As Kentucky residents may know, motorcyclists are more likely than car drivers to suffer injury or death when involved in an auto accident. Nationwide, 4,668 fatal accidents occurred in 2013, and 88,000 motorcyclists were injured.
Statistics compiled by the National Transportation Safety Board in 2012 showed that motorcyclists had a fatality rate 26 times higher than passengers in other vehicles. Fatalities among those over the age of 50 increased by 7.7 percent in the same year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Fifty-six percent of motorcyclists killed that year were over age 40, which showed a 10 percent increase in the nine years leading up to 2012.
Research conducted by Brown University showed that there are reasons for the increase in injuries to older riders. They cited as some of the causes the larger size of bikes frequented by older riders, which increases the likelihood of the bike rolling and causing injury, a decrease in the ability of such riders to react in an emergency situation and poorer vision. The largest rise in injuries was among those over 60, who were three times more likely to be hospitalized and over two and a half times likely to be injured than a younger person.
Motorcycle accidents are often caused by the vehicle’s lack of visibility or carelessness on the part of another driver. Approximately 66 percent of accidents happen when the motorcyclist’s path is unlawfully violated by another vehicle. Because insurance requirements vary, motorcyclists may find themselves to be unable to pay for personal injuries when accidents involve uninsured or underinsured motorists. Such injuries may result in lost time from work, damage to the bike, medical and emergency costs and other expenses. An attorney may be able to help the motorcyclist recover such damages by filing a personal injury suit against a negligent motorist.