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The Short List of Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer- Motorcycle Accidents

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.

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  1. Approximately three-fourths of motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle.
  2. 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.
  3. In 66% of multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Motorcycle rider training reduces injuries and accident involvement.
  9. Motorcycle riders with dirt bike experience are significantly underrepresented in accident data.
  10. 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.
  11. The typical motorcycle accident allows the motorcyclist less than 2 seconds to complete all collision avoidance action.
  12. Large displacement motorcycles are underrepresented in accidents but they are associated with higher injury severity when involved in accidents.
  13. 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.
  14. Injury severity increases with speed, alcohol involvement and motorcycle size.
  15. The most deadly injuries to the accident victims were injuries to the chest and head.
  16. The use of the safety helmet is the single critical factor in the reduction of head injury.
  17. 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.

By: Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225


Trying the Motorcycle Accident Case Before a Jury, Part II–Preparation of Evidence in Motorcycle Accidents Involving Truckers

Evidence is the cyclist’s best friend

Motorcycle accidents involving trucks require a significant amount of time, energy and financial resources to litigate. An experienced plaintiff’s attorney will be knowledgeable of interstate commerce rules and regulations, including their own state’s legislation pertaining to the trucking industry. And the early acquisition of evidence favoring the motorcyclist’s actions is crucial to adequate preparation for a motorcycle accident claim.

Early in the investigation, it’s imperative that the trucking company’s records, logbooks, employment manuals, driver history and other relevant corporate documentation be acquired through a Request for Production and reviewed in detail by plaintiff’s attorney. A private investigator will be hired to talk to witnesses and obtain statements for the record before memories fade. The investigator will further use his or her expertise to research the driving records and criminal history, if such history exists, of the truck driver. He or she will also look into the history of the trucking company and mine for pertinent information.

In addition, experts may be hired, particularly in the case of trucking accidents involving motorcycles, to photograph the scene of the accident, record and document any evidence before it can be destroyed. A forensic expert may be employed to reconstruct the accident under similar circumstances, photograph the scene under similar lighting conditions and write a detailed report which may include an assertion on the stopping distances relative to the speed of the vehicles involved. The forensic report will be submitted as evidence and the expert’s testimony will likely be called upon at trial before a jury.

Rebuffing insurance company defenses in motorcycle accident claims

Lawyers representing the insurance company’s interests often use the defense that the motorcyclist’s profile was too small to be seen, thereby affecting the driver’s ability to be aware of their existence and proximity. To rebuff defendant’s claim and derail any jurist’s negative emotions about cyclists being risk-takers, it’s necessary for counsel to immediately obtain rider’s clothing if available. Many clothing manufacturers specializing in cyclist’s apparel sew a reflecting material or threads into their garments for the safety and protection of riders. The fact that a cyclist may have purchased specialized clothing can be used to illustrate to the jury that claimant was a responsible and safety-conscious rider.

Experienced lawyer mounts a thorough investigation of the motorcycle crash

A vast amount of attorney’s time and resources must be allocated to the investigation process—before the attorney sets foot in the courtroom. Charlie Ward is a personal injury attorney experienced in litigating accidents and wrongful death claims involving motorcycles 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 motorcycle accident and receive a free analysis of your claim.

Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225