Cars pose a potentially deadly problem to drivers across the nation. However, motorcyclists face more significant, more prevalent, and more frequent threats than drivers of covered vehicles.
They suffer from worse crashes, higher fatality rates, and more expensive recovery periods.
If you have suffered a motorcycle crash in the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, area and want support as you pursue compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages, our motorcycle accident attorneys at Eltringham Law Group are here to help you.
Motorcycle vs. Car Accidents Statistics
Regarding accident frequency, we need to acknowledge that more people drive cars compared to riding motorcycles. Thus, statistically speaking, car crashes happen more often. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows that in America, car crashes happen at 189 per 1 million vehicle miles.
Despite that high rate, the NHTSA shows some startling statistics for motorcycle crashes by comparison. For example, in 2020, injuries occurred at a rate of 992 per 100,000 registered motorcycles. The fatality rate for motorcycle accidents was 67.08 per every 100,000 registered motorcycles.
These statistics also show that per mile traveled, motorcyclists suffered fatalities at a rate 28 times greater than passenger car occupants when in multiple-vehicle accidents. So, although injury rates fell 2% between 2019 and 2020, there was an 11% increase in motorcycle fatalities.
Common Causes of Car vs. Motorcycle Accidents
Causes of motorcycle accidents vs. car accidents often differ. The two biggest shared causes are speeding and the use of alcohol.
Reckless driving and intoxicated driving do happen at a higher frequency with drivers of motorcycles as opposed to cars. The percentage of speeding fatalities was 33% for motorcyclists compared to 29% for car drivers, while the percentage of alcohol-related fatalities was 28% for motorcyclists compared to 24% for car drivers.
However, some of the top causes of car crashes include driver fatigue, aggressive driving, and distracted driving. While these sometimes factor into motorcycle crashes, they are far less common, especially distracted driving. Again, motorcyclists do not have the free hands or space necessary to end up distracted by phones, electronics, eating or drinking, or discussing things with passengers. As such, they usually keep their hands on the handlebars and eyes on the road, averting many potential dangers.
Motorcycle crashes frequently result from the actions of unlicensed drivers or the negligence of others, often leaving motorcyclists as the unintended victims through no fault of their own.
Motorcycle Death Statistics vs. Cars
Unfortunately, the lack of fault motorcyclists carry in many motorcycle accidents vs. car accidents only adds to the tragedy of the statistics relating to death.
Regarding motorcycle deaths vs. car deaths, the NHTSA states that 2022, car accident fatalities dropped to 1.35 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Shockingly, the NHTSA says that in 2020, motorcycle crashes had a fatality rate six times higher than that of car crashes and 10 times higher than that of light trucks. Older motorcyclists also have a more significant risk of fatality, with the IIHS showing that bikers aged 50 and up have the highest fatality risk. This rate has steadily climbed from 3% in 1975 to 35% in 2021.
Additionally, NHTSA shows motorcycles make up only 3% of the total number of registered vehicles in America. Despite that small number, they make up over 14% of all traffic fatalities and 17% of all driver and passenger fatalities. This is a staggering percent rate, showing exactly how fatal riding a motorcycle can be anywhere in the nation.
Motorcyclists who drive in cities are at the highest risk. The NHTSA states that 67% of all fatal motorcycle crashes happened in urban areas compared to rural areas, where 33% occurred and 35% occurred at intersections. Crash data also shows that fatal crashes happen at a higher rate on the weekend as opposed to the weekday, and 57% of fatalities happened in daylight.
However, fatal motorcycle crashes can and have happened at just about any location and time of the day or night.
Car vs. Motorcycle Accidents: Their Differences
When it comes to motorcycle accidents vs. car accidents, numerous differences set the two apart. For example, the injuries are almost always worse in a motorcycle crash. This is because motorcyclists lack the covered protection drivers and passengers receive in a car, truck, or similar passenger vehicle. Crush injuries, severe bone breaks, scarring, deep tissue damage, and even burn injuries all happen with greater frequency in motorcycle crashes.
Many people experience financial loss due to motorcycle accidents. This might be due to the loss of a primary caretaker. It might happen when a victim ends up too injured to continue their current work. Additionally, costs of medical care and ongoing recovery and treatment options can skyrocket.
Because fatalities are much more common in motorcycle crashes, compensation for the death of a loved one may also come into play if another driver wrongfully caused their death. Funeral costs and other end-of-life expenses can add up quickly. You may also be compensated for the loss of future income, protection and companionship, and emotional and mental pain and suffering.
The settlement values also differ when a lawsuit occurs. Personal injury settlements are awarded based on injury severity. Typically, car crash victims suffer from less severe injuries and, thus, see lower settlements. On the other hand, if you get injured in a motorcycle crash, you will likely have much more severe wounds that require more intensive medical care.
Staying Safe When Riding a Motorcycle
As you can see through the careful examination of motorcycle accidents vs. car accidents, motorcyclists are at a greater risk than car drivers for potentially life-altering injuries.
Does that mean you should avoid riding a motorcycle? No. But you should make sure that you ride as safely as possible.
Remember that motorcycles are more susceptible to poor road conditions and inclement weather. If you don’t feel safe driving in the rain, don’t. Likewise, keep an eye out for cars or other vehicles that might crowd you into street areas with more bumps, potholes, rocks, or loose gravel.
It’s also important to keep yourself visible. Remember that other vehicles may not always check for motorcycles before merging into other lanes. Stay out of their blind spots and try to pass them quickly. Do not get too close to other vehicles if you can help it. Wearing bright colors or reflective pieces of safety equipment can help with this.
One of the most important things you can do while riding a motorcycle is to wear a helmet. In 2020, 40% of fatalities occured when the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet.
Unfortunately, you can only control your own actions and decisions on the road. The unpredictability of other drivers will always pose a risk you can’t and shouldn’t ignore.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
When it comes to motorcycle accidents vs. car accidents, motorcyclists face a heightened risk compared to drivers. Not only are the injuries worse, but the chances of injuries or fatalities happening are much higher. If an accident leads to a severe motorcycle-related injury or you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, you’re likely wondering what to do next.
At Eltringham Law Group, our attorneys are here to help you make your way through the emotionally difficult process of grief, loss, and recovery. This is where having our attorneys by your side can come in handy. If you’re curious about your options when it comes to compensation, reach out to us for a consultation to discuss your potential options.