Although riding a motorcycle can be fun, it can also be dangerous. Motorcycle accidents have potentially life-altering consequences. Find out why it is that motorcycle accidents are so different from auto accidents.
The Severity of Motorcycle Accidents
In California, there were 842,106 registered motorcycles for 2016. Unfortunately, many of those motorcycles were involved in crashes. And when they were, the results were often devastating.
Perhaps the biggest difference between motorcycle and auto accidents is the risk. Although motorcycles only make up about 3% of all vehicles on the roads, they contribute to many fatalities. In 2016, there were 5,286 motorcycle accident-related deaths. When the result isn’t a fatality, the result is often serious injury.
According to Cambre and Associates, motorcycle accidents tend to be more dangerous than auto crashes because of the lack of protection on a motorcycle. When you ride a motorcycle, your helmet and other protective gear are your only safeguard. But a car provides you with more protection. You have a seat belt and a large metal structure made to handle accidents. If you are in an accident, your car absorbs most of the impact.
The Problem with Braking
There’s another issue that makes motorcycle accidents different from car accidents: the brake system. When you slam on a car’s brakes, the car stops suddenly. However, a sudden stop on a motorcycle can be even more hazardous.
The front brake of your motorcycle gives you most of your braking ability. If you squeeze your brake suddenly, you risk locking the wheel and flying off the bike. In a regular vehicle, you might be able to avoid the accident. But, in a motorcycle, your sudden braking could be the cause of a serious crash.
Lack of Protection
Although motorcycle riders should wear helmets, they don’t always do so. And this is one of the reasons that motorcycle accidents differ so much from car accidents. If you are in a motorcycle accident without a helmet, you could suffer from a brain injury. In a car or truck, your risk of brain injury is much less.
In a car, you can drive over certain road hazards. You might be able to drive over a pothole with a minimal effect. Even if the impact causes an accident, it might not do much damage.
When you’re on a motorcycle, the danger is greater. Going over a pothole or rock could cause you to completely lose control. As a result, you could have a collision with extreme consequences.
Similarities Between the Two
There are a few similarities between car accidents and motorcycle accidents. For one, the causes are similar. Typically, you can blame speeding, distracted driving, or alcohol abuse for accidents.
According to the Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 58% of fatal accidents occurred as a result of speeding, alcohol use, or distracted driving. In 2016, distracted driving caused 3,450 deaths.
Whether you are on a motorcycle or in a car, driving requires your full attention and your full abilities. Driving while drunk or driving while texting does not allow you to drive safely.
Other Common Ground
Another similarity between motorcycle accidents and car accidents is the aftermath of the accident. If you are a victim of another driver’s negligence or recklessness, you could seek compensation. An Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney can stand up for you and work towards getting you compensation.