Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to be in a fatal accident than passenger vehicle occupants. And, when an accident is fatal, the likelihood that the other driver will panic and take off increases.
The reality is that when it comes to motorcycle hit-and-run accidents, there are a lot of risks involved.
In this blog post, we will explore the factors contributing to increased risk for motorcycle riders regarding hit-and-run accidents. From rider behavior to environmental conditions, read on to learn more about what contributes to these collisions and how you can protect yourself from them.
What Is a Motorcycle Hit and Run?
In the most general sense, a hit-and-run occurs when a driver fails to stop at the scene of an accident. This can include everything from leaving the scene of a minor fender bender to fleeing after causing a serious or fatal collision.
In many cases, hit-and-runs are deliberate acts committed by drivers attempting to avoid responsibility for their actions. However, there are also instances in which a driver may not be aware that they have hit someone or caused damage and drive away without realizing what has happened.
No matter the circumstances, hit-and-run accidents are serious offenses that can have devastating consequences for the victims involved. If you’re in a motorcycle hit-and-run, it’s vital to seek legal assistance from a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. This can help you protect your rights and pursue compensation for your injuries.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many different types of motorcycle accidents, but some are more common than others. Here are a few of the most common types of motorcycle accidents:
Sideswipes are a common type of motorcycle accident that occurs when one vehicle moves into the lane of another vehicle. For example, when a car turns into an oncoming motorcyclist.
These types of accidents occur when two vehicles collide head-on. This can happen when they are traveling in opposite directions or when one vehicle fails to yield the right of way.
Lane splitting is a dangerous practice in which a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic. This can cause serious injury to both the motorcyclist and any other drivers involved. It’s also illegal in some states, and other states like Arizona have regulations about when it’s allowed.
Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another. This is usually due to not stopping in time or following too closely.
T-Bone Motorcycle Accidents
T-bone accidents occur when one vehicle collides with the side of another. This is particularly dangerous for motorcyclists, as the impact is usually more significant due to their size and lack of protection.
Loss of Control Accidents
Loss of control accidents are typically caused by a driver losing control of their motorcycle due to dangerous road conditions or excessive speed. These types of accidents can result in severe injury or death.
Hit and Runs
Hit-and-runs occur when a driver hits a motorcyclist and leaves the scene without providing any information or assistance. Hit-and-runs can result in criminal charges. It can include all aspects of the above accidents.
Risk Factors That Contribute to Motorcycle Hit and Runs
Many risk factors contribute to motorcycle hit and runs. Some of these include:
- The driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The driver does not have a valid driver’s license
- The driver is uninsured
- The driver is inexperienced
- The driver is speeding or reckless
- The driver is distracted (e.g., texting, talking on the phone, etc.)
- There is poor visibility due to weather or lighting conditions
- The driver panics
These are just some risk factors that can contribute to a motorcycle hit-and-run. If you are a motorcyclist, you must be aware of these risks and take steps to protect yourself.
For example, always wear a helmet and bright clothing to be more visible to other drivers. Ride defensively and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary. And finally, always stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
The Role of Speed
The role of speed in these accidents is two-fold. First, speeding increases the likelihood of an accident occurring. Second, speeding makes it more likely that the other driver will flee the scene after an accident.
There are several reasons why speeding increases the likelihood of an accident. First, speeding makes it more difficult for a driver to control their vehicle. This increases the chances of losing control and crashing.
Second, speeding reduces the time a driver has to react to a hazard. This means that they are less likely to be able to avoid an accident altogether. Finally, speeding makes it more likely that any collision that does occur will be more severe due to the increased kinetic energy involved.
The role of speed in hit-and-run accidents is just as important as its role in general accidents. When a driver speeds away from the scene of an accident, they are significantly increasing their chances of being caught by law enforcement.
This is because speeding makes it easier for witnesses or victims to get a description of the fleeing vehicle and also because speeding creates more evidence (skid marks, damage to property, etc.) that can be used to identify the guilty party.
The Role of Weather
Most motorcycle accidents occur in summer when the weather is warm and dry. However, weather can play a role in motorcycle accidents, even during the winter months. Here are some key points to keep in mind about the role of weather in motorcycle accidents:
- Rain can make roads slick and reduce visibility, making it more difficult for drivers and motorcyclists to see one another
- Strong winds can cause motorcycles to lose stability and increase the risk of an accident
- Cold temperatures can make it more difficult for motorcyclists to control their bikes and can also lead to decreased tire pressure and other mechanical issues
- Heat can cause fatigue and dehydration, which can reduce reaction times and lead to accidents
- Heavy snowfall can make roads slippery and difficult to navigate and may lead to an increased number of motorcycle accidents
Overall, motorcyclists need to remember that any weather condition can increase their risk of an accident. They should take extra safety precautions in all types of weather.
The Role of Drugs and Alcohol
Motorcycle riders are more likely than other motorists to be killed or injured in a traffic crash, and alcohol and drugs play a role in many of these accidents. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol was involved in 37 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2016.
So what can be done to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents involving drugs and alcohol? For starters, riders should never get on their bikes after drinking or using drugs. And if they must ride, they should wear protective gear, such as a helmet, that can help reduce the severity of injuries if an accident does occur.
Riders also need to be aware of the dangers posed by other motorists who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If possible, try to avoid riding in areas with a high risk of encountering drunk or impaired drivers. And always stay alert and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
The Role of Location
Many risk factors contribute to motorcycle accidents, but one of the most important is location. Where a motorcycle is ridden can have a significant impact on the likelihood of being in an accident.
For example, motorcycles are more likely to be involved in accidents in urban areas than in rural areas. This is due to the increased number of vehicles and pedestrians in cities, making it difficult for riders to navigate through traffic. Additionally, city streets are often more crowded and congested than roads in rural areas, making it easier for accidents to occur.
Additionally, certain locations are more dangerous for motorcycle riders than others. For example, highways and interstates are particularly risky because of the high speeds at which vehicles travel. Intersections are also dangerous because they offer opportunities for other vehicles to collide with motorcycles.
Riders can decrease their risk of being in an accident by avoiding these dangerous locations and by riding defensively. However, even the most cautious riders can find themselves involved in an accident due to the actions of another driver.
The Consequences of Motorcycle Hit and Runs on Victims
In any hit-and-run accident, the victims are left to cope with the aftermath on their own. This is especially true in motorcycle hit-and-runs, where the driver may not even realize they’ve hit someone. The consequences of a motorcycle hit-and-run can be devastating for the victim, both emotionally and financially.
The first consequence is the physical injuries that the victim sustains. These can range from minor cuts and bruises to major broken bones and internal bleeding.
If the victim is lucky, they will only suffer minor motorcycle injuries that will heal with time. However, many motorcycle hit-and-run victims are not so lucky. They may be left with permanent disabilities that prevent them from working or enjoying life to the fullest.
The second consequence is the emotional toll a motorcycle hit-and-run takes on the victim. Many victims suffer from PTSD after a traumatic event.
They may have trouble sleeping, flashbacks of the incident, anxiety, and depression. It can be difficult for them to return to everyday life after such a traumatic experience.
The third consequence is the financial burden a motorcycle hit-and-run can place on the victim. Medical bills can quickly pile up, especially if the victim has sustained serious injuries.
If they cannot work due to their injuries, they may also lose the income they rely on to support themselves or their family. In some cases, motorcycle hit-and-run victims may never be able to fully recover financially from what happened to them.
Sadly, a motorcycle hit-and-run can lead to fatalities. In these cases, the victim’s families are often left to cope with the loss of their loved ones. And, they may face funeral costs and other expenses related to the death.
How to Stay Safe on the Road
What can you do to protect yourself from a motorcycle hit-and-run? And, how can you minimize damage if you are in an accident? Here are some tips:
Always Wear a Helmet
This is the most critical piece of safety equipment for motorcyclists. A helmet can help protect your head and brain in a collision. The use of helmets saves 37 percent of lives in motorcycle accidents.
Make Yourself Visible
Wear bright clothing and use reflective tape on your bike to make yourself more visible to other motorists. Use your headlights, even during the daytime, to make yourself more visible.
Be aware of your surroundings and be ready to take evasive action if necessary. Assume that other motorists cannot see you and do not have your best interests at heart.
Don’t ride if you’re tired or impaired in any way. Be alert and focus on your riding at all times.
Follow the Law
Obey all traffic laws and posted speed limits. Riding recklessly increases your chances of an accident.
Get an Experienced Attorney on Your Side
Motorcycle hit-and-run accidents are a serious public safety issue. It is important to be aware of the factors that can increase the risk of an accident. This will help you take appropriate safety measures to avoid an accident.
However, you can’t control other drivers on the road, and there’s always some risk. If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, you need an experienced attorney on your side.
Contact Sweet Lawyers for a free consultation today to find out how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.