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

Motorcycle accidents common in spring

It's that time of year again -- the birds are returning, the flowers are in bloom and motorcycles are emerging once again on the highways of North Carolina. For many motorcycle riders, however, this annual rite of spring can result in a trip to the hospital or morgue if they are involved in a collision with an automobile or truck.

In over 66 percent of motorcycle wrecks with other vehicles, it is the fault of the vehicle driver. Sadly, those on a cycle are approximately 26 times more likely to be killed in a wreck than those inside the vehicle. Statistics show that auto passenger and driver deaths have declined steadily over the last 16 years, but motorcycle fatality rates have doubled and then some.

Part of the problem is that motorcycles are harder to see than cars and trucks. Vehicular traffic, substandard roads and hazardous weather conditions can further obscure them from drivers' sight. This is especially a problem at intersections, the site of nearly 70 percent of wrecks between vehicles and motorcycles.

Also to blame are road hazards, including:

-- Uneven highways

-- Oil slicks

-- Potholes

-- Debris

-- Puddles

-- Ruts

-- Railroad tracks

While those hazards can sometimes cause problems for automobiles, they can result in devastating accidents for motorcyclists.

When motorcycles reach high speeds, the front tire can begin to wobble from misaligned tires. Theoretically, the bike manufacturer may face financial liability for any deaths or injuries resulting from wobbling tires.

Sorting out liability after a motorcycle wreck can be exhausting when the injured rider most needs to rest and recover. Those involved in motorcycle wrecks may turn to a North Carolina legal professional to file a civil claim through the courts.

Source: FindLaw, "Motorcycle Accidents: Overview" accessed Mar. 20, 2015

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