Though motorcycles represent approximately two percent (2%) of registered motor vehicles and less than one percent (1%) of the total road miles traveled in the United States, nearly eight percent (8%) of all traffic fatalities involve motorcyclists. While these percentages may seem small, the disparity in a motorcyclist’s relative safety is not. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are nearly 30 times as likely to be killed in a traffic accident than an operator of a traditional passenger vehicle.
With motorcyclists experiencing such a disproportionately high fatality rate, the first question that must be asked is “why?” While there are many inherent dangers associated with the motorcycle itself, perhaps the most conclusive answer to this question is other drivers. Simply put, other motorists often fail to look and account for motorcyclists as they drive. As the statistics clearly show, such negligent driving can have devastating results.
By law, each driver is required to exercise reasonable care when operating a motor vehicle. When a driver, through his or her own negligence, causes an accident, that driver is liable for any damages and/or injuries that might result. While liability for negligence is true for any motor vehicle accident, the effects of such negligence are especially pronounced in cases involving motorcycles.
Other drivers are not the only parties who owe a duty of care to motorcyclists. Companies who manufacture motorcycles and motorcycle parts are also required to exercise reasonable care when constructing or modifying a motorcycle. If faulty design, equipment, or installation can be identified as a cause of an accident, that manufacturer can also be held liable.
If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a motorcycle, be sure to contact a qualified personal injury attorney who specialized in motorcycle accidents. Having experienced legal counsel is the best way to ensure that you recover the financial compensation you deserve. To find out more about what to do if you have been in a motorcycle accident, request a copy of my free book, “The Good, the Bad, and the Law: The Guide to Motorcycle Accidents in Pennsylvania.” Inside, you will find many invaluable tips on what to do if you’ve had a motorcycle accident.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.