Motorcycle accidents often linked to speeding and impairment

Figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that motorcyclists around the country were 29 times more likely to lose their lives in accidents than passenger vehicle occupants, and more than 4,500 riders were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 according to the federal safety agency. While road safety advocates may applaud Connecticut lawmakers for mandating insurance discounts for riders who have completed approved motorcycle training courses, they could also criticize them for not passing a comprehensive helmet law.

Young and inexperienced riders are often portrayed as being the most likely to crash, but the NHTSA data reveals that more than half of the motorcyclists killed on America’s roads in 2015 were at or over the age of 40. Older motorcyclists also tend to suffer more serious injuries, and researchers at Brown University put this down to the slower reaction times of more mature riders and the powerful machines they tend to prefer.

The data shows that recklessness is a common factor in motorcycle accidents. According to NHTSA, more than a quarter of the motorcyclists killed on the roads in 2014 had blood alcohol levels of .08 percent or higher, and the agency says that one in three were exceeding posted speed limits when they crashed. Excessive speed is cited as a factor in only 19 percent of fatal passenger vehicle accidents and 7 percent of large commercial truck crashes.

Even the most experienced and careful motorcyclists can do little to avoid serious injury or death when cars or trucks make abrupt and dangerous turns, and personal injury attorneys may seek to hold drivers who have acted in this negligent manner financially responsible for their actions by filing lawsuits against them on behalf of accident victims. Attorneys may also study police reports and witness statements closely in motorcycle accident cases in anticipation of comparative negligence arguments.