Statistics don’t take inclement weather into account
The “Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures,” was a study conducted by the University of Southern California and partially funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This study investigated nearly every aspect of 900 accidents involving motorcycles in the Los Angeles area. Below is a short list of some of the findings selected from the study. Keep in mind that the study was conducted in the sun-belt area of the United States and therefore, weather-related influences were not significantly factored into the results.
Approximately three-fourths of motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle.
- In single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident precipitating factor in about two-thirds of cases. The typical error being a slide out and fall due to over braking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering.
- In 66% of multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.
- Intersections are the most likely place for the motorcycle accident, with the other vehicles violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way, and often violating traffic controls.
- Most motorcycle accidents involve a short trip associated with shopping, errands, friends, entertainment or recreation, and the accident is likely to happen in a very short time close to the trip origin.
- Accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps or in daylight hours and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets.
- Motorcycle riders between the ages of 16 and 24 are significantly over-represented in accidents; motorcycle riders between the ages of 30 and 50 are significantly under represented.
- Motorcycle rider training reduces injuries and accident involvement.
- Motorcycle riders with dirt bike experience are significantly underrepresented in accident data.
- Motorcycle riders showed significant collision avoidance problems. Most riders would over brake and skid the rear wheel, and under brake the front wheel, greatly reducing collision avoidance deceleration. The ability to counter steer and swerve was essentially absent.
- The typical motorcycle accident allows the motorcyclist less than 2 seconds to complete all collision avoidance action.
- Large displacement motorcycles are underrepresented in accidents but they are associated with higher injury severity when involved in accidents.
- 98% of multiple vehicle collisions and 96% of single vehicle accidents resulted in some kind of injury to the motorcycle rider; 45% resulted in more than a minor injury.
- Injury severity increases with speed, alcohol involvement and motorcycle size.
- The most deadly injuries to the accident victims were injuries to the chest and head.
- The use of the safety helmet is the single critical factor in the reduction of head injury.
- Less than 10% of the motorcycle riders involved in these accidents had insurance of any kind to provide medical care or replace property.
Charlie Ward is a personal injury attorney experienced in accident litigation and wrongful death claims for families whose loved ones were fatally injured in motorcycle, auto and trucking accidents. The law office of Ward & Ward receives no legal fees or expenses unless we collect damages on your behalf. Call Charlie today at 317-639-9501 to discuss your accident and receive a free analysis of your claim.