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Why motorcycle collisions are more serious than other crashes

Did you know that four out of every five motorcycle accidents results in death or injury for the motorcycle rider? With statistics like that, it is no wonder that motorcycle collision cases are such a big topic in Rhode Island and other states. We talk a lot about sharing the road - making sure that all motorists are aware of the presence of motorcyclists - but is all of that rhetoric actually making a difference? What makes a motorcyclist more vulnerable to injury and death in a car crash?

Experts say that most motorcycle accidents are more severe for one obvious reason: Motorcycle riders are not protected by the physical structure of a car. Motorcycle accident victims therefore suffer more serious consequences if a negligent driver strikes their vehicle. Motorcycles are not as easy to see, and they do not offer the additional protection of a frame, airbags and other safety benefits.

Some of the most common mechanisms of injury for motorcycle accident victims include being thrown from their vehicle and striking the ground or another object. Although helmets may help riders avoid fatalities, the fact remains that motorcycle accidents still fling riders from their vehicles, often causing them to suffer serious injury or death. These risks are even higher for riders that are involved in multi-vehicle collisions; in fact, about one-third of motorcycle accidents involve a vehicle turning into the motorcycle's path of travel. That failure to yield can lead to serious injury for a motorcycle accident victim.

These victims who suffer brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones or even permanent disability because of a negligent driver deserve financial compensation. A civil case can provide that additional financial support. Negligent drivers should be held accountable in civil and criminal court for the injuries they inflict upon motorcycle riders.

Source: NHTSA, "The Anatomy of a Motorcycle Crash," accessed March 28, 2017

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