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b2ap3_thumbnail_motorcycle-crash_20190215-224805_1.jpgRecently, a man on a motorcycle ran a red light going north on South General McMullen Drive and then promptly collided with a dark-colored pickup truck. The motorcyclist was taken to University Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased. While this accident appears to have occurred due to the motorcyclist’s reckless driving, sometimes a motorcyclist can sustain grievous injuries in an accident that is no fault of their own. If you have been in a motorcycle crash and been harmed due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation that can help cover your medical bills.

Motorcyclists Are In Danger on the Open Road

While statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show a drop in the number of motorcyclist fatalities between 2016-2017 (the most recent available data), the number of motorcycle riders killed in accidents in 2017 is still over 5,000 people. This number is proportionally higher than the number of auto passengers killed in crashes - stats estimate that motorcyclists are a whopping 28 times more likely to die in a crash than a passenger car occupant, primarily because motorcyclists simply do not have as much protection between them and the road.

There are, unfortunately, trends that show some motorcyclists add to their own danger on the road. Many do not wear helmets (Texas does not require them for those over 21, but data has shown their ability to save lives), or speed recklessly. Another disturbing trend that also contributes to motorcyclist fatalities is alcohol usage. The NHTSA found that approximately one-fourth of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes showed signs of being ‘alcohol-impaired’ - as one might imagine, driving any type of vehicle while intoxicated will cause one’s risk for an accident to skyrocket.

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TX injury lawyerBecause of Texas’ routinely mild weather, there is almost no dip in the number of motorcycles on the road during the winter. However, many drivers operate their vehicles as though they think there should be, which can make the road more dangerous both for cyclists and for auto drivers alike. If you have been in an accident with a motorcyclist, it is important to accurately reflect on whose behavior might be to blame, and to what degree you might be precluded from seeking compensation for your injuries.

Motorcyclists in Greater Danger on The Road

Because of a lack of protection between them and the road, motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured or killed in an accident, especially on a major road or freeway. Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimate around 500 motorcyclists killed in 2017. While the TxDOT statistics explicitly mention that just over half (52 percent) were not wearing a helmet at the time of their accident, this is only one factor in the elevated fatality risk for cyclists.

Statistics and anecdotal data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) preach the need for motorcycle awareness, both in the abstract and quite literally. Motorcycles are significantly smaller than cars and trucks, and very often they are painted dark colors - both of which can make a motorcyclist all but invisible even in good weather. Even when they are visible to the eye, however, many drivers simply do not factor them into their calculations while driving - for example, when to turn, how wide to turn, how close or distant to follow, and so on. This type of neglect can lead to accidents and fatalities for all involved.

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TX injury lawyerOn the night of October 14, a driver turning onto Larkdale Drive from O’Connor Road was struck by a motorcyclist traveling at a “high rate of speed,” killing the motorcyclist and damaging the automobile. The driver had no injuries, but the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. Sadly, this is all too common in San Antonio motorcycle accidents, with motorcyclists being killed much more often than automobile drivers, and those that survive are much more likely to be severely injured than auto drivers. There are multiple reasons for this.

Statistics Show Heightened Danger

Motorcyclists simply have to do more with less, given the comparative lack of protection surrounding them compared to the protection an automobile gives its driver and passengers. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that motorcyclists are up to 29 times more likely to die in a wreck than those in an automobile. This is compounded by Texas’ helmet law, which only requires such protection for those 20 and younger, meaning that many older cyclists are not wearing helmets when they are involved in a wreck if they choose not to. While this is their choice, it does contribute to a high fatality rate, as helmets have been shown to prevent approximately 37 percent of fatal injuries.

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TX injury lawyerDuring the last weekend of September, a hit-and-run accident on Ronald W. Reagan Boulevard in Leander left one motorcyclist dead, and the driver missing. According to law enforcement, the truck turned into the path of the motorcyclist, who was headed southbound, and the cycle hit the rear part of the truck, which caused the rider to be thrown. The truck did not stop to assist the injured man, instead choosing to drive on. There are multiple things that might breed a cause of action in this story, especially for the family of the deceased motorcyclist, as they seek compensation that could somehow even partially mitigate the loss of their loved one.

Failure to Stop and Render Aid Is a Crime

Motorcyclists are in some danger while on the roads, even if they operate their vehicle perfectly, simply because they lack the protection and the weight that automobiles have, and this, unfortunately, translates to injury and fatality statistics - on average, around 500 motorcyclists per year are killed in auto accidents on Texas roads, according to data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). While this obviously does not excuse reckless or negligent driving or other actions, it is worth remarking on how an action that can be lethal against a motorcyclist might cause an automobile’s driver mere irritation. If an accident occurs, it is the responsibility of both vehicles involved to stop and render aid to anyone hurt.

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TX injury lawyerA young man was killed on July 3 when he took a curve too fast on his motorcycle and hit a light pole on Dessau Road, just inside the Pflugerville city limits. The motorcyclist was unable to stop in time and was thrown when his bike hit a curb. This is sadly common in Texas, where motorcycle accidents occur with regularity for a multitude of reasons. However, depending on the situation, it may be possible to hold someone liable in a motorcycle accident, even if it only officially involves a single vehicle.

“Single Vehicle” Accidents Are Often Not

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that riding a motorcycle is an inherently dangerous activity - per mile driven, motorcyclists have a death rate 26 times higher than that of automobiles. In 2016, the most recent available data year, the NHTSA showed 4,853 motorcyclists killed, 2,190 in single-vehicle accidents (approximately 45 percent). However, in this metric, single-vehicle accidents are defined as crashes in which only one vehicle sustains damage. This does not cover the accidents in which another vehicle may have played a role, but managed to get away - for example, a car swerving in front of a motorcyclist or not seeing a motorcyclist in their lane until too late might conceivably have caused the accident, but it would still be classified as a single-vehicle accident for tabulation purposes.

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The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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