Motorcycle riders and their passengers involved in motorcycle accidents have an increased risk for severe injuries. This is because they ride without the protection of safety belts or the benefit of enclosed protection offered by a motor vehicle.
And while many motorcyclists wear helmets and many motorcycles now come equipped with anti-lock brakes, statistics from the US Department of Transportation report that motorcyclists were 27 times more at risk of a fatal collision than occupants in vehicles in 2019. The NHTSA, a division of the DOT, reports that in 2019 there were more than 5,000 motorcycle fatalities – which represented approximately 14% of traffic fatalities.
Motorcyclists are at greater risk because they face more vulnerabilities and threats on the road, including motorists unwilling to share the road or those acting carelessly or negligently. A Williamsport motorcycle accident lawyer can help determine your potential compensation based on the facts of the case.
Pennsylvania Motorcycle Statistics
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has more than 120,000 miles of highways and roads. In 2020, about 102 billion miles were traveled by vehicles across the state’s highways and roads.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT), 2020’s motorcycle crash statistics were–
- Of the near 3,400 motorcycle accidents, 215 were fatal. Approximately 94% resulted in some form of injury or death.
- While motorcycles made up only 3.3% of accidents, they accounted for more than 20% of fatalities.
- Nearly 43% of motorcycle fatalities happen to those who wore a helmet – it is more dangerous without a helmet.
Pennsylvania Law Regarding Motorcycle Helmets
The current law, amended in 2003, requires those under 21 to wear protective headgear. Motorcyclists over 21 with two years of riding experience have the option of wearing a helmet. But it is noted that Emergency Room physicians recommend a helmet as it is always safer, with the NSC estimating the wearing a helmet is 37% effective in preventing fatalities
When Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Occur In Williamsport, PA?
Motorcycle accidents occur during any hour of the day. But, as one would expect, there are times of day during where a motorcyclist’s chances of an accident significantly increase. And while it is not realistic to avoid these more dangerous times, it is wise to understand the dangers to ensure you proactively prevent them.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) offers these 2019 statistics regarding the most dangerous times for motorcycle accidents –
- The greatest percentage of motorcyclist fatalities–combining weekdays & weekends-occur from 6 PM to 9 PM.
- This is followed by the 3 PM to 6 PM time slot. Together these two-time slots account for more than 41% of all motorcycle fatalities.
- The time slot with the least number of motorcycle fatalities is from 3 AM to 6 AM.
What Causes This Deadly Time Crunch?
The causal factors that contribute to these more dangerous time slots include–
- Heavier Traffic
- The Weather & Riding Conditions
- Driver Visibility
- Driver impairment – which includes varying reasons.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Understanding the causes of motorcycle accidents offers excellent insight. According to the Insurance Institute of Information, these are the most common reasons for accidents –
- Speeding for current conditions or beyond the posted limit.
- Making a left turn requires the judgment of sufficient time for cutting in front of an oncoming and moving vehicle.
- Lane splitting or weaving through lanes of traffic.
- Roadway defects – i.e., potholes.
- Crashes between other motorcycles or fixed objects
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
The injuries that may be sustained in a motorcycle accident include –
Head or Neck Injuries
Head injuries often result in a concussion, brain damage and can even be fatal. Neck injuries often result in paralysis but can also be deadly. A helmet is the best protection.
Knee, Foot & Leg Injuries
Injuries include scrapes, cuts, bruising and broken bones.
Biker’s arm happens when a motorcyclist automatically deflects the oncoming impact. It may result in permanent damage.
Road rash happens when a rider is thrown from the motorcycle on impact. It occurs from the chafing of concrete against exposed skin – and may cause permanent damage. Wear protective clothing to prevent.
Muscle damage can occur from road rash, especially if muscles in the arms and legs are exposed at the time of impact or when a motorcyclist hits the ground or another obstacle.
What to Do if Involved in a Motorcycle Accident In Williamsport, PA
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is imperative to get medical treatment as soon as possible. Specific injuries take hours to show up; however, a medical specialist will know what to look for. If the crash involved the negligence of another, you might be entitled to compensation. Note that motorcycle claims can get quite complex, which is why it is important to consult with a Williamsport, PA, motorcycle accident lawyer to understand your legal options.