Auto accidents and motorcycle accidents are the
leading causes of personal injury in the state
of New York. According to the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a
motorcyclist is 15 times more likely to die in a
crash than a passenger in an automobile
accident. Because motorcycles lack the physical
protection of a car and are often difficult to
see, motorcyclists are more susceptible to
injuries from other vehicles on the road, debris
from road construction and potholes, inclement
weather and manufacturer defects.
ranks sixth in the nation in the number of
licensed motorcyclists. Governor George Pataki
has declared every May “Motorcycle Awareness and
You Month” to highlight safety issues and
promote motorcycle safety courses. In 2003,
there were 4,284 motorcycle accidents statewide,
and 151 of those ended in death. The most
commonly cited reasons for the accidents are:
- Unsafe speed, 17 percent
- Failure to yield right-of-way, 15.5
- Driver inattention/distraction, 13.4
The increasing number of accidents in New
York and around the country can be attributed to
the increasing popularity of motorcycles. The
Insurance Information Institute reports that
sales of motorcycles reached about 1,100,000 in
2004, the highest level ever. At the same time,
the number of motorcycle fatalities reached its
highest level. There has also been a sharp
increase in the number of older riders. In 2004,
46 percent of motorcyclists killed in crashes
were age 40 and over, compared with 23 percent
10 years earlier. However, the number of
fatalities among motorcycle drivers under age 30
has decreased over the years, from 50 percent in
1994 to 32 percent in 2004.
New York’s helmet laws
are credited with some of that decline. In this
state, all persons operating or riding a
motorcycle must wear approved helmets, and
helmet reflectorization is required.
Motorcyclists must also keep their headlights on
in the daytime, and all operators and passengers
must wear protective eyewear. In 2004 motorcycle
helmets saved 1,316 lives, NHTSA says. If all
motorcyclists had worn helmets, 671 more lives
would have been saved. Helmets are estimated to
be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal
What to do if you are in a motorcycle
- Say nothing, or as little as possible
about the accident to the police and other
- Report the accident to the authorities,
even if you are afraid you will be blamed.
- See a doctor, even if you aren’t sure
that you need it.
- Notify your insurance company.
- Contact an attorney at Belluck & Fox,
Statistically, motorcycle accidents are
usually the fault of the other driver involved
in the accident, largely because motorcycles can
be difficult to see. When there is a motorcycle
accident, the results are often devastating.
Victims are often left with serious injuries,
brain injury, or permanent disabilities; some do
not survive. A good personal injury lawyer will
be able to make sure that you are fully
compensated for your injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a
motorcycle accident, please
motorcycle accident lawyer at the Belluck & Fox,
LLP law firm today.
Motorcycle Accident Causes