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Dangers faced by bikers in Washington and across the country
Motorcycle crashes are common across the country and result in numerous injuries and fatalities. The injuries in a motorcycle crash may be devastating.
Summer may be coming to a close, but fall is still a popular time of year for motorcyclists across the nation. The mild weather and beautiful scenery in Washington State give many bikers a reason to get out and enjoy the open road. Unfortunately, motorcyclists face numerous dangers, especially when sharing the road with other vehicles.
Thousands of motorcyclists are seriously injured or killed in the United States every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 73 motorcyclists lost their lives in Washington in 2013. Out of these, 69 were wearing helmets. This shows that although helmets may reduce the risk of a biker being killed or seriously injured in a crash, they are not a guarantee of safety.
Common factors of motorcycle crashes
Motorcycles tend to be fast and easily maneuverable. They are also difficult for many drivers to spot. Other drivers may only focus on vehicles that are close to their size and forget that motorcycles also share the roads. These factors, combined with the small size of motorcycles, mean that bikers hardly stand a chance in a crash. When struck by a vehicle weighing at least two tons, motorcyclists can be easily thrown from their bikes, or their bikes crushed or knocked over.
The following are some of the common scenarios that often result in bikers injured in crashes:
- Drivers failing to check their mirrors or blind spots before turning or changing lanes
- Motorcyclists not getting the longer following distance they require, since they can stop much faster than larger vehicles
- Bikers colliding with drivers who failed to use their turn signals
- Drivers not realizing that motorcycles can lose control easily in poor weather conditions or on bad roads
The injuries that motorcyclists face are usually devastating, state the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They most often include neck injuries, bone fractures (particularly in the limbs), friction burns and head trauma.
Teenage motorcycle passenger seriously injured in Yakima
A recent accident illustrated how quickly a motorcycle accident may occur, as well as the grave consequences. KIMA TV News reported that this past August in Yakima, a man lost control of his motorcycle. His 17-year-old passenger was thrown from the bike. She had not been wearing her helmet properly, so it fell off and she suffered severe head injuries. The 23-year-old biker faces charges, including a possible charge of operating without an endorsement. Law enforcement said speed and intoxicants contributed to the crash. This accident also illustrates how a motorcyclist may be the reason a passenger was injured.
If you are injured in a motorcycle crash, your medical bills may be overwhelming. You will need to contact a personal injury attorney if a negligent driver was at fault for your injuries.