In Texas, statistics show that riding a motorcycle may come with greater risks on the road. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, from 2019 to 2020 there was a 17 percent increase in Texas motorcycle fatalities – even with less traffic on the road in general. On average in our state, at least one motorcyclist is killed in a crash each day, accounting for 12 percent of all traffic fatalities statewide. May through October is especially dangerous for motorcyclists in Texas, as over 61 percent of all motorcycle crash fatalities take place during this time of the year. This isn’t news to an experienced rider, which is why most bikers take care to be safe and are often more capable drivers than your average motorist. Motorcyclists do not have the same protections that those riding in a passenger vehicle do and therefore they are much more likely to suffer serious injury or death during a motorcycle accident. Even if a vehicle driver is at fault during a collision, a motorcycle rider can easily lose their life.
The most common reasons for a collision include:
- Drivers misjudging a motorcycle’s distance and speed: Passenger vehicle drivers have to pay extra attention to the road to be able to see motorcyclists. Motorcycles are small and can easily be hidden in a car’s blind spots. Many drivers speed and drive recklessly without looking for motorcycles. A motorcycle rider may also lane split and not ride predictably. When a motorcycle is approaching, it can be incredibly hard to gauge its proximity and speed. By driving safely on the road and consistently checking their surroundings, a driver can remain more aware of motorcycles in the area.
- Drivers using cell phones: Distracted drivers who constantly look at their cellphones are incredibly dangerous not only to motorcyclists but to all drivers and vehicle occupants around them. Any type of distraction can make it much more difficult for a driver to see a motorcycle on the road. Taking their eyes away from the road for just a moment can lead to a devastating accident that can kill a motorcyclist.
- Drivers making left turns in front of motorcyclists: When a car makes a left-hand turn, they may hit a motorcycle going through the intersection while trying to overtake or pass the car. These are incredibly common accidents since a motorcycle is much harder to see in a car’s mirrors and through windows. The results can be devastating.
- Drivers changing lanes unexpectedly: When drivers do not drive predictably or use their turn signals to indicate their intentions, motorcyclists and other drivers suffer. Motorcycle riders depend on cars to drive in a predictable way so they are able to keep a safe distance from the larger vehicles.
- Hazardous Road Conditions: Motorcycles are not designed to handle hazardous road conditions A pothole, slippery surface, or icy road may be frustrating to a driver, but they can easily recover. A motorcyclist may ride over loose gravel, uneven pavement, or a slippery part of the road and it could prove to be fatal. Hazardous road conditions are the cause of countless motorcycle accidents. Without the stability of four tires and an outer frame, a rider could easily fall off their bike when riding over a road hazard.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accident injuries are some of the most devastating. They can lead to permanent disability, disfigurement, chronic pain, and even death. The following are some of the most commonly seen motorcycle injuries:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is essential to preventing death during a collision. While helmets can help some injuries from becoming more serious, they do not always prevent serious brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries occur when a motorcyclist’s head comes into contact with the road. Head injuries can include lacerations, concussions, bleeding on the brain, bruising, and more. These injuries may require serious medical intervention and can change a motorcycle rider’s day-to-day life forever.
Spinal Cord Injuries
On top of traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries can occur from the body making impact with a hard surface such as concrete or a passenger vehicle. A helmet cannot protect the spine, which is why it is important for motorcycle riders to wear protective gear. The neck and spine are not meant to bend in certain ways and when they do, it can cause herniated discs, bulging discs, nerve damage, and paralysis that can be temporary or permanent. Spinal cord injuries almost always come with serious long-term costs that may include surgery, physical therapy, and medical assistive devices.
Road rash is an injury that is unique to motorcycle accidents as many motorcyclists will make direct contact with the pavement during a collision. Road rash occurs when a person slides across the road and their skin is scraped away by the concrete or asphalt. These incredibly severe injuries can resemble burns in how they tear apart the skin and cause severe scarring. These types of injuries may require extensive therapy and even skin grafts. Specialists are required to ensure infections to not develop and there is minimal skin damage.
Lower Limb Injuries
Motorcyclists commonly injure their legs and their feet compared to other part of their bodies because their legs and feet are closest to the ground. If the motorcycle rolls over onto the rider’s legs, the bike may crush or break their bones. These injuries often require surgery and rehabilitation that can keep a motorcycle rider out of work for months at a time.
South Texas Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
At The Ezequiel Reyna Jr. Law Office, we understand the dangers that motorcyclists face on the road. While most drivers and insurance companies might want to pin a roadway accident on you, we work hard to get to know the whole story. Contact our offices today to discuss your case at no cost. There is limited time to act, so don’t delay.