For most, it’s no big surprise that motorcycles are significantly more dangerous than most passenger vehicles. However, do you truly understand the difference between these accidents or the impact they can have?
At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, our Connecticut car and motorcycle accident lawyers understand that accidents can have devastating consequences. However, we also understand the possibility of severe injuries and fatalities is higher for motorcyclists.
Here you can learn more about the difference between car and motorcycle accidents, and when hiring an attorney for help with your accident case is a smart move.
Connecticut Motorcycle Accident Statistics
It’s estimated that motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than those in passenger vehicles and up to four times more likely to experience an injury. In Connecticut, over 50 motorcyclists are fatally injured on the roadways yearly. In 2021, the fatalities reached a 30-year high, with 68 motorcyclists losing their lives in the state.
Part of this is attributed to the fact that more people are on the roads than before and continue driving too fast. In fact, speed is cited as the top cause of motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists must be alert and aware of their surroundings at all times to help avoid a potential accident.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another party, it’s best to hire a CT motorcycle accident case to help you recover the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Connecticut Passenger Vehicle Accident Statistics
According to information from the University of Connecticut Crash Data Repository, which is the state’s main source of car accident statistics, in 2020, there were 83,734 reported accidents. These involved over 155,000 vehicles and almost 190,000 people.
A breakdown of the data includes:
- 301 total fatal injuries
- 1,100 suspected severe injuries
- 9,274 suspected minor injuries
- 10,878 possible injuries
As you can see, car accidents in Connecticut are also a serious problem. If you are involved in an accident with another driver, it’s best to contact a Connecticut car accident lawyer for help with your case and claim.
The Devastating Outcomes of Motorcycle vs. Car Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are typically more catastrophic because of the fact they involve just two wheels, no seatbelts or airbags. Additionally, motorcycles are smaller than motor vehicles.
When riding a motorcycle, there’s no protection from metal doors or other materials that vehicles have.
Some of the most serious risks of motorcycles include limited visibility to other drivers, less stability, and encountering road hazards like debris, mud, and rocks. Motorcycle accidents are also more difficult to manage compared to vehicle accidents for several reasons, which include:
- Motorcyclists typically experience more serious and potentially permanent injuries because they are vulnerable.
- Many motorcyclists require long-term financial support to cover their medical care and treatment due to brain or spinal cord injuries.
- Those involved in motorcycle accidents will typically face additional challenges in court, including jurors who see motorcyclists as “risk takers” or “reckless.”
- Those involved in a motorcycle accident often need more compensation for long-term lost wages and medical costs.
- In most motorcycle accidents, the possibility of wrongful death is high for riders and passengers.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
While motorcycle accidents can occur in many situations, some causes are more common than others. The most common causes of motorcycle accidents include the following:
Vehicles Making Left-Hand Turns
Motorcyclists usually face the danger of an accident when vehicles make left-hand turns. It’s dangerous for motorcyclists because they may be hit when traveling straight through intersections, attempting to pass a car, or overtaking a vehicle.
Lane splitting is illegal in Connecticut. This occurs when a motorcyclist passes cars on the line between two rows of vehicles. Even though it is illegal, it still happens. This is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents and often has devastating consequences.
Speeding and Riding Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
It’s estimated that about half of all motorcycle accidents are caused by the rider consuming drugs or alcohol or speeding.
Hitting a Fixed Object
Motorcyclists that collide with a fixed object make up about 25% of all motorcycle accident deaths but only 18% of car accident deaths.
Motorcycles are smaller and much less stable than passenger vehicles. This means that uneven lane heights, potholes, wet roads, and additional hazards are more serious threats to those on motorcycles.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Each year, over 11 million car accidents occur across the U.S. The potential causes of car accidents fall under two primary categories:
- Driver error
- Other conditions (i.e., weather conditions, brake or tire failure, road conditions, and health emergencies)
There are other causes of motor vehicle accidents, too. These include:
According to data from the National Safety Council, it is estimated that about 25% of car accidents are related to drivers using a mobile phone.
Speeding and Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Speeding and drunk driving contribute to about 50% of all car accidents.
Cases of aggressive driving include behaviors like failure to yield, tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes of traffic, and not obeying traffic signals and signs.
About three percent of traffic fatalities are caused by drivers who fall asleep while at the wheel or driver fatigue.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Injuries in a motorcycle accident are usually much more serious because of how exposed riders and passengers are. Some of the most common injuries seen in motorcycle accidents include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Road rash
- Fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial disfigurement
- Tissue damage
All these injuries can cause serious complications, such as paralysis, blood loss, permanent disability, and the potential of death. The seriousness of the injury depends on several factors; however, motorcyclists are more exposed to the pavement and don’t have modern protection features like people in cars do; they are more prone to serious and life-changing injuries. Additionally, in Connecticut, the law only requires riders under 18 to wear a helmet, which means many riders are completely unprotected if an accident occurs.
Safety Tips for Connecticut Motorcycle Riders
Motorcycle accidents and car accidents occur every day. While this is true, there are some measures that all riders and drivers can take to help reduce injuries and fatalities. Remember, motorcycles are smaller than other motor vehicles on the road. This means they are much harder to see by other drivers. In fact, most drivers don’t see motorcycles until it is too late to avoid being involved in an accident.
This is one of the main reasons that riders need to wear bright colors and protective clothing like leather. They should also wear a helmet each time they ride, even though it is not legally required.
Some other tips that will help you remain safe while riding a motorcycle include:
Always Wear a Helmet
It’s important to always wear a helmet that fits properly because it protects your head. It also helps to reduce the potential of a serious head injury if an accident occurs.
Invest in the Right Gear
It’s smart to invest in leather or other types of armored motorcycle gear that protects you if an accident occurs. This type of clothing will minimize injuries if you slide across asphalt or encounter other road hazards, including cigarette butts and small rocks. It’s also recommended that you wear motorcycle boots, which can help protect your feet in an accident. Bright colors and reflective materials will increase your visibility, reducing the possibility of injuries since other drivers can see you easily.
Leave Plenty of Space
Motorcycles require much less space to stop and maneuver. However, they still need room to turn and make other moves. Be sure that you make a habit of stopping at a safe distance between you and other vehicles.
Avoid Distractions and Distracted Driving
Attempting to drive while you are distracted is extremely dangerous if you ride a motorcycle. It can also increase the likelihood of an accident.
It’s never smart to assume that other drivers on the road can see you. It’s a good idea to ride defensively and ensure you are responsible when on the road. This is necessary to protect yourself and others.
Know the Weather
Motorcycles aren’t as stable as other vehicles on the road. With only two wheels, riding in the rain and in other adverse weather conditions is much riskier. Also, motorcycles don’t have windshield wipers, so riders’ visibility is often compromised.
Should You Hire a Connecticut Car or Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
If you are involved in a car or motorcycle accident that another person or party caused, you may wonder if you really need the services of an attorney. The truth is, there are more than a few factors that go into filing a legal claim, which means you need to ensure that you have the expertise of a legal professional helping you each step of the way.
Some of the top reasons to hire an attorney for help with your case include the following:
- Determining the value of your claim
- Estimating how long your claim will take to settle
- Determine the strength or weakness of your accident claim
- Figure out what type of compensation you are entitled to
- Evaluate the situation to determine if expert testimony is needed
- Ensure you receive proper medical treatment for your injuries and connect you with specialists if required
One of the most important things an attorney can do is provide advice and guidance regarding when to accept a settlement for your injuries and damages and when to negotiate more. The attorney you hire can also handle the negotiations with the insurance company to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
It’s important to understand that all motorcycle and car accident claims are unique. Because of this, you need to find an attorney who will learn the details of your case to help you get the settlement you deserve.
Common Questions About Motorcycle vs. Car Accidents
Are motorcycles involved in more accidents than motor vehicles?
Statistically, motorcycles have more accidents than motor vehicles. It is more difficult to control motorcycles, since there is minimal contact area between the bike and the road, and they are also harder to see. Due to these factors and others, motorcyclists are up to 30 times more likely to die when an accident occurs than those in passenger vehicles when looking at fatalities for both per mile.
What causes most car accidents?
Car accidents are caused by a myriad of factors (as described above). While this is true, some are more common than others. The most common include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Adverse weather conditions
- Reckless driving
What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Motorcycle accidents are caused by many of the same causes that cause car accidents. This includes riding under the influence of drugs and alcohol and speeding. Another top cause of motorcycle accidents is distracted drivers, those who are unaware of the motorcyclist’s presence. This is a factor that includes a driver who impedes on the right of way of a motorcyclist.
What are the most common injuries seen in motorcycle accidents?
Brain and head injuries are extremely common and serious injuries that occur in motorcycle accidents. An effective way to reduce the potential of these types of injuries is to wear a helmet. This can reduce how severe the injuries are, and helmets work to help reduce the possibility of a fatality by over 33%.
What percentage of motorcycle riders are involved in accidents?
Based on the total number of motorcycle accidents and the total number of motorcyclists that are registered in the United States, it is estimated that about one percent of riders are involved in some type of accident every year. While this is true, this figure does not account for minor accidents and the ones that are not reported. It is believed that the true figure is much higher than one percent.
Don’t Wait to Hire a Connecticut Accident Lawyer
If you are involved in a car or motorcycle accident, it’s recommended that you hire a Connecticut car accident lawyer or CT motorcycle accident lawyer right away. Our legal team at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve after a car or motorcycle accident. We recommend that you get in touch with our office right away to discuss your claim. We offer all new clients a free initial consultation to discuss your case and begin working to help you secure a fair settlement.