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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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Texas injury lawyerOn the night of May 22, one motorcyclist was killed and one injured as a pickup truck struck them both on the shoulder of Old Corpus Christi Road. The cyclists had pulled over to try and fix a problem with one of the bikes, but apparently, the driver of the pickup truck was not able to see them. One motorcyclist died at the scene, a 35-year old man, and a younger man was airlifted to San Antonio Military Medical Hospital with “life-threatening” injuries. While this accident is obviously a tragedy, it is somewhat unusual in that most motorcycle-related accidents occur when both vehicles are in motion. Texas roads can be more dangerous for motorcycle riders than any other vehicle operators.

Multiple Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents

While accidents simply happen sometimes, there are common causes which may precipitate accidents more often than might otherwise occur. A significant portion of motorcycle accidents, especially in Texas, with its high-speed limits, can be put down at least partially to visibility issues. The wreck on Old Corpus Christi Road can partially be ascribed to visibility problems, but more normally, visibility will be an issue in terms of seeing a motorcycle in a car or truck’s “blind spot,” or simply missing it because of its slim frame and light weight. Some motorcyclists will also lane split (share a lane with an automobile), despite its questionable legality in Texas, which can make them hard to see.

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Texas injury lawyerThe night of April 16 proved fatal for a San Antonio motorcyclist who was thrown from his bike after attempting to avoid crashing into a car on NW Loop 410. The car had been speeding and clipped the motorcyclist, who was then thrown from his vehicle after trying to avoid a further crash. He died of his injuries at University Hospital. This type of incident is sadly not uncommon, though it is somewhat unique that the cyclist’s injuries were attributed more to the impact with the road than to the collision itself. Motorcyclists are at high risk for injury and death in any type of crash.

Many Reasons for Higher Fatality Rate

Motorcyclists are consistently shown to be disproportionately injured and/or killed in automobile accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists were killed almost 29 times more often than automobile passengers in road accidents. Helmets and safety equipment do help in lowering the risk, but they are only estimated to be approximately 37 percent effective based on existing data. Very often, the facts are simply against the motorcyclist who gets involved in a crash.

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Texas accident lawyerA motorcyclist was left in critical condition after being hit by a car on March 19 in South Austin. While no definitive cause has been stated for the accident, the scene indicated that the driver did not see the motorcyclist coming and struck him from the side. As of this writing no charges have been filed, but it is important to remember that all drivers should be especially alert for motorcyclists on Texas roads, with a failure to do so having serious consequences.

Motorcycle Accidents Happen Frequently

Texas is a state that loves its motorcycles, and with a higher number of riders comes a higher number of accidents. Data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows nearly 500 motorcyclists killed in 2015, while only California and Florida had comparable numbers in that year - the next highest number was almost 300 fewer, in South Carolina. While laws about helmet use and other safety measures may affect fatality numbers, issues such as visibility or speed do not have such easy fixes as others.

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Texas accident lawyerTuesday, December 12, 2017, was a deadly day on Highway 183, as a motorcyclist was struck by what appeared to be a truck from behind. Instead of throwing the man to the ground, the force of the collision propelled the motorcyclist over the side of the overpass, dropping approximately 50 feet to the street below. He died of his injuries on the evening of December 14. It is sadly instructive to note the precautions that were and were not taken in this unfortunate accident, as this type of accident happens to motorcycle riders far more than any other type of driver.

Motorcyclists at High Risk

Simply because of the relative lack of protection afforded by a motorcycle compared to a car, many more motorcyclists are injured or killed proportionally than auto drivers if there is an accident between the two. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that motorcycle fatalities occur as many as 27 times more often than fatalities among auto drivers and passengers, and a significant portion of these are simply due to the manner in which an accident might occur. For example, an accident where a motorcycle is sideswiped may lead to injury or death, but a head-on collision is going to place a motorcycle against a vehicle at least three times its weight, and very often far more. Simple physics lead to the conclusion that the motorcyclist will get the worst of such a crash.

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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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