European investigators recently published what experts have called the most comprehensive collection of data on European motorcycle accidents. Although information about the United States was not included in the study, its findings can still help American motorcyclists stay safe.
The study included data collected from 921 motorcycle accidents (103 of which were fatalities) in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. In addition, the study included exposure data – info from riders who did not crash – which permitted researchers to draw larger conclusions about risk factors in motorcycle accidents.
Causes of Accidents Are Familiar
The conclusions of the study largely confirmed what researchers have known for years: the failure of passenger vehicle drivers to perceive motorcyclists is a major cause of serious accidents. In addition, the study found:
Speed is not a major factor in motorcycle accidents. Rather, a large differential – either faster or slower – between the speed of the motorcycle and surrounding traffic was a contributing factor in nearly 20 percent of crashes. In most crashes, the motorcyclist collided with an object going 30 mph or slower.
Protective gear – including helmets, heavy jackets and gloves – works to prevent serious injuries, so long as it fits properly.
Over 50 percent of all accidents occurred at intersections.
The European study confirms the efficacy of safety tips that motorcyclists have heard for years:
Wear brightly colored protective clothing – including a helmet, heavy jacket, gloves and boots – to ensure that you are visible to those driving passenger vehicles. If a crash does occur, protective clothing will go a long way toward reducing the seriousness of your injuries.
Be particularly careful at intersections. Drivers often fail to see motorcyclists in crowded traffic and views are often obstructed at intersections.
Drive defensively. Take the time to complete a safety course and never drink and ride.
Accidents Do Happen
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer can assess your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve. For more information, contact an attorney today.