Houston’s mild climate makes it possible for residents to ride motorcycles for most of the year. This benefit, however, also comes with risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 429 people died in Texas as a result of motorcycle accidents in 2010, accounting for a disproportionate 14 percent of all vehicle accident deaths in the state. Thousands more motorcyclists are injured in motor vehicle accidents.
State and federal highway authorities promote annual safety campaigns advising car and truck drivers to watch out for motorcyclists. Motorists in cars and trucks are warned to “share the road,” but the rate of accidents involving motorcycles remains high. Too many still drivers fail to operate with a standard of care that could prevent collisions with motorcycles.
Common Accidents Involving Cars And Motorcycles
Motorcycles have a smaller vehicle profile than cars and trucks. As a result, other motorists routinely fail see motorcycles and often strike riders in traffic.
Motorcycle accidents commonly involve:
- Cars making a left turn. This type of accident frequently happens when a motorcyclist is trying to pass or go through an intersection. Operators of cars and trucks, unaware of motorcyclists, turn into bikers.
- Head-on collisions. In head-on collisions, a car or truck strikes a motorcyclist in the front of the bike. Given the lack of safety features on a motorcycle, like a car’s seat belt or air bag, these accidents typically project a biker into the air and often result in his or her death.
- Collisions from the rear. This type of accident occurs when the driver of a car or truck fails to see a motorcycle and strikes it in the back. A motorcyclist may well be thrown from the bike and sustain serious injuries.
- Drivers of cars and trucks are supposed to look twice for motorcycles. When passing, motorists in larger vehicles are expected to make sure that a motorcycle has an entire lane in which to operate. Unfortunately, these and other rules often go unheeded by car and truck drivers, severely endangering motorcyclists.
Recovering From A Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can be among the most severe to happen on the road. Given that motorcycles offer very little in the way of protection during collisions, these crashes very often kill bikers. Accidents that are not deadly frequently leave riders with catastrophic medical conditions such as spinal fractures or traumatic head injuries. That’s not to mention the scratches, bruises, broken bones and other less-critical injuries that motorcyclists often sustain in collisions.
If you have been injured on a motorcycle in a car accident caused by another party, or tragically lost a loved one in a crash, you may be eligible to receive personal injury compensation. This can be a critical step in recovering from a crash. A monetary award can be used to cover current and future medical expenses as well as the lost wages of a family provider who is no longer able to work.