Statistically speaking, a person riding on a motorcycle is much more likely to suffer a serious or fatal injury in an accident than a person riding in a car. And the bigger and more wheels a motor vehicle has, the less likely are the chances of a serious injury.
The risks inherent in motorcycling are well known and have been reaffirmed once again in one analysis of fatal crashes done by the Fort Collins Coloradoan. For just Larimer County alone, the paper says the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2015 hit a record high of 37. That compares with 24 in 2014.
And a look at broader data shows that the problem isn’t restricted to just that county. Statewide, the Department of Transportation say there were at least 523 fatalities from motorcycle crashes — up from 488 in 2014. How many of those accidents resulted from motorcyclist error or the negligence of another driver is unclear, but another data point that is well understood by those with experience in this area of law is that many accidents happen because automobile and truck drivers fail to see and yield when motorcycles have the right of way.
Obviously, motorcyclists have to be prepared to take more responsibility for keeping themselves safe on the road. But advocates of safe motorcycling argue that if proper steps are taken, motorcycling can actually be safer than driving or riding in a car. A lot depends on training.
The logic goes this way. Safety hinges on how likely you are to avoid an accident. And many aficionados argue that that is more easily done on a motorcycle. Riders don’t have the same restrictions on visibility as car and truck drivers do. Because motorcycles are smaller, they tend to be more maneuverable. That means they have more options for evading traffic problems that develop.
Motorcyclists are also more naturally attentive to the road because of their exposure to disaster if they do crash. And they aren’t as likely to succumb to such distractions as unruly kids in the back, eating at the wheel or texting or talking on a phone.
Those are tough arguments to refute, but if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident because of another’s negligence it doesn’t much matter. The thing you need to focus on is recovery and consulting an attorney about your legal options is part of that process.