Nobody wants to be involved in an accident, especially with a motorcycle. Motorcyclists are likely to be severely injured when they come into direct contact with a car or truck – it’s simple physics. Neither cyclists nor car drivers are always to blame when a wreck occurs, but increased awareness and education can help prevent accidents.
Important Facts That Car And Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles
Because of its small size:
- A motorcycle may look farther away than it really is. The small size of the bike may also make it difficult for a car or truck driver to estimate the motorcycle’s speed.
- Motorcycles can easily be camouflaged in a car’s blind spots or hidden by objects outside the car, like bushes, fences and bridges.
- A motorcycle may seem to be moving faster than it really is.
Improving awareness for drivers and motorcyclists can help reduce the number of accidents in Oklahoma City and the surrounding area. There are several things that commonly contribute to motorcycle accidents:
- Poor perception: Motorcycles are so much smaller than other vehicles that drivers often don’t see them or misjudge their distance and speed.
- Inadequate reaction time: Motorcycles can accelerate and stop much faster than other vehicles, which can lead to collisions.
- Visibility issues: Motorcycles are harder to see when in a driver’s blind spot or surrounded by other objects such as guardrails and traffic. Drivers may also have trouble seeing a motorcycle’s turn signals and brake lights, especially during bad weather.
Motorcyclists often slow their speed by downshifting or easing off the throttle – both of which do not activate the brake light. So if you are following a motorcycle, the brake light might not illuminate to notify you that the cyclist is slowing down.
Motorcycles are extremely agile, which makes it easy for riders to change lanes quickly. They may not use their turn signals adequately, and drivers may fail to anticipate how quickly a motorcycle can enter or leave their lane.
A motorcycle is easily affected by wind and water on the road. Oklahoma often experiences these types of weather events, which can make the roads dangerous for motorcyclists.
Turn signals on some motorcycles do not turn off automatically after a full turn. Some riders forget to turn their signals off after a lane change or turn.
Motorcycle drivers often move from lane to lane to:
- be seen more easily by car and truck drivers
- to minimize the hazards of road debris
- to minimize the effects of strong winds
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows motorcycle crashes are much more deadly when the driver is not wearing a helmet.
Injuries From Motorcycle Wrecks
Common motorcycle crash injuries include:
- Broken bones and joints – elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, wrists, ankles caused when the rider collides with cars, lamp posts, protective barriers or anything else.
- Road rash – soft tissue/skin and muscle damage, ranging from mild if impact with the asphalt or concrete was not very strong to extremely severe including flesh removed all the way down to the bone.
- Biker’s arm – a condition where nerves in the upper arm are damaged during the fall, causing permanent arm paralysis.
- Facial disfigurement – if a full-face helmet was being used, damage to the face can be significantly reduced, however, severe damage still can occur.
Oklahoma Motorcycle Fatalities
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 5,014 motorcyclists in the U.S. died in crashes in 2019, and there were 84,000 injuries. Data from the same year indicates that a motorcyclist is 29 times more likely to die in a crash than an occupant in a passenger car (per vehicle miles traveled).
Contact an Oklahoma Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle wreck, do not delay in seeking medical treatment, and do not delay in talking with a motorcycle injury lawyer who can help you protect your rights. You should contact a motorcycle crash attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation which might be used for:
- Your medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages if you were off work due to your motorcycle accident
- Pain and suffering
Remember, there are specific time limits — called “statutes of limitations” — within which you must file a lawsuit to protect legal rights that you might have. If you want to preserve your rights, you must file a law suit against each person whom you might make a claim against before the time limits expire. Any person who is sued after these time deadlines will be able to have your claims dismissed. Because statutes of limitations vary from state to state, and depend on other important factors, you should talk with a motorcycle lawyer at Carr & Carr as soon as possible.
Contact the Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyers at Carr & Carr today to discuss what options you have, and learn how to protect your rights. Call us at 1-866-510-0580 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation. Our law firm has offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and our attorneys can also meet you at a location more convenient to you.