Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
In the United States, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely than occupants of passenger vehicles to die in a traffic collision. This alarming statistic from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) illustrates how treacherous the roads can be for motorcyclists and their passengers. Even the safest rider isn’t immune from harm, especially when someone’s negligent or reckless acts causes a motorcycle accident.
Motorcycle crashes happen for many of the same reasons as other auto accidents. However, riders stand a much greater risk of sustaining serious and fatal injuries in a collision. Without the protective frame of a vehicle to absorb the shock of impact, a motorcyclist’s body is vulnerable to life-threatening trauma.
The trusted motorcycle accident lawyers at Earl & Earl, PLLC stand up for the rights of injured riders in Colorado. Commitment, compassion, and customized legal services are what you can expect from our law firm. We dedicate ourselves to pursuing maximum compensation for every client. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash, call or contact us today for a free case review.
Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Colorado
Following traffic laws is essential to prevent collisions. Most motorcycle accidents happen when someone breaks the rules.
Here are the top reasons why motorcycle accidents happen in Colorado:
- Careless driving
- Following too closely
- Lane violations
- Reckless driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Disregarding stop signs
- Improper turns
- Driver inexperience
- Aggressive driving
- Intoxication (DUI, DWAI, DUID)
- Lack of familiarity with roads
- Distracted driving
The majority of motorcycle crashes occur due to some type of driver negligence. But sometimes, other parties may be to blame, such as a motorcycle manufacturer or government entity. Regardless of what causes motorcycle accidents in Colorado, all riders should know they could receive compensation for injuries suffered in accidents through no fault of their own.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Residents and tourists flock to Colorado roads every year to enjoy the scenery from their motorcycles. Sadly, far too many of these trips result in tragedy. According to Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) statistics, motorcycle accident fatalities spiked 44 percent over a recent four-year period. Over 500 riders died during that time.
Other CDOT data showed a 12 percent uptick in motorcycle accidents in a single year, with 100 fatalities occurring within the first eight months alone.
These other figures highlight the scope of the problem:
- Motorcyclists make up 23 percent of all Colorado traffic fatalities.
- El Paso, Adams, and Jefferson counties had the highest number of motorcycle accident deaths in a recent year.
- Larimer, Denver, Weld, Pueblo, Mesa, Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Montrose, and Rio Blanco counties are other deadly counties for motorcycling in Colorado.
- Over 70 percent of riders killed in Colorado motorcycle accidents in a single year were not wearing helmets.
- The largest number of fatally injured motorcyclists were between the ages of 35 and 54.
- Nationwide, nearly 30 percent of riders killed in a recent year were drunk.
- A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found the injury rate for motorcycle accidents is three times the rate for car crashes. Serious injuries were 10 times more likely in motorcycle collisions.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accident victims bear the brunt of the impact in a collision. This can result in serious injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injury/paralysis
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Road rash
The cost to treat and recover from motorcycle accident injuries can be overwhelming. An attorney can evaluate your injuries and place an estimated value on your case to improve your chances of recovering fair compensation.
What Are the Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents?
The most common types of motorcycle accidents are left-turn collisions. These crashes usually happen when an oncoming car fails to see a rider or underestimates the time they have to turn safely at an intersection.
Other types of crashes include:
- Single-vehicle accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Speed-related crashes
- Drunk driving crashes
How to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Riders and drivers can both do their parts to prevent crashes.
- Wear a helmet.
- Wear proper safety gear, including sturdy boots and reflective pants and jackets. Protective eyewear is mandatory by law in Colorado.
- Ride a bike that fits you. Size and weight matter.
- Take a motorcycle safety course.
- Don’t split lanes.
- Scan the road for safety hazards, such as potholes and debris.
- Avoid following too closely.
- Don’t cut in front of cars.
- Obey the speed limit.
- Look before turning, especially at intersections.
- Check your blind spots. Motorcycles are smaller and narrower than other cars, making them difficult to see.
- Increase your following distance to account for sudden stops ahead.
- Take extra precautions in the spring, fall, and summer, when riding time is optimal. You’ll encounter more motorcycles on the road.
Who is at Fault in a Colorado Motorcycle Accident?
Identifying who is at fault for a motorcycle accident requires careful investigation. Many times, multiple factors contribute to a crash. That could mean more than one responsible party and the need to file injury claims with more than one insurance company.
Most of the time, negligent drivers are to blame for motorcycle wrecks. Other liable parties may include:
- Government agencies or employees
- Motorcycle manufacturers
- Parts designers
- The motorcyclist themselves
You could still be entitled to compensation even if you are partly at fault for a motorcycle accident in Colorado. The state allows victims to recover compensation as long as they are less than 49 percent at fault. The decision is made by the insurance company, judge, or jury.
Should I Hire a Lawyer If I Was in a Motorcycle Accident?
Yes. Remember what we said about partial fault? One of the tactics insurers use to minimize payouts is to argue that the motorcyclist is mostly at fault for the wreck. Many people believe riders are reckless thrill-seekers. A lawyer can defend you against unfair assumptions and prove you were riding responsibly.
An attorney can also take over all aspects of your legal case so that you can focus on your recovery.
Contact a Colorado Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Now
Earl & Earl, PLLC is a full-service personal injury law firm. Our dedicated motorcycle accident lawyers will investigate your case, gather evidence, and negotiate for maximum compensation for you. Call or contact our trusted motorcycle accident lawyers today for a free consultation.