Speed Is One of the Greatest Risks to Motorcycle Riders

Speed Is One of the Greatest Risks to Motorcycle RidersSpeeding plays a major role in severe and deadly motorcycle accidents. The reason for this is because when an automobile driver is driving over the speed limit, they are less likely to be able to stop or slow down in time, which puts motorcycle riders at risk of dangerous or fatal accidents.

To make matters worse, motorcycle riders do not have the same protection that automobile passengers do, such as air bags and seat belts, increasing their chances of suffering life-threatening, permanent, and catastrophic injuries when involved in speeding accidents.

At what speed are most motorcycle accidents fatal?

Motorcycle accidents generally occur when the motorcyclist is driving around 30 mph. This means that high speed-motorcycle accidents (85+ mph) do not occur too often, but when they do, they are almost always fatal for the motorcycle rider. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that “per vehicle mile traveled in 2021, the fatality rate for motorcyclists was almost 24 times the passenger car occupant fatality rate.” Therefore, no matter if a motorcycle rider is speeding or an automobile driver is speeding while sharing the road with a motorcyclist, a motorcycle rider is more likely to die if a speeding accident occurs.

The NHTSA also states that they consider “a crash to be speeding-related if the driver was charged with a speeding-related offense or if an investigating police officer indicated that racing, driving too fast for conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit was a contributing factor in the crash.” Per their data, “thirty-three percent of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2021 were speeding, compared to 22 percent for passenger car drivers, 15 percent for light-truck drivers, and 7 percent for large-truck drivers.”

What are the other risks of riding a motorcycle?

Motorcyclists face many other risks on the road, including:

  • Other drivers: The greatest risk to motorcyclists is other drivers. This is because other drivers don’t always respect motorcycle riders (or even see them), and engage in dangerous behaviors while sharing the road with them. Along with speeding, those behaviors include:
    • Failing to yield the right of way to motorcycle riders
    • Merging incorrectly or dangerously
    • Tailgating
    • Failing to use a turn signal
    • Driving distracted
    • Driving while drunk or impaired
  • Gravel or debris on the road: Unlike automobiles, motorcycles have a much more difficult time navigating roadways with gravel, sticks, or debris in the way. The reason for this is because gravel and debris can cause a motorcyclist to lose grip or traction, which can cause their bike to move the wrong way, lose control, and result in an accident.
  • Quick stops or slamming on brakes: When a motorcyclist needs to make a quick stop or slam on brakes to avoid hitting a driver or person in front of them, there is a strong chance that they may be ejected from their bike. This is because the front brakes are responsible for most of a motorcycle’s stop, meaning that it is very easy to lock up the front wheel. When this happens, the motorcycle rider may be thrown from the bike and land directly into the hard concrete, other vehicles, trees, poles, or other nearby objects.
  • Blind corners or curves: It is not uncommon for motorcyclists to encounter blind corners or curves when riding their bikes, especially in Pittsburgh. However, this is very dangerous when they are driving at high or even average speeds as it can cause the motorcycle rider to lose control, tilt over, and crash unexpectedly.
  • Opening vehicle doors: Another risk that motorcycle riders frequently face while riding their bikes is opening vehicle doors. This is not much of an issue when motorcyclists are on highways or interstates, but it is a big problem in downtown, city, or shopping areas. These areas attract more people who abruptly open their car doors and get out of their vehicles, which can strike motorcycle riders or even cause them to run into the doors or flip over them.
  • Inclement weather: If a motorcyclist does not check the weather before they get on their bike to go for a ride around Pittsburgh, they may soon realize that they have made a mistake. The reason for this is because motorcycles do not drive well in wet, slippery, snowy, or icy conditions. Therefore, when they are caught in these conditions, they are likely to experience visibility issues, slick roadways, and severe and deadly accidents.

The legal team at Carmody and Ging Injury and Accident Lawyers knows and understands the daily struggles that motorcycle riders experience when they are simply enjoying one of their favorite activities or pastimes. Therefore, if you are a motorcyclist who has recently been involved in an accident due to another driver’s negligence, please call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free and confidential case review right away. Our Pittsburgh motorcycle accident attorneys are committed to advocating for your rights, ensuring that your voice is heard, and helping you rebuild your life again.