Motorcycles are fuel-efficient and fun ways to travel. Whether you drive a large bike intended for cruising or a sleek street bike intended for your urban commute, a motorcycle can be a lot of fun. Getting it out of storage and into operating condition is a big part of spring and summer for many motorcycle enthusiasts in Lehigh Valley.
Unfortunately, with all of that fun comes substantially increased risk. Those who ride on motorcycles are more likely to get hurt or die in accidents than those who drive or ride in enclosed passenger vehicles.
Individuals who get hurt in motorcycle collisions, as well as loved ones who lose a family member in a motorcycle collision, typically have rights under Pennsylvania law to pursue compensation after an accident caused by another driver.
Federal statistics make it clear that motorcycles are more dangerous
There are two major factors that make motorcycles more dangerous for their riders than enclosed passenger vehicles. The first is the fact that motorcycles don't offer the body the kind of protection that a larger vehicle can provide.
The vehicle you are in at the time of a collision helps you survive by absorbing the shock of the impact. Since motorcycles have less structure, they aren't able to absorb as much of the impact as a larger, enclosed passenger vehicle.
The second risk factor is likely that the smaller size makes it easy for other drivers to overlook you on the road. People in vehicles will look for similarly-sized vehicles, and they may not notice you in the lane next to them until it is too late.
These risk factors leave the people who enjoy motorcycles with 28 times the risk of people in cars for a fatal outcome in a crash. That figure is based on an analysis of 2016 motor vehicle fatalities, which is the most recent year fully analyzed.
Even non-fatal crashes on motorcycles can cause lasting consequences
Many motorcycle accidents prove fatal, which is tragic in its own right. However, some people survive a motorcycle collision only to spend the rest of their life dealing with the medical consequences of the accident.
A motorcycle crash could easily result in all kinds of injuries, from a traumatic brain injury to compound fractures that can make it difficult for you to regain full motor function. Those who get hurt in motorcycle collisions may have massive medical bills and miss out on months of income. In some cases, the victim may never be able to return to their previous job.
The good news is that Pennsylvania law will let you file a civil lawsuit against a driver who causes a crash that injures you or damages your property. Sitting down with an attorney is the first step you need to take if you hope to secure compensation after a motorcycle injury.