Motorcycle accidents tend to be much more serious than car accidents for the simple reason that the riders have less protection than people in a car. At the same time, the speed at which some of these bikes can travel makes them all the more dangerous. With that in mind, what type of motorcycle has the most accidents?
Some people may be surprised to learn that touring bikes or "cruisers" are involved in more accidents on a yearly basis than sport bikes. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that buying a Harley Davidson motorcycle is riskier than purchasing one of those supersport bikes. The reason that touring bikes are involved in more accidents is because there are more of them on the road.
Harley and Victory, the two main brands in the sports touring market, sell more motorcycles than any other brands in the country. The number of bikes on the road makes them more likely to be in an accident. When it comes to fatal accidents, sports bikes unfortunately tend to lead the category year over year.
Are Sport Touring Motorcycles Safer?
Someone involved in a motorcycle accident on a bike that's part of the adventure touring niche may be a bit safer than on a sports bike. One of the main reasons why this might be the case is because these motorcycles don't go as fast as their counterparts. Around 34% of fatal accidents on motorcycles occur due to excessive speeds. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can advise on the long term effects of motorcycle accidents too.
This doesn't mean that all of the deaths happened on supersport bikes, but they do account for a larger portion of that 34%. Another thing that cruiser motorcycles have going for them is that they are typically larger. Many motorcycle accidents that involve other vehicles happen because of a driver error. Certain bikes are just harder to spot for drivers, and they end up running over or into the person on the bike.
In spite of the fact that motorcycle accident statistics indicate that more incidents happen on these larger bikes, that may be due to the fact that there are more of them on the road, as previously stated. The size and the speed at which these operate make them a bit of a safer option, especially because their wider frames tend to provide more stability for riders.
Why Sport Bikes Tend to be Considered More Deadly
Almost every fatal accident involving a motorcycle involves a head-on collision. This obviously applies to motorcycle accidents where there's another vehicle involved, or the rider runs their bike into something else. 76% of all motorcycle accidents take place from the front, which is the most dangerous type of collision for riders.
What does this all have to do with sport bikes? The speed at which these racing bikes are able to travel and how difficult it may be to stop them once they get going is a pretty bad combination. Many of these accidents that feature a head-on collision happen under a scenario where the rider just isn't able to stop in time to avoid the impact.
When there's a frontal impact, serious injury is going to be more likely because of the parts of the human body that this force is going to come down on. Is it safe to say that sport bikes are more dangerous motorcycles when compared to dirt bikes or other options? Most of the data on motorcycle accidents seems to point in that direction.
Fatal Accidents Could be Reduced by Almost 40% if Everyone Wore Helmets
One of the more devastating stats about fatal crashes in the United States points to a major highway safety issue that, if resolved, could prevent plenty of tragedies. Back in 2020, there were 5,579 fatal crashes involving a motorcycle rider. Despite the fact that this was the year when everyone was in COVID lockdown, it still set a record for the number of motorcycle accident deaths in one year.
Over 38% of these motorcycle crashes featured people not wearing a helmet. With the emphasis that's being put on head injuries today, how are so many people still not wearing a helmet when they ride a motorcycle? It turns out that only 18 out of the 50 states require that riders of all ages wear helmets while riding motorcycles.
There are three states where there is no helmet requirement at all for any person who rides through the state. In the rest of the country, people over a certain age have the right to decide whether or not they want to wear a helmet when they ride down the highway. This legislation doesn't seem likely to change any time soon.
Motorcycle Accidents Account for 14% of Traffic Fatalities
Another piece of data that can help grasp just how much more dangerous motorcycles tend to be compared to cars is the percentage of traffic fatalities involving riders. They, unfortunately, make up 14% of all traffic fatalities. Those odds may not seem all that bad until the ratio of cars to bikes is presented.
Throughout the country, only about 3% of the registered motor vehicles are bikes. The rest are different types of cars that can range from the average sedan to light trucks and beyond.
Riding Without a License
In spite of the fact that motorcycle accidents are more likely to lead to serious injuries, many people are taking big risks as they ride their bikes down the highway. It's not that everyone is speeding on their motorcycles, but actually, more than a third of these incidents involved unlicensed drivers.
Riding without a license is a very questionable move. Anyone who is stopped without a permit could face fines and other legal consequences. Also, it could be harder to get an insurance company to cover medical bills if this person is involved in an accident.
Why do people take the risk of riding out without a proper license? One of the theories is that many of these people have been unable or unwilling to pass the necessary tests to obtain a license. In all 50 states, a person needs to apply for a motorcycle license that's separate from the regular driver's license.
People also need to pass a written and practical exam in order to obtain their permit. According to data from motorcycle accidents that happened across the entire country, over a third of them involved people who did not have a valid license.
Places Where Motorcycle Riders are the Most at Risk
Many of the motorcycle injuries that happen on the roads occur at intersections. In some of these situations, it's because a larger vehicle did not see a motorcycle rider as they tried to turn towards that side. Smaller, super sport bikes are harder for semi-truck operators to spot; that's a very dangerous combination.
Another situation where sportbikes are typically vulnerable is when people are trying to change lanes. This can be an issue with another driver or even the bike rider themselves. It's another instance where visibility plays a major role in both preventing and, sadly, provoking these incidents.
Most motorcycle accidents take place in urban areas. This is where streets are most congested, and the aforementioned visibility issues come into play more. When a motorcycle accident occurs in a rural area or open road, it's usually the rider who misjudges a curve or is driving too fast.
Will the Insurance Company Cover Medical Bills?
When a motorcycle accident takes place, one of the main concerns that the injured person has is whether or not their medical expenses are going to be covered by an insurance company. Before taking a ride up the road, it may be a good idea to check the insurance policy first. Motorcycle insurance usually only covers the bike, not the person riding it. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help with questions like Can you lose short term memory after a motorcycle accident?
If an accident happens, it's the regular medical insurance policy that's meant to kick in. It's important, though, that riders have everything in line to make sure that the insurance company won't give them a hard time. Something as simple as riding without a valid license or getting on not properly registered motorcycles could provide the insurance company a way out of paying a person's medical bills.
Hiring the Right Law Firm to Obtain Fair Compensation
Anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they've been in a motorcycle accident and now have to deal with an insurance company can benefit from legal representation. The least that someone in this situation can do is walk in for a free consultation with expert motorcycle accident attorneys. That's going to be essential if the rider didn't have a valid license or had other paperwork issues at the time of the accident.
As previously stated, insurance companies are going to look for ways to pay less than what they may be legally obligated to. One of their popular tactics is to offer a quick settlement deal, handing over a "decent" sum of money upfront. Some of these injuries, though, that could be sustained in these types of accidents will require years of physical therapy.
Before signing on the dotted line to accept anything from these companies, it's always a good idea to explore some of the different options that could be on the table.