In 2008, there were 5,290 deaths due to motorcycle accidents and over 67,000 injuries, including many motorcycle deaths in Missouri and Kansas. Unfortunately, the deaths attributable to motorcycle accidents have increased every year for the last 10 years. Motorcycles are more prone to serious accidents because they are less visible than other vehicles on the road and the drivers and passengers of motorcycles simply have less protection.

According to FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System), over 75% of all motorcycle accidents resulting in death are due to a collision and 47% of these collisions are with another motor vehicle. Sadly, over two-thirds of these fatal accidents are due to negligence on the part of the driver of the other vehicle. Because of this, it pays for all motorcyclists to learn more about these statistics so they may reduce their chance of being in an accident.

Helmet Laws
The requirement of wearing helmets varies widely by state and is very controversial to motorcycle enthusiasts. In Kansas, only those riders under the age of 18 years old are required to wear a helmet when either riding or operating a motorcycle. In Missouri, however, all riders and operators are required to wear safety helmets. The very definition of a safety helmet is often challenged, however, and the wording in many statutes is unclear. Statistics show that in states requiring helmets, the actual use by motorcyclists nears 100%, while in states that do not require helmets, the actual use by motorcyclists drops to around 50%. From a safety standpoint, the statistics regarding helmet protection are quite sobering. The use of helmets is 67% effective in preventing brain and spinal cord injuries and 29% effective in preventing rider deaths. Moreover, motorcyclists who choose not wear helmets have a 40% chance of suffering a fatal head injury when they are involved in an accident.

Most Common Types of Accidents Involving Motorcycles
  • Cars Making Left-Hand Turns – Frequently drivers of other types of motor vehicles are unable to see the motorcyclist.
  • Motorcycle Lane Splitting/Lane Sharing – Lane splitting or lane sharing is defined as driving a motorcycle between two lanes of stopped or slow traffic, usually in a traffic jam. Currently, only California has laws that allow this behavior, but there are several states considering statutes to allow this type of driving.
  • Speed and Alcohol Use – Approximately half of all single motorcycle accidents are caused by speed or alcohol use by the operator.
  • Collisions with Fixed Objects – Over 25% of motorcycle accident deaths are caused by the driver colliding with a fixed object.
  • Road Hazards – Motorcyclists face greater danger from potholes, pavement conditions, dead animals, uneven lane heights and other road irregularities because they are less protected than other vehicles that share the road.
  • Young or Inexperienced Riders - As with the operation of any motor vehicle, young or inexperienced drivers tend to make more mistakes on the road, but those mistakes are often fatal when riding a motorcycle.

Has A Loved One Died Due To The Negligence of Others?

If your loved one has died due to the negligence of someone else an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you hold them responsible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.