Philadelphia Motorcycle Accidents
Riding a motorcycle on a Philadelphia highway is a dream fulfilled for many people. As motorcycle ownership continues to rise, surprises are hidden in the statistics. The average age of a motorcycle rider is getting older. Motorcycle ownership among the 40-and-over age group has more than doubled, from about 15 percent in 1980 to almost 44 percent in 1998. Baby boomers constitute a greater portion of motorcycle riders, as well as a greater proportion of fatalities. Older riders for the first time made up the majority of those killed in motorcycle crashes.
Older riders get licensed, wear helmets and even take rider training courses, but while speed and inexperience are often faulted for deaths of younger riders, alcohol is the biggest single factor in single-vehicle crashes of older riders, according to the statistics. The highest alcohol use among riders killed was in the 30-39 age group, in which almost half were over the state blood alcohol limit. The statement does not indicate that motorcycle riders use alcohol more than vehicle drivers but the theory is that the consequence of alcohol use is greater when on a motorcycle. There is evidence that cruiser bikes (which are the bike of choice in the boomer set) aren’t necessarily faster but are more difficult to handle, and this could be contributing to the increase in fatalities. Older riders use motorcycle rides as social events and buy motorcycles for leisurely weekend rides on rural roads.
Overview of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles give the rider a sense of freedom that comes from being unhampered by all the extra hardware of other forms of transportation. Motorcycle riders have a profound sensory experience and a unique ability to feel at one with their surroundings. The very things that afford them the sense of freedom and lack of restriction they seek also expose them to dangers caused by a lack of protective barriers and a very large size differential between themselves and cars, SUVs, and trucks. Additionally other motorists may be anticipating a vehicle roughly the same size as themselves that will allow them to overlook a motorcycle. Motorcycles are also more maneuverable and motorists may not anticipate their projected path. All of this leaves bikers vulnerable to serious injury in the event of an accident. Motorcycle riders, therefore, must be vigilant about larger vehicles that may be oblivious to them. Motorcyclists must also be aware of their legal rights if they are involved in a traffic accident.
Common Causes of Crashes
Motorcycle riders face larger risks than operators of other motor vehicles. Some of these are:
- Negligent automobile drivers. Automobile drivers are prone to ignoring the motorcyclists right of way. Fatalities and injuries are more likely to adversely affect motorcycle riders due to disproportionate size of vehicles involved.
- Motorcycles make smaller visual targets, and can be obscured by other vehicles, This is an issue especially with the advent of SUVs.
- Conditions that may have no impact on other vehicles may seriously destabilize a motorcycle. These include weather conditions, blow outs, oil slicks, potholes, puddles, gravel, debris, ruts, uneven pavement, and railroad tracks.
- Motorcycles can be subject to speed wobble which can be caused by differences in tire tread or something that starts a vibration that matches a resonant frequency of the wheels, this problem can also be caused by misalignment of the wheels.
- Motorcycles have a requirement for balance skills and mindfulness not required by other motor vehicles. These skills are perfected over time. There is nothing to prevent a less skilled motorcyclist from buying and riding “too much motorcycle” for their skill level.
If you are in a motorcycle accident in Philadelphia you need to obtain the skilled legal representation of Messa & Associates, Attorneys at Law, who have experience in motorcycle accident law. Messa & Associates are experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers familiar with the common causes of crashes and types of injuries that occur. The possibilities for spinal cord injury and head trauma or brain injuries caused by the possible negligence of other drivers demand that you seek legal representation which can assure you of the best outcome. To contact us call 866.403.4LAW (4529) or fill out the contact web form.