As of 2013, the population of New York City is estimated to be at over
8.4 million people. I want you to imagine that every person living in
New York City rides a motorcycle for transportation. This is an impressive
image! That is a lot of bikers.
Now of course, everyone in New York City does not ride a motorcycle, but
so many people ride motorcycles in the United States of America that the
number of riders surpasses the population of New York City. In fact, as
of 2012, 8.5 million motorcycles were registered in the U.S.A.
Kingston motorcycle accident attorneys know that with this many motorcycles on the road, there are bound to be
accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Motorcycles are more difficult to
see, less stable than cars and trucks, they do not have seatbelts or air
bags and they can be misused.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents led to the deaths of over 4,600 riders
in 2013 and 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents during that
same calendar year. It is important to note that these figures are declining,
but they are still higher than they should be.
Many of these motorcycle accidents and injuries could have been prevented.
Preventable injuries and deaths have repercussions for those people who
caused the accidents. This is because roadway users have a duty to other
people on the road. They must operate their vehicles prudently, as would
any other responsible driver, so that preventable and foreseeable accidents
and injuries do not occur.
This legal standard is also embodied in New York law. Specifically, section
1250 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic law states,
“[E]very person operating a motorcycle shall be granted all of the
rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver
of any other vehicle…”.
In practical terms, this means that motorists must obey all traffic laws.
They must not operate vehicles under the influence of drugs and or alcohol.
If the weather is poor, drivers should change the way they drive; slow
down, turn on lights and wipers; keep more distance away from other drivers,
etc. Motorists must also keep their vehicles in good repair. Tires, lights,
wipers and other items should be inspected and repaired as need be.
The motorist’s duty of care also requires drivers to look out for
other people on the road. They must see what there is to be seen and even
hear what there is to be heard.
When drivers of cars and trucks fail at any of the above, motorcyclists
can be injured and die. In fact, the likelihood of a motorcyclist dying
in a road crash is 26 times higher than such a likelihood for
truck drivers. The likelihood of death increases with age too; almost sixty percent
of all biker deaths were suffered by riders fifty years old or older.
Since frailty is a part of aging, these older riders are also more prone
to suffer serious injuries, such as fractures and traumatic brain injuries.
They also tend to ride bigger motorcycles that can roll over easily. Even
though motorcycles are underdogs in a roadway crash against a car or truck,
bikers can do a lot to prevent
serious injury and
death. For example, almost 1,700 biker lives were saved by helmets in 2012.
Unfortunately, almost 800 bikers died that year because they were not
wearing motorcycle helmets.
Motorcyclists should also ride sober. Just under 1,600 bikers were under
the influence of alcohol when they died in a roadway crash in 2012. This
means that alcohol use is more dangerous than failing to wear a motorcycle helmet.
Motorcyclists should also know when they are most at risk for injury or
death in a roadway crash. Believe it or not, weekdays from three to six
in the afternoon is the most dangerous. Twenty-five to thirty percent
of fatalities and injuries happened during those times and days.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. If you or a loved one has been injured
in a personal injury accident, please do not hesitate to
contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878), or by using our convenient
case evaluation form.