Hayes, Williams, Turner & Daughtry, P.A.

An overview of risks associated with motorcycles

In 2009, there were 8 million motorcycles on roads in the U.S., and in 2012, that number rose to 8.5 million. Although motorcyclists get to enjoy many benefits that come with the form of transportation, there are multiple risks associated with driving a motorcycle that residents of North Carolina should keep in mind while on the roadways.

The main safety hazard associated with motorcycles is the absence of significant protective barriers. This absence makes serious injuries much more likely. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, per mile traveled in 2012, motorcyclists were about five times more likely than occupants of passenger cars to be injured in a crash and 26 times more likely to die.

Motorcycles are harder to see and smaller than most vehicles on the road, and this makes certain hazards more significant. In two-thirds of all motorcycles accidents that involve other drivers, the other drivers were at fault by violating the motorcyclists' right of way. And while railroad tracks, puddles, potholes and other road hazards might not be a problem for most motorists, they can pose serious risks for motorcyclists.

Some individuals lack the skill and knowledge needed to effectively operate a motorcycle. As a result, many motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers who don't have basic riding skills and are unaware of speed wobbles and other common hazards.

Laws pertaining to motorcycles and motorcycle accidents vary from state to state, but injured individuals can generally file claims against allegedly negligent parties in an attempt to receive compensation for damages. The amount of compensation to be potentially given may depend on multiple factors, including the severity of the injuries and if the motorcyclist was partially at fault.

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