Motorcyclists face many roadway hazards including other drivers

Motorcyclists face many roadway hazards including other drivers

People who ride motorcycles in Maryland, like elsewhere in the country, often experience more safety challenges on the road than drivers of closed vehicles do. Poor visibility, slippery roads and vehicle stability are common factors that can contribute to crashes.

Visibility is a major issue for motorcyclists. Because motorcycles are smaller than cars or trucks, drivers of other vehicles may not see them. Accident data reveals that two-thirds of motorcycle crashes that involved another car or truck are attributed to violations of the motorcyclists’ right of way.

Wet or rough roads may also pose additional challenges for motorcycle drivers, and, regardless of road conditions, maintaining control of a two-wheeled vehicle is more difficult than with a four-wheeled vehicle. Based on 2012 data, motorcyclists are approximately 26 times more likely to die in a crash compared to crash victims in passenger cars. Their injury rate is also five times higher.

Costs associated with motorcycle accidents are substantial. When factoring in medical expenses, lost productivity, property damage and more, the Government Accounting Office put the figure at $16 billion for 2010. The aforementioned report found that helmets are 37 percent effective at saving motorcycle drivers from fatal injuries. Maryland law requires all people on motorcycles to wear helmets.

Although some risks are inherent in riding motorcycles, accidents are not always the fault of the operators. People injured in car accidents while riding a motorcycle may be able to recover damages with a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney may be able to help a motorcycle accident victim learn what types of compensation he or she might have a right to recover.

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