Motorcycle accidents occur for a variety of reasons; however, distracted drivers are increasingly more likely to pose a threat to bikers on the road today.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,957 motorcyclists were killed and an additional 93,000 were injured in motorcycle accidents in 2012.
Distracted driving — texting while driving in particular — is a factor in a significant percentage of these collisions. In fact, studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that at least 31 percent of adult drivers in the United States admit to reading or sending text messages while driving. This number jumps to nearly 50 percent for high schoolers aged 16 or older.
Texting behind the wheel is dangerous, and motorcyclists are at particular risk for serious injuries or death when a collision occurs.
Texting and Distracted Driving
Changing the radio station or grabbing a drink can pull a driver’s attention away from the road, leading to an accident. Reading and sending texts, however, can be especially hazardous because these activities distract the driver for longer periods.
According to research by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, text messaging behind the wheel can increase the chance of an accident by up to 23 percent. Every text sent or received from behind the wheel endangers lives and property, and this form of distracted driving is responsible for many automobile and motorcycle accidents.
Accidents Involving Motorcycles
Studies by the NHTSA report that motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to be killed and five times more likely to be injured in a collision than people in passenger vehicles.
Helmets considerably decrease the risks of fatality and serious head trauma. But, because riders are largely unprotected from the environment, motorcycle accidents often cause severe bodily injury, including amputation, broken bones, spinal cord or nerve damage, paralysis or other permanent disability.
Legal Action for Motorcycle Accidents
Though the U.S. Department of Transportation is working to stop texting behind the wheel, no federal laws currently prohibit sending or receiving texts while driving.
Idaho, however, is serious about its inattentive and reckless driving laws. Drivers who text and cause accidents that result in injury or death face both stiff fines and potential jail time. Drivers also may be held liable for the motorcyclist’s medical bills, loss of income and pain and suffering, as well as any property damage.
The driver’s insurance company may offer a quick settlement in hopes of minimizing their exposure to your claim. However, an experienced attorney can work to help victims receive the equitable compensation to which they are entitled.
Have you or a loved one been a victim of a collision caused by texting or distracted driving? The professional attorneys of the Montgomery Dowdle in Boise are standing by to assist you. Call us today if you have been injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident.