What’s the Difference Between Motorcycle and Car Accidents?

Motorcycle and Car Accidents

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

May 27, 2023

Colorado Springs Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Motorcycle accidents are unique when compared to other types of car accidents. Although there are some parallels between motorcycle and car accidents, motorcycle accidents are distinct due to the dangers of riding a motorcycle, the causes of accidents, the injuries incurred, and liability difficulties.

Motorcycles have just two wheels, no seatbelts or airbags, and are, by definition, significantly smaller than conventional cars. Motorcycles also lack the safety of being contained and protected by metal.

Motorcyclists confront various problems that car drivers do not, including restricted sight, road hazards such as trash, pebbles, mud, and poorer stability. Motorcycle accidents are harder to manage than car accidents since they typically end in harm.

Motorcyclists often suffer more severe and permanent injuries as a result of their vulnerability on the road

Motorcyclists may require additional long-term financial support to pay for medical care after a permanent spinal cord or brain injury

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tatistics on Motorcycle and Car Accidents

Studies and statistics have confirmed motorcycle accidents:

  • Motorcycle riders over the age of 40 are approximately 20 times more likely to be injured in an
  • accident than car drivers of the same age
  • Motorcycle riders under the age of 40 are approximately 36 times more likely to be fatally injured
  • in an accident than drivers of the same age
  • Motorcycle riders under the age of 40 are approximately 36 times more likely to be killed in an
  • accident than drivers of the same age
  • Motorcycle accidents result in injury or death 8% of the time, but car accidents only end in injury or death 20% of the time.
  • Motorcycles account for only 2% of all registered cars, yet they account for about 5% of roadway deaths.

Statistics on Car Accidents

Although data and research on car accidents vary from those on motorcycle accidents, there are still a significant number of wounded and fatally injured accident victims:

According to the US Department of Transportation, the typical motorist will get in a car accident every six years, and drivers will have a near call at least once or twice a month. In 2005, 39,189 people died in car accidents, with 27,472 drivers and 10,036 passengers killed.

The National Safety Council estimates over 12 million motor car accidents occur each year, involving over 20 million cars. Car accidents cause approximately 2 million debilitating injuries each year, according to statistics. According to studies, up to 75% of car accident injury victims have symptoms up to 6 months following the event.

According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Administration, roughly 28% of people in motor car accidents incur mild to moderate injuries, while about 6% sustain severe or fatal injuries.

Motorcycle Accident Prevention Advice

Every day, car and motorcycle accidents occur; although this is unlikely to change, certain steps may be taken to prevent injuries and deaths in motorcycle and car accidents. Because motorcycles are smaller than other cars on the road, they are sometimes overlooked until too late to prevent a collision.

Riders should always wear a helmet and should wear bright colors or leathers for safety. Riders should consider using safety goggles if their helmet does not have a face shield. Motorcyclists should also avoid riding at night as much as possible since other cars will have a harder time seeing them, increasing the chance of an accident.

Wear a Helmet: One of the most important safety precautions is to wear a helmet. Wear a well- fitting helmet. While it won’t protect you from damage, it will keep your head safe; head injuries are the primary cause of mortality among motorcycle riders.

Wear the Right Clothing: Leather and other specialized or armored motorcycle gear may prevent you from slipping on asphalt or other road dangers (such as small rocks, like small rocks, and cigarette butts). Motorcycle boots are also a smart idea to protect your feet from the heat of the engine and the tarmac in the case of a accident. The use of bright colors or reflective material might help you stand out from other drivers on the road.

Driving Within Your Skill Level: Always drive within your skill level; if you are not competent, do not try to go at fast speeds or weave in and out of traffic.

Allow Enough Room: While motorcycles take up less area to stop and maneuver than cars, they nonetheless need more space than you may imagine. Practice stopping in a safe area on your bike, so you know how much room to give yourself in traffic and how much space to allow between you and the car in front of you.

Avoid Distraction: Distracted driving is terrible in general, but it’s much worse when you’re riding a bike. When you’re fumbling with your phone or iPod, your response time is slowed, placing you at a larger chance of colliding with anything.

Look Twice: Never assume the driver sees you; ride defensively and take responsibility for keeping yourself safe near cars.

Keep an eye on the weather: Motorcycles are less stable than cars, and travelling in the rain on a bike is significantly dangerous; two wheels provide half the traction of a car. Furthermore, your sight is harmed without windshield wipers.

Accident Injuries in Cars and Motorcycles

While car accident injuries vary in severity, there are a few frequent ones. Some are small and recover in a matter of days, while others are persistent and may lead to disability. Lacerations, shattered bones, spine, back, and neck damage, internal injuries, and concussion or traumatic brain injury are all possible in car accidents.

It’s crucial to note that, unlike motorcyclists, car accident victims have the extra protection of a car’s enclosure, airbags, and seatbelts. Motorcyclists are also 26 times more likely than passenger car passengers to die in an accident and five times more likely to be wounded.

Motorcycle accidents often result in injuries comparable to car accidents, while a few ailments are specific to motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle accidents, for example, often result in road burn or road rash.

When motorcyclists have dragged down the tarmac at high speeds due to an accident, they suffer friction burns that rip away skin and tissue. Biker’s arm is a rare motorcycle injury in which a motorcyclist’s arm bones and tissue are severely damaged due to absorbing the force of a collision with another car.

Accidents and Their Causes

Both motorcycle and car accidents are often caused by speeding and/or intoxication. Between 2004 and 2013, speeding, drinking, and/or distracted driving were factors in 58 per cent of fatal traffic accidents, according to the Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Alcohol was involved in 31% of fatal accidents, resulting in the deaths of almost 116,000 people. In 31% of fatal collisions, speeding was a contributing factor.

In 18 per cent of fatal accidents, distracted driving was a factor. Despite several focused media efforts warning against the hazards of driving while using a mobile phone, the Department of Transportation concluded that cell phone usage was a significant factor in under 1% of fatal accidents between 2004 and 2013. However, the number of non-fatal car accidents caused by cell phone usage is greater.

More information on the most prevalent causes of car and motorcycle accidents may be found here.

Car Accidents and Their Causes

Each year, more than 11 million car accidents occur in the United States. These collisions may be divided into two categories: driver mistakes and external factors such as weather, road conditions, health crises, and tire or brake failure.

Car accidents are caused by a variety of factors, including:

Distracted driving is a frequent cause of car accidents. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), mobile phone usage is involved in 25% of all auto accidents. Distracted driving is particularly hazardous because the brain can’t effectively integrate information from several sources, causing response time to be delayed.

Driver exhaustion. Driver weariness and falling asleep at the wheel cause between 2.5 per cent and

3.0 per cent of road deaths in the United States.

Nearly half of all car accidents are caused by Alcohol or speeding.

Tailgating, disobeying traffic signals, failing to surrender the right of way, and changing lanes repeatedly are all examples of aggressive driving.

Motorcycle Accidents: What Causes Them?

The following are the most prevalent reasons for motorcycle accidents:

A car turning to the left. When a car makes a left-hand turn, motorcycles are most vulnerable to an accident. An car turning left involves around 42% of all traffic accidents involving a car or motorcycle. This is risky since the motorcycle might be hit when travelling straight through an intersection, attempting to pass the car, or trying to overtake it. Motorcycles often attempt to pass a car in the same lane, and the car driver is unaware of or unprepared for the motorcycle’s action.

Splitting lanes. Because lane splitting is often a significant factor in motorcycle accidents, it is not authorized in many states. Due to the limited room for maneuvering, close closeness to  neighboring cars, and a car driver does not expect a motorcycle to overtake them in slow or stopped traffic, motorcycles moving between two lanes are more likely to be involved in an accident.

Drunk driving and speeding Alcohol or speeding are responsible for around half of all single motorcycle accidents.

Collision with a stationary item Motorcycles colliding with a fixed object account for one-quarter of all motorcycle deaths, but only 18% of all car accident deaths.

Dangers on the road Because motorcycles are smaller and less stable than cars, and they are more

vulnerable to uneven lane heights, slippery roads, potholes, and other dangers. Accidents Caused by Alcohol

Motorcycle accidents are more likely to include Alcohol than car accidents. Alcohol is involved in one out of every three motorcycle accidents, compared to 25% of car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 29% of all fatally injured motorcyclists had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08.

Motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents at night are three times more likely than those killed during the day to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. In 2012, 43 per cent of the 2,030 motorcycle traffic fatalities involving a single car had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or above.

Every year, over half of all drunk motorcyclists murdered are above the age of 40.

Rates of Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 13 cars out of 100,000 are engaged in a fatal collision, whereas motorcyclists have a mortality rate of 72 per 100,000.

Motorcycle riders are likewise more likely to be involved in a fatal accident per mile travelled. Motorcyclists have a 35-fold greater chance of a fatal accident per mile driven than car drivers. In the same year, 4,008 motorcyclists died on American roadways.

Accidents and Deaths

Because riders are not covered by steel and are often flung off the bike following a collision, motorcycle accidents are intrinsically more hazardous for drivers and passengers than car accidents. Motorcycle accidents often result in the following injuries:

Brain injury and concussion. This danger is magnified for motorcyclists who do not wear an appropriate helmet.

As the body slides over the road, it may cause road rash or soft tissue injury. Broken bones in the pelvis and shoulders, as well as joint problems. Biker’s arm, which is caused by nerve injury in the upper arm. The arm is permanently paralyzed as a result of this.

Disfigurement of the face. Impact on the chin occurs in 35% of motorcycle accidents.

Motorcycle accidents are quite likely to result in harm. According to the Hurt Report, a motorcyclist  is injured in 98 per cent of multiple car accidents and 96 per cent of single-car accidents. A motorcycle rider is 26 times more likely than a car driver to die in a traffic collision and five times more likely to be injured.

Motorcycle accidents and deaths are disproportionately high on sport and supersport bikes. Supersport motorcycles have a four-fold greater mortality rate than standard motorcycles, while sport bikes have a fatality rate double that of standard motorcycles.

According to the NHTSA, almost 2.6 million individuals are wounded in road accidents each year, accounting for 95 per cent of all injury-causing collisions. Cars are involved in 3% of the accidents. In car accidents, 55 per cent of those who died were not wearing seat belts, and 28 per cent of those killed were thrown from the car. 

Seek the advice of an experienced car accident injury lawyer.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should speak with an expert motorcycle accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve. Many motorcycle accident victims are permanently incapacitated or unable to work as a result of their injuries. Our lawyers understand the medical and personal expenses that victims and their families face.

We’ll go to great lengths to make sure you get the compensation you deserve for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation, and long-term care requirements, if required. For a free consultation and case review, contact Warrior Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at 719-300-1100.

Before changing lanes, a motorist should double-check that the route is clear and safe to do so. Due to the size and height of motorcycles, cars often fail to see the rider until it is too late. Changing lanes into a motorcycle’s route may have disastrous results, including causing the motorcyclist to crash or driving the rider off course. A motorcyclist may incur significant bodily injury or perhaps death due to another driver’s negligence in either situation.

In any case, involving a lane change violation, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may argue the culpability of the at-fault motorist. It should be noted that the issuance or non-issuance of a traffic ticket does not determine the outcome of an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit; nevertheless, if the other motorist is given the traffic penalty, it is typically beneficial.

While issuing a traffic ticket is not conclusive, it may aid in persuading the insurance adjuster/insurance carrier of the driver’s responsibility or liability. Remember that in most civil actions, the police record and traffic ticket are not admissible as evidence.

As a result, in situations involving charges of unlawful lane changes, the facts must be shown via testimony and other evidence to prove that the other motorist wrongly and negligently changed lanes into the motorcyclist’s right of way.

The wounded cyclist and his or her family encounter various obstacles, concerns, and inquiries after a Colorado motorcycle accident. The laws may be a little perplexing. Colorado, for example, has a series of “no-fault” statutes in effect.

Many individuals argue that “no-fault” rules make it impossible for victims to seek or attain justice. It’s worth noting that “no-fault” laws only apply to how some of the initial medical bills are handled and how certain injuries are defined in the event of a car accident; however, Colorado, like most other states, allows an injury victim to seek compensation for past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life when there is a serious injury.

Each case must be assessed on its own merits and circumstances. Because of the intricacy of personal injury claims, particularly motorcycle accident lawsuits, it is critical to retain the services of an experienced attorney for advice, direction, and, yes, legal representation.

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