Motorcycle accidents in Rhode Island often result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Statistics show that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to suffer an injury compared to those traveling in other passenger vehicles. Often, when a motorcycle collides with another vehicle, it is the rider and/or passenger who gets seriously injured or killed because they are exposed to the elements and not protected by safety devices such as seatbelts or airbags, as occupants of other vehicles are.
About 3,000 motorcyclists are killed nationwide each year. It is common for motorcycle accidents to be caused by the negligence of another driver. A number of these collisions occur because drivers fail to see motorcycles while making a turn or changing lanes.
Understanding Contributing Factors
The U.S. Department of Transportation commissioned a study to look into what causes motorcycle accidents and this is what it found:
- 75 percent of motorcycle accidents were between a motorcycle and a four-wheel vehicle.
- In a majority of the cases, the other vehicle got in the motorcycle’s way. Often, a motorcycle is hit when the other vehicle is hit.
- 25 percent of the accidents were single-vehicle accidents. A majority of these crashes occurred because a driver lost control of the bike. About 3 percent of crashes occurred when a motorcycle had a mechanical issue, often a tire blowout. In many cases, a motorcycle was run off the roadway by another vehicle. Motorcycle accidents where vehicles don’t touch are reported as “single-motorcycle accidents.”
- The failure of motor vehicle drivers to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is one of the most important causes of motorcycle accidents.
- In multi-vehicle accidents, it was usually the driver of another vehicle who violated the motorcyclist’s right-of-way and caused the accident. This occurred in about two-thirds of the cases.
- Drivers who turn into roadways from parking lots or driveways also tend to cause a number of motorcycle accidents.
- Reckless lane changes are also a common cause of motorcycle accidents.
What to Do after a Motorcycle Accident
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, there are a number of steps you may take to protect your legal rights. File a police report and obtain a copy. Get medical attention right away and follow your doctor’s advice with regard to treatment and care. If possible take photographs of the accident scene. Obtain insurance, license and contact information for all parties involved. Also get contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the collision. Preserve all physical evidence including your motorcycle. Do not repair it until an expert has thoroughly examined it for evidence.
Contact an experienced Rhode Island motorcycle accident lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases on behalf of injured victims and their families. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to seek compensation from at-fault parties for damages including all medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation and pain and suffering. Please call us toll free for a free case evaluation at 1-800-992-6878.