In a vehicular accident, three primary things are taken into consideration when analyzing the situation or filing a case: the driver, the roadway, and the vehicle. Investigators concluded that 75% of all accidents are due to driver failure, 15% to highway or road deficiencies, and 10% to vehicular malfunctions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 57% of motorcycle accidents happen in urban areas, while the remaining 43% occur in rural areas. A percentage of road accidents are caused by poor signs and signals on the road, obstructed views, and poor road design. The state and local government must maintain public roads and ensure the safety of motorists who use them every day. However, there are still roads that are not well-maintained, posing great dangers to drivers.
Among the many road defects that can cause serious accidents are:
- Potholes are one of the leading causes of road accidents. They can make a driver lose control, especially when driving at a high speed on a highway and hit other vehicles. These potholes can also cause wheels to blow out, and even make a motorcycle flip or overturn.
- Poor and inadequate drainage can cause roadways to be flooded or have standing waters, which could potentially damage engines and increase the odds of road accidents.
- Ruts or depressions on the road can have the same adverse effect on motorcycle drivers on the road, particularly after it rains.
Design and maintenance flaws also contribute to accidents:
- The absence of or malfunctioning traffic signals
- Faded centerlines
- Lack of reflective markers
- Insufficient or misplaced warning and road signs
- Overgrown vegetation
- Missing guardrails
- Inadequate lighting
- Improper banking of curves
- Shoulder drop-offs
The Driver’s Part
It is undeniable that our roadways must always be well-maintained. However, riders can also take necessary precautions in order to protect themselves from these unfortunate incidents. Motorcycle drivers are particularly vulnerable to more serious injuries from road accidents due to the exposed nature of motorcycling, which is why it is important that they take heed in safety measures and best practices on the road.
Wearing helmets decreases the number of casualties in a motorcycle accident. According to the NHTSA, helmets saved 1,859 lives in 2016. There are training courses offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the NHTSA that riders can take advantage of.
The NHTSA also advises riders to completely cover their arms and legs; wear gloves to allow for a better grip; and wear bright or reflective clothes, especially when traveling at night.
What to do after an accident
In case of an accident, it is best to keep a calm demeanor. Any detached or broken limbs should always be kept still and getting professional help should be the rider’s priority. Adrenaline rush can cause poorer judgment to some people, so resulting to quick, indecisive steps will cause more harm.
When filing a case after suffering from injuries, the complainant must take note of the following:
- Any injuries sustained
- The party at fault
- Where the accident occurred
- Any occurrence of surgery or hospital assistance
- Insurance claim coverage, both for the victim and the vehicle
- Damages sustained by the motorcycle
- Any alcohol or drug substance involved
Involved in a motorcycle accident? Contact Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
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