Motorcyclists Have Very Little Protection
Unlike motor vehicles that have bumpers and airbags to protect their operators and passengers, motorcyclists and their passengers are left fully exposed to an impact in the event of a motorcycle collision in Manhattan. And while wearing a SNELL and/or DOT approved helmet is a necessary and important start to protecting a motorcyclist in case of a Manhattan motorcycle crash, other protective gear is important. Wearing long pants (not shorts, even in warm summer weather), gloves, boots, and a leather jacket can help prevent injuries such as road rash in the event of a motorcycle accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016, there were 5,286 motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, which represented an increase of 5.1% from the 5,029 motorcycle accident fatalities reported the year before in 2015.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
On average, motorcyclists are five times more likely to be seriously injured and twenty-seven more times more likely to suffer fatal injuries than automobile drivers and passengers. So what are the most prevalent causes of accidents involving motorcyclists?
- Dooring: when a car opens its door to allow the driver or passenger to exit, without a proper lookout for a motorcyclist, and the motorcycle operator hits the car’s door;
- Unsafe Lane Changes: Automobile operators do not keep a proper lookout for motorcyclists and fail to signal when changing lanes, thereby clipping the motorcyclist;
- Splitting or “cutting” lanes: Motorcyclists involved in such accidents may be at fault as they operate between the lanes of traffic;
- Speeding Motorcyclists: While it easy for a motorcycle operator to speed, especially when a motorcycle can easily exceed the speed limit in first or second gear, it makes it more difficult for automobile operators to see an oncoming motorcyclist especially if the motorcycle is passing auto traffic on the right, and in the car operator’s “blind spot;”
- Inexperienced motorcycle operators: less than seasoned motorcyclists may not know how to maintain control of their motorcycle and be prone to operate their bike unsafely;
- Stopping suddenly: because of the relatively low weight of a motorcycle and the concomitant ability of a motorcyclist to stop quickly, if a motorcycle makes a sudden stop, a car following behind, perhaps too closely, may rear-end the cyclist;
- Road debris and potholes can cause a motorcyclist to lose control of their bike;
- Motorcycle defects or lack of maintenance: if the motorcycle has a defectively designed part, or if the motorcycle’s parts, such and brakes, and shock absorbers are not properly maintained, it can cause a motorcycle crash;
- Manhattan cabbies are often in a rush to get to their potential fare and dart across lanes of traffic to get to their customer.