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What Makes Motorcycles More Dangerous Than Cars?

What Makes Motorcycles More Dangerous Than Cars? The exhilaration of motorcycle riding comes from the thrilling feeling riders have when they are so connected to the road, feeling every mile right under their feet. Part of this thrill comes also from the inherent risks associated with motorcycle use. Riders face a significantly higher risk of fatality in crashes compared to occupants of passenger vehicles.

Despite motorcycles representing only 3% of all registered vehicles in the U.S. they contributed to a disproportionate 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2021, according to data from the National Safety Council (NSC). That same year, 6,084 motorcyclists died in crashes, marking a 21% rise from 2020, reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Sixty-two percent of these 6,084 fatalities involved cars or trucks.

Various factors contribute to the heightened danger associated with motorcycle riding, including:

  • Visibility to other road users: Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than passenger vehicles, increasing the risk of not being seen by other drivers, especially in blind spots or during inclement weather conditions. One risk for motorcycle riders in urban areas like Atlanta is “dooring” – when a driver or passenger throws open his or her door without checking to see if anyone is coming.
  • Skill set required: Riding a motorcycle demands a higher level of skill and proficiency than driving a car. Riders must master techniques such as counter-steering, proper braking, and maintaining control at various speeds and road conditions. This is why new riders are more likely to be in single-vehicle accidents than more experienced riders.
  • Stability issues: Balancing on two wheels instead of four is more challenging. Even an experienced rider can lose his or her balance in a strong wind, or if he or she needs to break suddenly to avoid a collision. Rising with a passenger affects this stability as well, and if the passenger doesn’t know how to behave, it puts both people at risk.
  • Potential for more severe injury: Unlike passengers in enclosed vehicles, motorcycle riders lack the protective barrier of metal frames, seat belts, and airbags. In the event of a crash, riders are more exposed to impact forces and are at a greater risk of sustaining severe injuries to vulnerable body parts, such as the head, spine, and extremities.
  • Hazardous road conditions: Even small debris, potholes, or uneven road surfaces can pose significant hazards for motorcyclists. Objects that might be inconsequential to larger vehicles, such as gravel, oil slicks, or even roadkill, can cause loss of control or lead to accidents for riders due to the smaller contact patch of motorcycle tires and the increased sensitivity to road irregularities.

While motorcycle riding presents hazards, most riders adhere to the rules of the road and should be protected. Accidents often occur due to car or truck drivers failing to notice motorcycles’ smaller vehicle profile, often resulting in catastrophic injury or death. Motorcyclists deserve recognition and protection for their responsible behavior on the road. It is the duty of care of all road users to be extra vigilant of motorcyclists on our Atlanta roads.

Should I hire an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer for help with my case?

If you were seriously injured in a collision with a negligent driver, or because of a defective motorcycle part, then you should contact an Atlanta motorcycle lawyer as soon as you can. It costs you nothing to do so, but it could cost you everything if you don’t. A motorcycle wreck can lead to catastrophic injuries – the types of injuries you don’t fully recover from. If you accept an insurance settlement and your injuries get worse, you cannot go back and ask for additional compensation, nor can you put in a secondary claim. An attorney can help you by negotiating a better award on your behalf or representing you in trial in front of a jury.

If you have been injured or your loved one has died in a motorcycle accident you want a trusted Atlanta motorcycle accident team on your side to hold the responsible party accountable for your and your family’s damages. Whether a wrongful death claim or a personal injury claim the attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP are here to help your family during this challenging time.

Living with a catastrophic injury is hard. Let Harris Lowry Manton LLP make things easier. Call or contact our motorcycle accident lawyers in Atlanta or Savannah today for your free consultation.

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