It isn’t shocking that the rate of fatal accidents is higher for motorcycle riders versus motorists operating a passenger vehicle. The physical components, as well as the regulatory aspects, differ for both, creating unique scenarios for both sets of drivers.
Safety remains a top concern, with the ever-increasing statistic of crashes for cars and motorcycles, but a comparison must be made to understand what impacts them. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between motorcycle and car crashes and discuss why it’s important to be aware of them.
Our Kentucky personal injury lawyers at McCoy and Hiestand have compiled information from the successful cases we’ve handled to inform you of the dangers so that you can take proper caution or action in the event that you experience it.
What do Car Accidents and Motorcycle Crashes Have in Common?
Vehicle accidents are unfortunate events that have the ability to take a financial, emotional, and physical toll on all parties involved. Before we explore the distinct differences between a motorcycle crash and an auto accident, let’s compare how they are similar to provide a comprehensive outlook:
Negligence as a Common Cause
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents and motorcycle crashes often occur due to negligence, which refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care while operating a vehicle. Negligence can manifest in various ways, such as distracted driving, speeding, disregarding traffic rules, impaired driving, and more. Both car drivers and motorcyclists can be at fault for causing accidents through negligent behavior.
Potential for Serious Injuries
Both car accidents and motorcycle crashes can result in severe injuries or even fatalities. Common injuries include fractures, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, road rash, and internal organ damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Insurance and Legal Considerations
Car and motorcycle crashes involve insurance and legal aspects requiring careful attention. In both cases, it is essential to promptly report the accident to the respective insurance companies and seek legal advice to navigate the claims process effectively.
Insurance policies, coverage limits, liability determinations, and potential compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering are among the common elements to consider.
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What Are the Differences Between an Auto Wreck and a Motorcycle Crash?
While all crashes have common elements, motorists can take the necessary precautions to stay safe on the road by understanding the differences between motorcycle and car accidents. The key differences include:
Visibility and Awareness
Motorcycles are smaller and less apparent on the road. Because of the limited visibility, it may be more difficult for other vehicles to see bikes, increasing the risk of accidents caused by drivers failing to notice motorcycles in their area. Riders must take extra care to improve their visibility, including adequate gear, positioning, and signaling.
Vehicle Size and Protection
One of the most significant differences is the size and protective features of cars compared to motorcycles. Cars provide a more substantial physical barrier and protective measures, such as seat belts, airbags, and the vehicle’s structural design. In contrast, motorcycles lack these protective features and offer minimal physical protection.
Maneuverability and Handling
Motorcycles have different maneuvering capabilities and handling characteristics compared to cars. Motorcycles are more agile and can navigate through traffic with greater ease.
However, this increased maneuverability can also make motorcycles more susceptible to instability and loss of control in certain situations, such as when encountering road hazards or adverse weather conditions.
Licensing and Regulations
Motorcycles are subject to different licensing requirements and safety rules than cars. These rules may include required helmet use, limits on modifications or aftermarket parts, and specialist motorcycle licensing. Compliance with these standards may be used to determine responsibility or negligence in motorcycle accidents.
Insurance policies for motorcycles often have different coverage limits and terms compared to car insurance policies. Motorcyclists may have specific coverage for injuries, property damage, and liability, which can differ from standard auto insurance policies. For instance, Kentucky law requires automobiles to have $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage (PIP) which pays for the first $10,000 of medical bills or wage loss (up to $200 a week), regardless of fault. However, motorcyclists do not have such a requirement, and therefore will often be unable to pay their medical bills as a result of a collision. This coverage can be requested by motorcyclists, and is typically very inexpensive.
Understanding the specific terms and coverage of either vehicle’s insurance will help you determine how much you can receive when pursuing a claim. Please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss your insurance coverage options with you.
Are Motorcycle Crashes Handled Differently than Auto Accidents?
All drivers should be aware of their surroundings and drive defensively. Regulations for auto drivers and motorcyclists should be adhered to to reduce the risk of a serious accident. When the law is disobeyed, and results in an accident, motorcycle and auto accidents are not handled differently but can be individually complex.
Navigating the legal process of personal injury lawsuits can be challenging for either type depending on certain details of a case. So it’s beneficial to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer or auto accident attorney immediately.
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