Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than cars and other four-wheeled motor vehicles. A motorcyclist who gets into a motorcycle crash is 26 times more likely than a car occupant to die and five times more likely to be injured.
A total of 4,381 motorcyclists died in crashes in the United States in 2013. Motorcycle deaths accounted for 13 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2013 and were more than double the number of motorcyclist deaths in 1997.
If you accept the danger of riding a motorcycle, knowing how to protect yourself while riding can make a world of difference in how a motorcycle accident affects your life and future. Motorcyclists should always wear helmets and other protective gear, and obey all of the laws of the road.
A motorcyclist who has been in a collision that was caused by another motorist should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer experienced with North Carolina cases. An injured motorcyclist or the family of a motorcyclist who has died may be able to obtain compensation to cover their medical bills and other accident-related expenses.
Motorcycle Accidents in North Carolina
In the most recent year for which the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has published statistics:
- Motorcycles were involved in 4,269 crashes
- 160 motorcyclists were killed in crashes and 3,666 were injured
- The number of motorcyclists killed increased by 14.3 percent from the previous year
- Of 631 moped crashes, 20 were fatalities and 562 resulted in injury
- Of 201 motor scooter or motor bike accidents, 6 were fatalities and 196 resulted in injury
- In two-vehicle collisions between a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle, moped, or motor scooter, 90.1 percent of riders were injured and 3.1 percent were killed.
Across the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- Motorcyclists accounted for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities
- 52 percent of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with another type of motor vehicle
- In two-vehicle crashes, 75 percent of the motorcycles involved in motor vehicle traffic crashes collided with the vehicles in the front of them. Only 7 percent were struck in the rear.
What Should I Do If I am Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
After being involved in a motorcycle accident, you should protect yourself legally. If you are able, the steps to take include:
- Obtain medical care. Phone 911 for emergency care if you need it or see a doctor within 24 hours of an accident. Some serious medical conditions may not cause symptoms right away, but must be addressed. A doctor’s exam also documents your accident and/or injuries in case you pursue a legal claim later.
- Gather evidence. Photograph the accident scene, including damage to your bike, the other vehicle, skid marks, broken glass, torn clothing, and broken gear. Get photos of your injuries, as well as the names and contact information for the other driver and any witnesses.
- Cooperate with authorities. Be ready to provide your driver’s license, registration, and insurance information to police. Answer questions honestly and factually. Do not admit fault for the accident and do not blame others. Ask how to get a copy of the police report and get it as soon as you can.
- Keep records of the accident. Establish a file of all documents related to your accident, including receipts for medical care and medication, motorcycle and gear repair or replacement, the police report, correspondence from insurers, records of work or school absences, etc.
- Contact your insurance company. Report your accident within 24 hours. Follow your insurer’s instructions and answer questions truthfully. Do not admit fault or cast blame. Do not downplay your injuries or damage to your bike. Never sign anything presented by an insurance company representative without the advice of an attorney.
- Contact a N.C. motorcycle accident lawyer. A personal injury attorney who handles motorcycle accident cases can provide a free initial consultation about your crash and your legal options. If you have an insurance settlement offer, he or she can review it and advise you. In cases of serious injury, a motorcycle accident attorney can calculate the total cost of your injuries and other losses, and pursue a proper financial settlement for you.
Contact our North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
At Hardison & Cochran, our Raleigh motorcycle accident attorneys and staff are committed to helping motorcycle riders, passengers, and their families cope with the consequences of motor vehicle accidents caused by other drivers. We are committed to your safety. If you have lost a friend, family member, or if you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us. We can help.
Hardison & Cochran serves accident victims throughout the state of North Carolina, including Raleigh, Cary, Durham, and Fayetteville.