Across the globe, motorcycles are comparably popular with cars as a mode of transportation. In one recent year, people purchased around 58.6 million new motorcycles worldwide, while drivers purchased fewer than 66.7 million cars over the same period.
Many factors contribute to the popularity of motorcycles, such as their eco-friendliness compared to larger vehicles, the savings on gas, and even the feel of freedom and the open road.
People designed the first motorcycle in Germany in 1885. Since then, countless motorcyclists have enjoyed the benefits of this vehicle type. However, many others have sadly fallen victim while riding a motorcycle and either died or experienced serious injuries.
If you sustained injuries in a recent motorcycle crash, make it a priority to contact a seasoned Texas motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. They can help you seek compensation for your related damages. They will probably start by obtaining your Texas motorcycle accident injury reports from the police and your medical team.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Riding a motorcycle is undeniably dangerous, and the dangers posed often have nothing to do with the motorcyclists but arise from the negligence of other individuals or parties. Motorcycle accident statistics in Texas and across the nation are startling.
Consider the following:
- In one recent year, 562 motorcycle riders lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes on Texas roads, an eight percent increase over the previous year.
- Every year Texas motorcycle accidents cause about 1,800 significant injuries.
- According to the Texas Department of Transportation, on average, one motorcycle rider dies daily on Texas roads.
- May through October are the most dangerous months for motorcyclists.
- Most motorcycle collisions (about 30 percent) and fatalities from motorcycle accidents happen in an intersection.
- Motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in a fatal driving crash than other motorists.
- They are also four times as likely to sustain an injury in a collision.
- Only 7 percent of two-vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle occurred when the motorcyclist got struck from behind—and over two-thirds (76 percent) were head-on collisions.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) reports that the fatalities per vehicle mile traveled was 24 times higher for motorcycles than cars in one recent year.
- Sixty-seven percent of motorcycle accident deaths occurred in urban areas compared to 33 percent in rural areas.
- Sixty-five percent occurred in other locations besides intersections compared to 35 percent at intersections.
- Ninety-seven percent occurred in clear/cloudy conditions compared to two percent in rain conditions and one percent in snow/sleet, fog, or other conditions.
- Fifty-seven percent occurred during daylight compared to 39 percent in the dark, four percent during dusk, and one percent during dawn.
- Ninety-two percent occurred on non-interstate roads compared to eight percent on interstates.
Types of Texas Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents can lead to a wide range of severe injuries due to the vulnerability of riders and the lack of protective barriers and safety measures that passenger vehicles offer, such as crumple zones, seatbelts, and airbags.
Road rash is a prevalent injury in Texas motorcycle accidents, occurring when a rider’s skin makes contact with the road surface during a crash. The friction can cause painful abrasions, lacerations, and even deep wounds.
Road rash injuries can vary in severity, with mild cases causing discomfort and more severe cases leading to infections and scarring.
Fractures and Broken Bones
The impact of a motorcycle collision often exerts extreme force on a rider’s body, resulting in fractures and broken bones. These injuries commonly affect the legs, arms, wrists, ribs, ankles, and collarbones.
Fractures can range from minor hairline fractures to more severe compound fractures that require surgical intervention, many months of recovery, and physical therapy.
Head injuries are a critical concern for motorcyclists, as helmets may not fully protect against high-impact collisions. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can occur when the head makes direct contact with the road, another vehicle, or a stationary object.
A TBI may have long-lasting effects on cognitive function, memory, and motor skills. Motorcyclists who suffer traumatic brain injuries may always need round-the-clock care and assistance for the rest of their lives.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Motorcycle accidents can lead to spinal cord injuries (SCI), often resulting in paralysis or reduced mobility. A severe impact can cause damage to the spinal cord, leading to partial or complete loss of sensation and movement below the injury site. Those with SCI will also likely need constant care and supervision for the remainder of their lives.
Internal Organ Injuries
The force of impact during a motorcycle accident can cause internal organs to bruise, rupture, or suffer other damage. These injuries may not always be immediately apparent and can result in internal bleeding or other complications. Internal bleeding is severe and can even be life-threatening.
Motorcycle accident victims need immediate medical attention, even if they don’t feel injured.
Muscle and Soft Tissue Injuries
Muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be strained, torn, or injured during a motorcycle accident. These injuries can lead to pain, limited range of motion, and long-term discomfort. Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury that motorcyclists who get hit from behind may suffer.
Motorcycle accidents often place stress on joints, leading to injuries such as dislocated joints or torn ligaments. Knees, shoulders, and ankles are particularly vulnerable. Some joint injuries may require surgical intervention or physical therapy.
Motorcycle accidents can result in fires or explosions, causing burn injuries to riders. These injuries can range from mild to severe, requiring extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Burn injuries hurt terribly and have a high risk of infection. Depending on the severity of the burn, skin grafting may be necessary.
In severe accidents, motorcyclists may sustain injuries that necessitate amputation of limbs, such as an injury that severely crushes bones beyond surgical repair. This life-altering consequence can significantly impact a person’s mobility and quality of life. They may need a prosthesis and struggle with activities of daily living.
Emotional and Psychological Trauma
Beyond physical injuries, motorcycle accidents can also lead to emotional and psychological trauma. The experience of a traumatic accident can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and other mental health issues.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Texas
Motorcycle accidents in Texas can result from various factors contributing to a complicated and sometimes dangerous road environment. Often, motorcycle accidents result from the negligence of other motorists on the road.
The widespread use of smartphones and other portable electronic devices has led to an alarming increase in distracted driving accidents. Drivers who text, talk on the phone, or use apps while driving are likelier to overlook motorcycles sharing the road.
Eating, personal hygiene, and paying attention to pets or passengers are also common causes of distraction on the road. Unfortunately, even a momentary distraction can have severe consequences when it comes to motorcycle safety.
Failure to Yield Right of Way
Many motorcycle accidents occur when drivers fail to yield the right of way to motorcyclists. This commonly happens at intersections or during lane changes. A motorcycle’s small size can make them less visible to drivers, leading to collisions when drivers fail to properly assess the road and driving circumstances.
Unsafe Lane Changes
Unsafe lane changes can pose significant risks to motorcyclists. Abrupt lane changes without signaling or checking blind spots can force motorcyclists to take evasive action, leading to loss of control or collisions.
Speeding remains a prevalent problem on Texas roads. When drivers exceed the speed limit, they reduce their ability to react to surprise circumstances. For motorcyclists, the impact of a collision at high speeds can result in devastating injuries or fatalities. Sadly, the higher the speeds, the worse the accident and injuries will likely be.
Alcohol and drugs impair a driver’s cognitive and motor skills, leading to poor judgment and delayed reactions. Impaired drivers are less likely to notice motorcycles or accurately gauge their speed and distance, making them a significant hazard to motorcyclists.
Potholes, debris, gravel, and oil spills can be especially hazardous for motorcyclists. Their two-wheeled design makes them more susceptible to losing control when encountering these road hazards. These road hazards often arise from the negligence of another party, such as a government entity.
Opening Car Doors
Dooring incidents occur when drivers or passengers suddenly open car doors without checking for oncoming motorcycles. This can lead to severe accidents as motorcyclists collide with the open door.
Left-turn accidents are a far too common concern for motorcyclists. Drivers making left turns at intersections may misjudge the speed of an approaching motorcycle or fail to notice it, resulting in serious collisions.
Texas experiences various weather conditions, from rain and fog to extreme heat. Adverse weather can reduce visibility, create slippery road surfaces, and increase the risk of accidents for motorcyclists.
Common Driver Negligence
Negligent motorist behaviors like tailgating, failing to use turn signals, or disregarding traffic laws can result in dangerous situations for motorcyclists.
Misunderstandings and miscommunications at intersections can lead to accidents. Drivers may fail to see oncoming motorcycles when making turns, running red lights, or changing lanes. Motorcyclists may think a driver sees them when in reality, they don’t.
Fatigued motorists have reduced focus, reaction times, and overall awareness, making them susceptible to accidents. Recent studies show that drowsiness is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
First, seek medical attention immediately, as it is crucial for your well-being, even if you feel fine or believe your injuries are minor. Motorcycle accidents can lead to hidden injuries, delayed symptoms, and potentially life-threatening conditions that may not be immediately apparent.
Here are several compelling reasons why you need medical attention after a motorcycle accident:
- Hidden injuries: Not all injuries are immediately detectable internal injuries, such as organ damage, internal bleeding, or concussions, may not manifest symptoms immediately. A medical professional can conduct thorough evaluations, including imaging tests, to identify hidden injuries requiring prompt treatment.
- Delayed symptoms: Some injuries may have delayed onset symptoms. Whiplash, soft tissue, or spinal injuries may take hours or days to manifest noticeable discomfort. By seeking medical attention, you allow healthcare providers to diagnose and treat these conditions before they worsen.
- Preventing complications: Immediate medical assessment can help prevent complications. Prompt treatment can minimize the impact of injuries and reduce the risk of long-term or permanent damage.
- Legal documentation: If you decide to pursue a personal injury claim for compensation, having a medical record detailing your injuries and their connection to the accident is crucial. A medical report can strengthen your case by providing objective evidence of your injuries.
- Preventing long-term consequences: Timely medical attention can prevent injuries from worsening and causing long-term or chronic issues. Early intervention can lead to improved outcomes and a quicker recovery.
- Psychological well-being: Motorcycle accidents can be traumatic experiences that may lead to emotional distress or post-traumatic stress. Seeking medical care can connect you with resources to address any psychological impacts of the accident.
Remember that adrenaline, shock, and stress can mask pain and symptoms immediately following an accident. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention, as delaying treatment can lead to complications and hinder your recovery. Regardless of the accident’s severity, promptly prioritizing your health by seeking medical care is a responsible and wise decision.
Next, seek legal help.
When you hire an experienced Texas motorcycle accident attorney, they can:
- Help you understand your legal rights and options
- Investigate your accident to determine what happened and who might be at-fault
- Ensure you get the medical care you need and deserve
- Collect and preserve evidence to support your claim
- Research available insurance policies
- Help you file insurance claims
- Negotiate a full and fair settlement
- Litigate your claim if it becomes necessary
If you recently suffered injuries in a Texas motorcycle accident, get medical attention and seek help from an experienced personal injury attorney in Texas. Your attorney can help you through every step of the claims process, ensuring you receive full and fair compensation for your damages.