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Despite national efforts to improve motorcycle safety and reduce crashes between motorcycles and other vehicles, motorcycle accidents continue to occur at an alarming rate.
Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger vehicle occupants, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). An NHTSA fact sheet indicates that more than 80 percent of all motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist.
In this post, the Cincinnati motorcycle accident lawyers at Young, Reverman & Mazzei discuss common causes of motorcycle crashes and take a closer look at motorcycle accidents in the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana tri-state area.
Motorcycle Crashes and Driver Negligence
As with most collisions between passenger vehicles, driver negligence plays a role in a majority of motorcycle crashes. In the case of motorcycle accidents, negligence is often attributable to passenger vehicle drivers.
About one-third of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes are caused by passenger vehicle drivers turning into the paths of motorcyclists, according to the NHTSA. In the aftermaths of these collisions, passenger vehicle drivers often report not seeing the motorcycle before making a lane change or otherwise steering their vehicle into the motorcyclist.
Motorcycle Accidents and Alcohol/Drug Use
Speeding and/or alcohol use are factors in nearly half of all single-vehicle motorcycle crashes, and alcohol plays a major role in fatal motorcycle accidents.
NHTSA research found that approximately 43 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve alcohol. Twenty-eight percent of motorcycle riders killed in crashes in 2017 had blood-alcohol levels above the legal threshold.
Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic.
The close proximity to other vehicles—and to drivers who may not expect to be passed in certain circumstances—makes lane splitting a dangerous move that often results in crashes and severe injuries. Although most states don’t specifically prohibit lane splitting, law enforcement and the courts often interpret lane splitting as dangerous and unlawful.
Hazardous Road Conditions and Inclement Weather
Adverse driving conditions pose especially great risks to motorcyclists due to their limited protections.
Poor road maintenance that leaves unfilled potholes, uneven lanes or other hazards can all contribute to motorcycle crashes. Inclement weather such as high winds, heavy rain and ice are also common factors in motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle Accidents in the Tri-State Area
Out of the nearly 4,000 motorcycle crashes reported in Ohio in 2017, 157 resulted in fatalities, according to data from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Although this number represents a slight decrease from the previous year, issues such as inadequate helmet use and lack of motorcycle safety awareness continue to contribute to serious injuries and deaths.
Surrounding states such including Kentucky and Indiana are also experiencing frequent motorcycle accidents. Similar to Ohio, both Kentucky and Indiana are also partial helmet law states—which means there are not strict rules in place to ensure that all motorcycle operators and occupants are wearing helmets when riding.
Helmets reduce the risk of fatal injuries in a motorcycle crash by nearly 40 percent, according to research from the NHTSA. But even when motorcyclists survive crashes, the resulting injuries can be costly and life-changing.
Cincinnati Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
The Cincinnati injury attorneys at Young, Reverman & Mazzei understand the unique nature of motorcycle accidents as well as the challenges faced by injury victims and their families.
If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a motorcycle crash caused by a negligent driver, our experienced lawyers are here to help you pursue the financial security you need to cope with medical expenses and other damages. We offer free consultations to discuss your case and help you understand your options, and we don’t charge for our services unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Please call us today at 800-721-1678 to arrange your complimentary consultation or contact us online to tell us your story now. In Ohio, we serve clients from the greater Cincinnati and Dayton areas. We also welcome clients from Dearborn County in Indiana and Campbell County, Boone County and Kenton County in Kentucky.
Please see our locations page for a full list of offices and directions.