Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

photo 3Riding a motorcycle in Phoenix can be amazing. It is relatively cost-effective, can make parking a breeze, and can be very fun at the same time. Unfortunately, though, bikers continue to face serious risks every time they get on a motorcycle and enter a public roadway – even if that biker does not do anything wrong while riding. While the risks are not unique to Arizona riders, they can be more apparent here due to the crowded nature of our roads and expressways, the number of drivers who are unfamiliar with where they are driving, and the high number of bikers in the Valley.

Data gathered by the Insurance Information Institute sheds light on some of the more startling statistics related to biking in America. Based on 2014 numbers, the Insurance Information Institute reports that bikers are 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per mile traveled and almost five times more likely to be injured.

Some of the reasons behind these discrepancies are agreed upon readily by experts while others continue to be hotly debated. It is critical that all adults who use the roadways, including those that do not ride, understand as much about motorcycle safety as possible so that motorcycle accidents can be greatly reduced, if not eliminated in their entirety.

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71416It is not hard to find a Harley-Davidson motorcycle cruising around Maricopa County. Even in the dead of summer, odds are that you might see one on occasion as a brave rider endures the heat for the freedom of a ride. Several establishments in the Phoenix area are known as hangouts for bikers and there are annual biker rallies all over Arizona, leading even those who do not ride to realize that motorcycles are a part of life for many here.

But now, concern is being raised by the nation’s largest automobile safety group over the effectiveness of the brakes on some Harley-Davidson motorcycles and riders should be questioning whether they are safe on their bikes as a result.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) defines its mission as “Save lives, prevent injuries, reduce vehicle-related crashes.” It seeks to accomplish that by administering recalls over automobiles and motorcycles, conducting and reviewing research into traffic safety initiatives and concerns, and making recommendations to limit the toll enacted by traffic incidents in terms of the lives involved as well as the finances that are harmed.

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42616(2)To many, this is an ideal time of year to live in Phoenix and the surrounding cities. The weather is consistently warm but has not yet hit the brutal heat that comes with summer. Many seasonal activities are popping up across the Valley, kids are in school, and baseball has returned. Some who like this time of year most of all are those who ride motorcycles in Arizona, a sizable and dedicated group of individuals who enjoy the freedom, convenience, and simply joys that come with riding a bike.

If you have spent a decent amount of time in the Valley, you know that traffic can be a big problem, and in some areas, parking can be very difficult. Add to that the ever-fluctuating price of gasoline and you may be able to see some of the practical appeal to riding a motorcycle. If you have been thinking about a bike or if you have ridden previously but it has been a while, keep the following general tips in mind to ensure you remain as safe as possible if and when you do ride and to limit your risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident:

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12016(2)Anytime an accident takes place in the Phoenix area, it is a bad thing that affects the lives of those involved. If someone is hurt in a crash, not only will the victim’s life be altered but so will the lives of that victim’s family members, friends, and coworkers. The far reaching effects of motorcycle accidents show how serious these incidents are and why we should be treating them as a threat to the safety of the entire public – and not just those who choose to ride motorcycles.

Preventing motorcycle accidents is a responsibility that everyone in Arizona bears for even if you never ride on a motorcycle, you can still be involved in a collision with one. While experts have identified numerous factors that contribute to a large percentage of all collisions, one of the biggest issues continues to be the presence of alcohol in the system of bikers or other drivers on the roadways.

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11316(2)If you own a motorcycle or if you ride on one on occasion, you may find yourself wondering about what steps you can take to improve your safety. The basic rules that apply to all drivers apply to motorists so those are a good place to start: obey all traffic signals, yield the right-of-way, and make sure you obey speed limits. However, unlike drivers or passengers in cars, another big step can be taken by bikers to improve their safety, and that is wearing an appropriate helmet.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that motorcycle helmets are about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries and about 37 percent effective in preventing death when they are used properly and a biker is involved in a crash. But despite these significant numbers, only about 60 percent of riders across the country wear helmets that are compliant with Department of Transportation guidelines, and the number of riders in Arizona using approved helmets is believed to be much lower.

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82315%283%29.jpgAbout a dozen states routinely report more than 100 deaths caused by motorcycle accidents every year, and unfortunately, Arizona is among them. The high number of fatalities is not due to a single factor but likely a combination of several, including the fact that Arizona has a high population which is increasing annually. Add to that the fact that the weather in most of the state makes riding year-round possible, though sometimes not ideal, and that several areas have a significant biker culture which makes riding even more pleasurable.

Bikers are a valuable sect of the Phoenix community, yet they are often overlooked when it comes to safety concerns. Drivers may fail to look for or fail to notice motorcycles on the roads and highways of Maricopa County or in more rural areas across the state. This can lead to dangerous situations where a car and a biker collide, often leading to injuries to those involved.
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82115%282%29.jpgIn the media and in movies, traffic accidents are often depicted as a cut-and-dry situation where one driver made one mistake. In reality, things tend to be more complicated as multiple factors usually combine to cause a collision, and in some cases, multiple drivers may have played a role in the crash.

This holds true not just for car accident but also for motorcycle collisions, a dangerous type of traffic crash that often results in serious injuries. Whether just one bike is involved or it is a crash with a bike and another vehicle, it can be complicated to sort through the details and determine the full extent of the fallout from a collision. If you have been hurt, speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand what your accident means in light of local and state laws and whether you have a valid claim for your injuries.
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81715.jpgThe Valley has been experiencing record-setting temperatures recently with days hitting above 115 degrees. For many, that kind of weather is brutal and makes it too hot to leave the comforts of air conditioning unless a trip is a necessity, like taking kids to school or driving to work. With this type of weather, some motorcycle riders have been limiting their time on the roads and opting instead for other forms of transportation.

But not all riders have been calling it quits as numerous motorcycles can still be seen daily on the roads and highways of Phoenix. These riders are endowed with the right to operate on the roads just like the drivers of cars are and bikers are protected by the same laws that protect drivers. Despite these rights and the legal authority to ride, some motorist ignore the safety of bikers or otherwise act in a negligent manner that can lead to motorcycle accidents.
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8615%282%29.jpgIn 2014, there were 3,127 motorcycle accidents across the state of Arizona. During that same period of time, there were 192,474 motorcycles registered within the state. That means that roughly 1.5 percent of all registered motorcycles were involved in some type of collision in a single calendar year. When you consider that most riders operate a motorcycle for many years in a row, you understand that the risks associated with bikes can be high and that a collision is not only possible, but in some cases, likely.

Motorcycle crashes pose a unique set of risks to those involved when compared to a car accident. Though it is true that any type of collision can result in injuries, motorcycle accidents are more likely to cause harm because there is little to protect the bikers in the event of an impact. Unlike a car, there are no airbags, no crumple zones, and no seat belts to help a rider survive a crash which means that they suffer injuries at a high rate.
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7915.jpgWhen riding a motorcycle, the risk of injury exists not only for the person operating the bike but also for any passengers on board. However few people realize that the threat of harm extends beyond those on a motorcycle and reaches those in passenger cars, those on bicycles, and even pedestrians who may be walking on or near a road or other driving surface.

Motorcycle accidents produce a high rate of injuries when they occur in Phoenix and the fallout from those collisions can last for years. From the immediate injuries that result to the need for medical and rehabilitative care, the financial toll enacted by a collision can accumulate quickly and can leave a victim in need of help. But injuries cause other damages as well and those who are hurt may be unable to care for their families as they normally do, may be forced to miss time from work, and may endure pain, suffering, and permanency of injuries that affect their lives indefinitely. For these reasons and in recognition of the suffering that many victims experience, state laws are available to help those who are hurt by providing them with the right to seek payment for their damages. Speaking with a personal injury attorney can clarify what rights may exist if you have been involved in a motorcycle crash in the Valley.
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