rider is 27 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident and 5 times more likely to sustain serious injuries than regular passenger car drivers or occupants.
In the state of Texas, a driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. Drivers, in no way, have the right to ignore, bully, or engage in reckless behavior on public roads.
Here are a few examples of how a negligent driver can cause a car and a motorcycle accident:
Motorcycle Accident Caused By Failure to Yield
A car driver may not see a motorcycle as they’re turning their car. This will often result in a catastrophic intersection accident.
Intersections are one of the most dangerous places for motorcyclists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), intersections are the most common locations for accidents involving cars and motorcycles.
When a car driver is turning left at an intersection, they often will fail to yield the right-of-way simply because they don’t see the motorcycle.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Blind Spots
While most vehicles are equipped with side and rear view mirrors, there are still several blind spots on most vehicles. Many vehicle safety experts say that at least 40% of a car’s perimeter isn’t visible from the driver’s seat. This makes lane changes dangerous for those driving a motorcycle.
Negligent drivers that make sudden lane changes without turning on their signal leave motorcyclists with little to no time to react.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Lack of Distance Perception
Since many drivers have never driven or ridden a motorcycle, many fail to properly judge the distance of an approaching motorcycle. Many times, drivers will pull out in front of a motorcycle without understanding how fast the motorcycle is going.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that drivers wait for any motorcycles to pass before entering any busy street.
When a driver fails to wait before pulling into an intersection or into traffic, in general, this puts the motorcyclists at risk of needed to brake immediately. This emergency braking can throw the motorcycle rider over the handlebars. It can also cause the motorcyclists to lose control of their motorcycle, causing their bike to slide out from underneath them.
In either one of these scenarios, the motorcyclists will more than likely land on the road or on another car, which could result in catastrophic injuries or death.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving
As we have access to more technology in our cars and on our phones, the concerns surrounding distracted driving grow. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 96% of those surveyed said that distracted driving was a serious threat, but half of those same people admitted they engaged in this type of behavior. According to these numbers, nearly half of Americans are distracted drivers.
Every day in the United States, around 9 people die due to distracted driving. Driving while distracted goes well beyond the use of a smartphone, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, can include the following types of behavior:
Anything that takes a driver’s mind off the road is considered a cognitive distraction. This can include thinking about work or relationships, replaying conversations internally, what the weekend plans are, etc.
A visual distraction is anything that causes a driver to take his or her eyes off of the road. Visual distractions can include your phone, a passenger, or something, like a car accident, that happens outside of your vehicle.
A manual distraction is anything that takes the driver’s hands off of their steering wheel. This can include eating or drinking in the vehicle, passing toys to a child in the backseat, putting on makeup, or of course, texting and driving.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Over the years, we’ve seen numerous public safety campaigns surrounding the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as driving under the influence of drugs. However, many drivers continue to drive under the influence.
While the legal limit for BAC in most states is 0.08%, the negative effects can begin as soon as the first drink. Driving under the influence of drugs, like opioids or amphetamines can also increase the risk of harming those on motorcycles. And, obviously when a person mixes both drugs and alcohol while driving, the results can lead to devastating or fatal motorcycle accidents.
Drivers under the influence may not even notice that a motorcycle is sharing the road with them. They may complete a lane change without so much as looking in their mirrors, or they may simply misjudge the amount of space between their car and a motorcycle.
Any of these simple mistakes can lead to serious motorcycle collisions.
Drugs or alcohol can affect someone’s ability to drive in the following ways:
- Visually: drivers driving under the influence may experience blurred or double vision
- Slower reaction time
- Less ability to distinguish colors
- Less ability to make rational decisions
- Lower concentration
- Slower reflexes
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Drowsy Driving
Thanks to the National Sleep Foundation, we’ve known for some time now that drowsy driving can have the same effects as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A drowsy driver will have impaired judgment as well as a reduced reaction time.
Drowsy driving can happen due to a lack of sleep, undiagnosed medical conditions, fatigue from work or a new baby, or can be caused by depression.
If you’re a motorcyclist, you cannot read the person’s mind who is driving next to you. There’s no way for you to know if the car driver just left a long shift, if she is a new mom who hasn’t slept much, or if the person has thrown a few back at a local bar. This is the harsh reality for motorcyclists.
The failure of other drivers to stay alert can change your life in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, there are negligent drivers everywhere, and regardless of how well you drive, encountering a drowsy driver is bound to happen.
Most Common Injuries for Motorcycle Riders
Motorcycles don’t have sturdy frames, airbags, or the protective gear that cars and trucks have. And, since motorcycles don’t have seat belts, when you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, being ejected from your bike is more likely than not.
While wearing protective gear like gloves, a helmet, or special clothing can help. There is only so much that this additional gear can do.
When a motorcyclist is involved in a motorcycle crash, the following injuries can occur:
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury includes a blow, bump, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury that affects a person’s normal brain function.
While helmet laws help to ensure at least a certain layer of protection in motorcycle crashes, the force of a car and motorcycle collision can still lead to a traumatic brain injury.
These injuries can lead to consistent headaches, seizures, memory loss, and more. And, if you get into a motorcycle accident, never remove your helmet until medical assistance arrives.
Back or Spinal Cord Injury
Apart from a traumatic brain injury, back and spinal cord injuries are some of the most devastating and catastrophic injuries that a motorcyclist can experience. These types of injuries result from direct trauma to a person’s back or spinal cord. This serious injury can stem from head on collisions, a direct hit from one or more other cars, or directly hitting your back after a car and motorcycle accident.
Many motorcyclists that have sustained a serious back or spinal cord injury must rely on a wheelchair or at very minimum, assistance with their day-to-day activities.
Road rash is the abrasion caused by a person’s skin scraping along a hard surface, such as pavement. During traffic accidents, if a car hits your motorcycle, you can be thrown from your motorcycle and slide across the road. This friction can result in serious road rash that leads to intense pain, potential infections and permanent scarring.
Internal injuries include damage to your vital organs or any internal bleeding caused by either blunt force trauma or penetrating trauma. Because traditional motorcycles don’t offer any protection for the driver’s body, a motorcyclist’s body suffers intense bodily trauma.
Internal injuries can lead to seizures, organ failure, and hemorrhagic shock in some cases.
Why Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney For Your Motorcycle Accident Case?
A motorcycle accident caused by one or more other drivers is a serious legal matter. There are hundreds, if not thousands of active public safety campaigns advising drivers to “share the road” or “give motorcycles a second look.” But, unfortunately, these campaigns don’t do much when the approaching vehicle is a distracted driver, a drunk driver, or simply a driver who doesn’t care to follow basic traffic rules.
When you sustain severe injuries from a motorcycle accident, you may have to endure a lengthy hospital stay, surgeries, follow up treatments, and missed time from work. Both the financial and emotional stress from the accident will require rest. But, with the constant thought of unpaid bills, this makes proper healing extremely difficult.
Many times, the insurance company makes an initial settlement offer very soon after the motorcycle accident claim emerges. And, for many drivers, the settlement may seem like a huge amount. The truth of the matter is, if the amount were enough to completely cover your damages, they wouldn’t have offered it without any pushback. That simply is not how insurance adjusters work.
It takes a seasoned professional to understand what future medical needs you will have, as well as the associated costs of these future medical needs.
It’s important to remember that while your insurance adjuster may be extremely helpful and kind, they are looking out for their boss’s bottom line, not your best interest. Insurance companies must limit your settlement in order to increase profits.
Speaking with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is the best thing to do after an accident. It is actually better that you speak with a personal injury attorney before you speak with any insurance company representative.
Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
At Reich & Binstock, our personal injury attorneys provide free case evaluations. So, you won’t owe us anything unless your motorcycle injury claim is successful. If you have your own pictures and evidence, you can call to schedule an initial consultation. Or, if you aren’t able to leave the hospital, one of our Houston motorcycle injury lawyers can come to you!
The right motorcycle injury attorney will help you while keeping the lines of communication open. When you work with Reich & Binstock, you’ll never need to worry about the status of your case. A Houston car accident lawyer will be on your side throughout the entire process.
Call our office at 713-622-7271 for your free consultation.