Motorcycle riders face the potential for severe injury every time they ride. Unfortunately, some collisions have the potential to result in death. While motorcycle accidents may not be as common as motor vehicle crashes, it is worth noting that riders face a much higher rate of fatal injuries. The potential for severe injuries is also greater for those riders that survive a crash as compared to motor vehicle occupants.
There are different causes of death in motorcycle accidents. However, according to a study made available by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), more than 40 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents result from some form of head trauma. Understanding the factors that go into fatal motorcycle injuries could help you understand the risks facing every motorcyclist.
Risk Factors in Motorcycle Accidents
There are certain risk factors that apply to motorcyclists that do not impact the occupants of a motor vehicle. Understanding these risks is important, given the high rate of fatal injuries that come with motorcycle accidents. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), more than 5,100 Americans died in motorcycle accidents in 2017 alone. The factors involved in fatal motorcycle accidents include:
- Limited protection. Compared to the occupants of a motor vehicle, motorcycles offer their riders very little protection from injury. These vehicles have virtually no ability to absorb the impact from another vehicle. What’s more, there is the potential for serious injury for any rider that falls from their bike onto the pavement. Riders that do not wear helmets face additional risks of fatal head injuries.
- Diminished control. Because motorcycles only have two wheels, they inherently have less control than cars or trucks on four wheels. The fewer wheels a vehicle has, the less ability it has to grip the road. Motorcycles are also far more likely to tip over in cases where the operator loses control.
- Limited braking. Motor vehicles are much less likely to lose control when they brake suddenly compared to motorcycles. While it is often possible to bring a car or truck to a sudden halt, the braking systems that come with motorcycles can cause the bike to spin out of control.
In addition to these factors, motorcyclists also face the same risks of the road that drivers too. Everything from distractions to intoxicated motorists could lead to a fatal bike crash. Rider error is also a common factor. Motorcyclists that take turns too fast or fail to pay attention to their surroundings are more likely to cause a crash. These riders also face a greater possibility of fatal injuries occurring.
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Common Fatal Injuries
Not every motorcycle accident injury has the potential to be fatal. However, there are many different ways a crash could have fatal consequences. As mentioned previously, head injuries are the most common cause of fatal injuries in a motorcycle wreck. However, there are several other common causes of fatal accidents. The most common fatal injuries include:
- Head injuries. There are multiple ways a head injury could prove to be fatal. An impact to the head could result in a hemorrhage, which is also known as bleeding on the brain. Often, these brain bleeds can go undiscovered. Other head injuries include penetrating brain wounds, cerebral edema, and skull fractures.
- Internal bleeding. It is not uncommon for riders thrown from motorcycles to suffer crush injuries beneath the weight of another vehicle. These injuries often cause severe damage to a rider’s internal organs. This can lead to fatal internal bleeding or other injuries.
- Neck injuries. Damage to the neck is another common form of fatal motorcycle accident injury. Not only can spinal damage result in paralysis, but it can also prove to be fatal in some cases.
- Severe lacerations. Some accidents result in devastating cuts and lacerations. In some cases, they can even involve amputation. When a rider suffers severe wounds, the blood loss could prove to be fatal.
Discuss Your Motorcycle Accident with an Attorney
The risk of death can come from many different directions in a motorcycle accident. Everything from weather conditions to the negligence of another driver could put a rider at risk. Understanding what causes death in motorcycle accidents is useful to riders, but it cannot eliminate the potential for a severe crash.
The good news is that you may be able to seek compensation after a motorcycle accident and pursue legal action against the person responsible for the crash. At Sevenish Law Firm, P.C., Randy is the Lawyer Who Rides. You can work with someone who understands how to help after a motorcycle accident.
To learn more, call (317) 636-7777 to schedule your free consultation right away.