What are the Differences Between Car Accidents and Motorcycle Accidents?

Accident attorney

Motorcycle accidents are distinct in their nature, yet they do share some similarities with car accidents. Nonetheless, the risks associated with motorcycle accidents are far more pronounced, encompassing a wider range of potential causes, injuries, and liability concerns.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the rate of fatal accidents is significantly higher for motorcycles compared to cars. While 13 out of every 100,000 cars are involved in a fatal accident, the number rises to 72 out of 100,000 for motorcycles. This discrepancy can be attributed to the fact that motorcycle riders have less protection as there is no physical barrier between them and the pavement, making motorcycle accidents more severe than car accidents.

At Strong Law, we have over seventy-five years of combined experience when it comes to managing car accidents and motorcycle accidents across Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Alaska. Our law firm is skilled at helping people to handle the trauma of accidents, and we know that we can help you too.

If you're curious about the distinction between car accidents and motorcycle accidents, we encourage you to reach out to our law firm without delay. With our profound knowledge of traffic law, we are well-equipped to address all your inquiries. Our office lines are accessible round the clock, every day of the week.

Car Accidents vs. Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents often result in greater devastation due to their lack of airbags, seatbelts, and the fact that they only have two wheels. Additionally, motorcycles are considerably smaller than other motor vehicles and lack the protective enclosure of metal doors. Other significant risks associated with motorcycles include reduced visibility to other drivers, less stability, and the potential for encountering road hazards such as rocks, mud, and debris. Motorcycle accidents are much more difficult to manage compared to car accidents for a number of reasons, including:

  • Motorcyclists tend to experience more severe and lasting injuries due to their vulnerable nature.
  • Motorcyclists often face the need for long-term financial assistance when it comes to covering medical expenses following a spinal cord or brain injury.
  • Motorcycle accident victims often encounter additional hurdles in court due to jurors perceiving riders as risky or reckless.
  • Individuals who have experienced a motorcycle accident may be entitled to additional compensation to cover medical expenses and long-term loss of income.
  • In many instances, a motorcycle accident can tragically lead to the untimely demise of both the rider and their passengers.

Common Motorcycle Accident Statistics

There are a number of statistics and studies involving motorcycle accidents that have proven:

  • Fatalities from motorcycle accidents are typically 30 times more prevalent than those from car accidents.
  • Motorcyclists above the age of 40 face a significantly higher risk of injury in accidents compared to their counterparts driving cars of the same age. In fact, the likelihood of injury for these riders is typically 20 times greater.
  • Motorcycle riders under the age of 30 face a staggering 36 times higher risk of suffering a fatal injury in an accident compared to their counterparts driving cars within the same age group.
  • A motorcycle accident carries the risk of injury or death 8 percent of the time, whereas a car accident carries the risk of injury or death 20 percent of the time.
  • Motorcycles make up only 2 percent of registered motor vehicles, yet account for 5 percent of highway fatalities.

Common Car Accident Statistics

There are a number of statistics and studies involving car accidents that have proven:

  • According to the US Department of Transportation (USDOT), the average driver is likely to experience a motor vehicle accident every 6 years, with near-misses occurring once or twice a month. It is important to note the frequency at which drivers encounter potential accidents and emphasize the need for caution on the road.
  • In 2005, a total of 39,189 lives were tragically lost in motor vehicle accidents across the nation. This includes 27,472 drivers and 10,036 passengers who sustained fatal injuries.
  • According to the National Safety Council, there are more than 12 million motor vehicle accidents each year, involving a staggering 20 million motor vehicles.
  • Every year, more than 2 million car accidents lead to injuries that result in disability, according to statistical data.
  • Research indicates that nearly 75 percent of individuals involved in car accidents continue to experience symptoms for more than 6 months following the collision.
  • According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Administration, approximately 28 percent of individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents experience minor to moderate injuries, while nearly 6 percent face severe or fatal injuries.

What are the Common Causes of Car Accidents

Every year in the United States, over 11 million car accidents occur. These accidents can be attributed to two main categories: driver error and external factors like road conditions, weather, health emergencies, and brake or tire failure. By analyzing the causes, we gain insights into the importance of safe driving practices and the need to address potential risks on the road.

The most common causes of car accidents tend to include:

  • Distracted driving remains a significant concern, with the National Safety Council (NSC) reporting that a quarter of all car accidents can be attributed to drivers using their mobile phones.
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs and excessive speeding are contributing factors in 50% of all car accidents.
  • Aggressive driving encompasses various behaviors such as failure to yield, frequent lane changes, tailgating, and disregarding traffic signals.
  • Fatigue among drivers is responsible for approximately 2.5% to 3.0% of traffic fatalities in the United States. These incidents occur when drivers succumb to sleep while behind the wheel. Enhancing driver alertness and addressing fatigue are crucial to ensuring road safety.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

The most common causes of motorcycle accidents tend to include:

  • Motorcyclists often face a significant risk of accidents when cars make left turns. This dangerous scenario occurs when a motorcycle is traveling straight through an intersection, attempting to overtake a car, or trying to pass another motor vehicle. In these situations, the motorcycle is vulnerable to being struck by the turning car, highlighting the potential dangers associated with such maneuvers.
  • Lane splitting, the act of a motorcycle traveling between two lanes, is not legal in every state due to its association with motorcycle accidents. This practice poses a significant risk as it exposes the motorcycle to close proximity with other vehicles, limits maneuvering space, and catches car drivers off guard when motorcycles pass them in slow or stopped traffic.
  • Nearly half of all motorcycle accidents occur due to two factors: driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and excessive speeding.
  • Collisions with fixed objects account for a significant portion of motorcycle fatalities, comprising one-quarter of motorcyclist deaths, compared to only 18% of car accident-related fatalities.
  • Motorcycles face increased vulnerability to road hazards due to their smaller size and reduced stability compared to cars. Potholes, varying lane heights, slippery surfaces, and other obstacles pose a greater risk to motorcyclists.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcycle accidents often result in more severe injuries due to the vulnerability of riders.The most common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents include:

  • Cuts.
  • Burns.
  • Road rash.
  • Fractured bones, particularly collar bones and pelvises.
  • Tissue damage.
  • Facial disfigurement.
  • Traumatic brain injuries.

Injuries of any kind can have severe consequences, including blood loss, paralysis, or even permanent disability, and in some cases, they can be fatal. The severity of an injury can vary depending on several factors. For instance, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable due to their exposure to the pavement, lack of airbag protection, and the absence of legal requirements for wearing a helmet, especially for riders over the age of 21.

Common Motorcycle Accident Safety Tips

Car accidents and motorcycle accidents occur on a daily basis. However, there are certain precautions that both drivers and riders can take to help mitigate injuries and fatalities. Motorcycles, being smaller than other vehicles on the road, often go unnoticed by other drivers until it is too late to avoid a collision. This is why it is crucial for riders to don bright colors or protective leathers and always wear a helmet for added safety.

A number of tips and methods for staying safe on the road includes:

  • Ensure that you wear a properly fitting helmet at all times. This crucial safety measure not only shields your head but also minimizes the risk of sustaining a severe head injury in the event of an accident.
  • To ensure your safety on the road, it's crucial to have the right gear. Leather and other armored or specialized motorcycle gear can provide protection against sliding on asphalt or encountering road hazards like small rocks and cigarette butts. Donning motorcycle boots is a wise choice to safeguard your feet in case of an accident. Additionally, incorporating reflective materials and vibrant colors into your gear can significantly enhance your visibility to fellow road users.
  • Ride within your skill level - It is important to always ride a motorcycle within your capabilities and avoid attempting to maneuver through traffic or travel at excessive speeds.
  • Allow ample space - While motorcycles have a smaller stopping and maneuvering footprint, they still need room to operate. It is crucial to practice stopping in a safe area and maintain a generous distance between your motorcycle and the vehicle ahead of you.
  • To ensure safety while riding a motorcycle, it is crucial to steer clear of distractions. Engaging in any form of distraction while driving can lead to severe accidents and increases the risk significantly.
  • Always remember to look twice on the road – never assume that another driver can see you. Practice defensive riding and take full responsibility for your safety while interacting with other road users.
  • Pay attention to the weather conditions - Riding a motorcycle in the rain can be significantly more hazardous compared to driving a car due to its two-wheel design and reduced stability. Moreover, motorcycles lack windshield wipers, which compromises visibility.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Strong Law Today!

If you or a loved one have been in a car or motorcycle accident, it is crucial to consult with a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer promptly. You are entitled to receive compensation for the injuries and damages you have suffered, irrespective of the circumstances. Make sure you seek the legal support you deserve without delay.

With a wealth of collective experience and knowledge spanning over seventy-five years, Strong Law is dedicated to assisting families during challenging times following an accident. Our firm is committed to diligently investigating your accident and taking the necessary steps to ensure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Call our office to speak to a motorcycle accident attorney now.