Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Serving Kansas City, Independence, Blue Springs & Lee’s Summit
Following are some interesting facts about motorcycle accidents.
- The primary cause of most motorcycle accidents is a motorist who did not see the motorcycle, or did not see the motorcycle until it was too late.
- The most frequent motorcycle accident configuration is when another vehicle makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle.
- Most motorcycle accidents happen when the motorcyclist is on a short trip.
- The median pre-crash speed was approximately 30 m.p.h.
- The majority of motorcycle accidents involve a motorcyclist between the ages of 16-24.
- The typical accident allows the motorcyclist no more than 2 seconds to try and avoid the collision.
- Motorcycle helmets are 67% effective in preventing brain injury and 37% effective in preventing death.
- Motorcycles with anti-lock brakes are 37% are less likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
Recent statistics from 2009 show that U.S. motorcycle fatalities have significantly increased and many experts are pointing to weak state helmet laws. As you might suspect, head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes and, while helmets can not always prevent death, laws requiring helmets may be the most effective way to reduce motorcycle fatalities across the board.
At present, Missouri is one of 20 states that has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law. In 1975, almost all states had mandatory helmet laws and motorcycle fatalities were on the downward trend. However, over the last 20 years many states have moved to relax their mandatory motorcycle helmet laws. In fact, Missouri lawmakers tried to change Missouri’s law in 2009, but Governor Nixon vetoed the measure.
The reason most states had mandatory helmet laws in the 70s and 80s had very little to do with motorcycle safety. Instead, States were denied federal highway funds if they didn’t adopt a mandatory helmet laws on the books. In the 1990s, the federal mandate for highway funds was dropped and states started to repel their mandatory helmet laws. Consequently, motorcycle deaths are now on the upward trend nationwide.
Now, in the face of rising fatalities, federal safety officials have started to pressure states to re-consider helmet laws. The federal officials point to both domestic and international statistics to bolster the cause. For instance, in Florida, the helmet law was relaxed in 2000. Within 2 years, motorcycle collision deaths increased 81% and hospital admissions for head injury to motorcyclists jumped up by 82%. Federal safety experts also point to many European countries where motorcycle safety has improved due to driving restrictions.
Motorcycle Awareness Campaigns
Many states, including Missouri, have initiated motorcycle awareness safety campaigns that urge all drivers to watch out for motorcycles. These campaigns have proven effective in contributing to an overall decrease in motorcycle fatalities.
Typically, these campaigns are state-sponsored and use highway signs, billboards, and other traditional media targeted to the general public.
However, as social media use becomes more of a factor across a wider range of the population, there exists an excellent opportunity to strengthen motorcycle awareness safety campaigns. Social media also may be a way to reach younger, more inexperienced drivers who are at greater risk for hitting a motorcyclist.