Motorcycles can give bikers a feeling of freedom as they ride on miles of open roads, becoming one with their machine.
Here at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, several members of our team are avid motorcyclists. As such, our Carrollton motorcycle accident attorneys are intimately aware of the rewards—and the risks—of taking to the highways on two wheels.
Because of the lack of safety features and protective structure, accidents involving motorcycles often have severe consequences. On average, one motorcyclist is killed on Texas roads every day. In 2020, 482 riders lost their lives and 1,856 were seriously injured.
In this article, we’ll discuss (and hopefully help you avoid) the top causes of motorcycle accidents in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Cars Making Left Hand Turns
The Texas Transportation Institute reported almost one-third of Texas motorcycle fatalities last year occurred in an intersection or were intersection-related. And in a majority of these cases, it was caused by a car turning left.
The turning car usually hits the motorcyclist who was going straight through the intersection, trying to pass the car, or overtaking it.
Common reasons for left-turn accidents include:
- driver distraction
- low visibility (it’s often hard for drivers in cars to see and judge the speed of motorcycles), and
In Texas, the law is clear on who’s at fault here: drivers turning left must yield to other traffic. However, motorcyclists can be partially at-fault if they speed, drive recklessly, run a red light, or ride in the wrong lane.
Collisions With Cars
Unlike passengers in a car, bikers don’t have seatbelts, airbags, or a barrier of metal to prevent them from being ejected from their vehicle. And motorcycles are much lighter compared to cars (the average car weighs 4,000 pounds, while most motorcycles ring it at 700 pounds). This mismatched force and the lack of safety features makes motorcyclists uniquely vulnerable during a collision.
Depending on the accident itself, the motorcycle driver can be crushed or thrown in the air during a head-on collision. And the results are often deadly, as you can see from the following statistics:
- A little more than half of the 5,114 motorcycles involved in fatal accidents included a collision with another moving vehicle, according to a 2019 NHTSA report.
- In three-quarters of those accidents, the car struck the motorcycle in the front.
- 7% of motorcycles were rear-ended.
Car drivers are often held responsible in the majority of motorcycle collisions, especially if they rear-ended the biker. However, if evidence proves the cyclist was negligent, they may be held at fault or partially at fault.
Our Carrollton motorcycle accident attorneys can investigate your case, determine the at-fault party, and aggressively pursue a claim for compensation against the responsible party.
Have you ever seen a motorcyclist weaving between a line of cars during traffic? That’s called lane splitting. While this behavior may seem reckless (and sometimes it can be), most of the time it’s intended to increase their safety. Bikers often snake in and out of lanes to avoid getting caught in the blind spots of cars or to avoid getting rear-ended.
Lane splitting can cause accidents because car drivers simply aren’t expecting a motorcyclist to pass in front of them. And if there’s a traffic jam, there is very little room for motorcycles to maneuver around cars.
In Texas, there is no specific law mentioning lane splitting. However, the Texas Transportation Code states that all road users must remain within a single lane, which essentially makes lane splitting illegal.
So, if an accident is the result of lane splitting, the motorcyclist could be found at fault because they were driving in a way that could be interpreted as reckless.
Common Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are often fatal and can cause severe, life-changing injuries, such as:
- Concussion and permanent brain damage as a result of bikers being thrown from their motorcycles.
- Broken bones, spinal injuries, whiplash, organ damage, and internal bleeding caused by high-force impacts.
- “Biker’s arm,” which is permanent nerve damage in the upper part of the body caused by landing on one or both of the arms during a crash.
- “Road Rash,” which occurs when a rider is knocked off of his or her bike and slides along the pavement or gravel.
- Facial disfigurement as a result of the rider’s face coming into contact with the chin bar of the bike.
A motorcycle accident can cause severe injuries that can completely alter your quality of life. If you’ve been injured, don’t hesitate to contact our Carrollton motorcycle accident attorneys. An experienced lawyer can help you recover compensation for your medical treatment, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Our Carrollton Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Help You Recover
Unfortunately, sometimes motorcycle accidents happen even if you follow all the appropriate safety measures. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to talk to a lawyer who regularly handles motorcycle cases, and rides a bike themselves.
Here at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, several members of our team are avid motorcyclists and bicyclists. Because of this, we have extensive knowledge of Texas’ complex motorcycle accident laws.
Let our experienced Carrollton motorcycle accident attorneys maximize your recovery. If you’re ready to discuss your case, contact us or schedule an appointment today.