Motorcycles allow you to get out on the open road and make for a gas-saving way to get around. They provide a scenic look as you drive along and give you an exhilarated feeling. Unfortunately, they also pose a greater risk for accidents. On top of that, you have far less protection for you in the event of a crash. While helmets can help, they can’t stop all injuries when you’re in an accident.
Each year, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) shares the statistics about motorcycle accidents. These statistics are a reminder that you should always be careful while out on the road. They also reveal who is at fault in most motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics For Georgia
In Georgia, fatalities from motorcycle crashes have continued to increase. Taking a look at previous years, 2017 saw 139 fatalities in motorcycle accidents. In 2018, that number increased to 154. In 2019, it rose to 170, and then 179 in 2020. This is a 22% increase in motorcyclist fatalities for the state.
While not every motorcycle accident will result in a fatality, there are still a number of crashes across the state. In 2019, there were almost 4,000 motorcycle crashes statewide. For every 100,000 motorcycles that were registered, there were 1,941.5 crashes.
The area with the highest percentage of motorcycles was Atlanta. This busy metropolitan hub is a common place for all kinds of traffic accidents, including those involving motorcycles. In Atlanta, that percentage was 42%.
Counties that had the highest number of fatalities and serious injuries from motorcycle crashes were DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb, Bibb, and Gwinnett. Furthermore, riders in the 25 to 34 age group made up 23% of fatalities. The majority of motorcyclists involved in crashes were wearing helmets (83%) while 18% of motorcycle drivers were speeding prior to their fatal crashes.
When motorcycle accidents happen, they usually result in injuries that require extensive medical care. These charges for hospitalizations and emergency room care totaled $221 million.
What Is the Most Common Cause for Motorcycle Accidents?
Reckless passenger vehicle driving is the most common cause for motorcycle accidents. Things like left turn accidents, opening a door into a lane, distracted driving, unsafe lane changes, and failure to yield are all at the top of the list.
In fact, left turn accidents seem to account for half of all motorcycle accidents. This is why it’s so important for both motorcycle operators and passenger car drivers to pay attention on the roads. Motorcycles can easily wind up in the blind spot for other motorists, creating a dangerous situation.
How to Know Who Is at Fault in Motorcycle Accidents
According to motorcycle accident lawyer Henningsen, while car drivers are often held responsible for motorcycle collisions, the actions of both motorists are what is considered when determining fault. Fault is determined based on the evidence provided and the investigation around the accident.
There are some underlying causes that may contribute to motorcycle accidents. One of the most common causes is intoxicated driving. Drivers that are under the influence cause the most accidents in Georgia. The percentage of intoxicated motorcyclists in fatal crashes is also far greater.
Negligence of motorists is another common underlying cause for these crashes. This failure to pay proper attention while a motorcyclist has the right of way has the potential for catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Additionally, speeding is another factor that could cause a motorcycle accident.
Drivers of cars in these accidents are often shown to have the most fault in these situations. However, failure of a motorcyclist to operate their motorcycle correctly is also taken into consideration. If you were partly responsible for your motorcycle crash, the court will deduct the damages from the final settlement.
What You Should Do if You Are in a Motorcycle Crash
The best thing you can do as a motorcycle operator is to be careful on the road. Don’t assume that every driver sees you. Even still, the most careful and experienced motorcycle drivers have wound up in serious accidents.
If you or someone you love was involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. With a free initial consultation, you’ll be able to determine who is at fault in your case.
Be sure you look for a motorcycle lawyer that has represented other motorcyclists and their families. While there are many outstanding personal injury lawyers out there, only the ones that specialize in this area will know all the nuances of the Georgia laws.