Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

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For decades, motorcyclists  have been the most vulnerable users of our highways.  While the risk of serious personal injuries in a motorcycle accident continue to remain high, new personal injury prevention technology gives motorcyclists a much stronger fighting chance against catastrophic or fatal injuries in an motorcycle accident.

Auto Week recently reported on two specific technologies that are causing a great deal of excitement among motorcyclists. The first is an inflatable airbag for motorcyclists.  Motorcyclists  have long had access to inflatable wearable airbags that help cushion the  torso, protecting it from serious personal injuries in the event of a motorcycle accident. Older versions of motorcycle airbags have been around for a while now.  These  versions involve a tether that is connected to the motorcycle, and the airbag inflate when the motorcycle is separated from the rider.  Newer  versions come with sensors that detect when a motorcycle is in danger of being ejected from his vehicle and inflate automatically to protect him. The speed on some of these sensor -driven air bags is impressive with some airbags inflating in less than 25 milliseconds. Whatever the type or style of the airbags you choose to wear, they can protect you against serious personal injuries to your torso, shoulder and clavicle.

Another major technology advancement in motorcycle safety is the new generation redesign  of the motorcycle helmet.  Generally,  every motorcyclist should wear a helmet while riding.  The  typical motorcycle helmet is designed to absorb impact in the event of an accident, absorbing shock and protecting the person’s skull and brain from impact.  However,  this protection only exists when the accident is straightforward and there is a direct impact on the helmet.  In  those cases in which there is an angle to the impact –  and this accounts for a  significant number of motorcycle accidents –  the helmet may not completely mitigate the risk of a brain injury.  Enter the MIPS  helmet  which comes with an internal shield inside the helmet that gives way upon impact, allowing the outer layer of the helmet to angle, thereby potentially lessening the impact of a traumatic brain injury.

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Car accident or motorcycle accident victims who suffer from a brain injury may also be at risk of suffering from sleep apnea, which, in turn, can impact cognitive function after their personal injury.

The results of a new study that was published this month found that traumatic brain injury patients who also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea may suffer cognitive deficits that are much more severe than in those patients who do not suffer from sleep apnea.  Researchers focused on a small sample of 60 participants who had suffered a traumatic brain injury. All patients had been treated at a rehabilitation hospital and underwent a polysomnography test about a month after they were discharged.

The researchers found that almost 75%  of the patients suffered from obstructive sleep apnea in the month after they were discharged from the hospital. About 27 patients suffered from moderate-to-severe sleep apnea.  and about 19 suffered from mild symptoms of sleep apnea. The researchers administered the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone to assess the patient’s performance on parameters like language, memory, attention and reasoning.  They found that patients who suffered from obstructive sleep apnea after the personal injury had greater cognitive deficits on the test.  Surprisingly, it was the patients who suffered from mild symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea who had worse outcomes in memory and executive function.

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Georgia needs to focus even harder on the safety of rear seat passengers, and enact stronger GDL or Graduated Driver Licensing laws to help prevent more deaths in auto accidents every year.

That information comes from a new report by Advocates for Auto and Highway Safety.  Every year, the organization releases its annual roadmap for auto and highway safety for the coming year.  The 2023 edition of the roadmap was released recently, and states were given separate ratings based on the advancements that they have made in achieving the previous roadmaps’ objectives.  States marked Green are denoted to having made significant progress on enacting laws that are designed to help prevent wrongful deaths in car accidents and other types of auto accidents, while those that have been marked Red have failed to make any progress that can help reduce preventable deaths in accidents every year.  Georgia received a Yellow rating, which recognizes that the state has taken some steps to prevent fatal accidents,  but could be doing more to minimize the number of preventable wrongful deaths in auto accidents every year.

According to the report, over a 10-year period, Georgia saw a total of 14,530 traffic accident facilities.  In 2021, there were a total of 1,806 deaths recorded in auto accidents according to the report. The report also calculates that the annual cost of auto accidents in Georgia is close to 14 billion dollars.

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We are just four months into 2021, and it is very likely that Georgia will see the same or even higher numbers of motorcycle accident deaths compared to last year. According to Georgia transportation authorities, there has been a spike in motorcycle accident deaths in some counties in the state, including the Macon and Bibb County areas.

Macon saw as many as 5 motorcycle accident deaths in a span of less than 3 weeks recently. This number was more than the average number per year for the area in the past six years.  This is even as the year’s peak motorcycling season has not even begun. When you consider that most pandemic-related restrictions in Georgia have now been lifted, it is easy to see the concern that the final tally this year will be greater than in 2020 during peak pandemic times.

Georgia transportation safety authorities blame the spike in motorcycle accident deaths on a higher number of motorists and motorcyclists on our roads. Now that the warmer weather is here, even more people will be on the motorcycles.  The use of motorcycling as a means of transportation has become even more popular further adding to their presence on the roads.

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Across the United States, there has been a spike in motorcycle sales during the Covid-19 pandemic, giving rise to concerns about how a new generation of motorcycle riders will cope with the safety issues involved in riding these vehicles.

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted many industries, and at the beginning of the outbreak the motorcycle industry was not spared. Motorcycled sales tanked as the financial devastation wreaked by the pandemic resulted in people putting off purchases of non-essential items like motorcycles and other recreational vehicles. However, it soon became very apparent that the pandemic would continue for much longer than expected, and most US cities, including the metro Atlanta region placed restrictions on the use of mass transit.

Once some sense of routine returned to the working sector, a very interesting phenomenon occurred.  Large numbers of people who were required to go back to work had to look at other forms of transportation in order to avoid using mass transit and to ensure physical distancing, one of the key ways to prevent infection with the virus.  To that end, two-wheeled personal forms of transportation, such as motorcycles, seemed like the most attractive option. Many commuters also believed motorcycles were safer than bicycles.

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Motorcycle riding has become increasingly more popular over the  years.   The rise of popularity of motorcycle riding spreads across many age groups, young and old.  Older motorcycle riders, however, suffer a higher rate of mortality when involved in a motorcycle accident, according to recent studies performed by the National Institute of Health.

These recent studies by the NIH have also found that even if a motorcycle accident does not result in a fatality, older riders tend to suffer more serious injuries than younger riders.  Older riders have a higher risk of suffering not only head and abdominal injuries, but also multiple fractures.  Fractures are some of the more common injuries that occur in a motorcycle accident. There are several types of fractures that can occur, from simple fractures to the more complicated ones such as comminuted fractures.

Many of the types of fractures suffered by older motorcycle riders are comminuted fractures.  A comminuted fracture occurs when a bone is broken into more than two splinters. A simple fracture can heal easily, but a comminuted fracture is more complicated to treat.  These kinds of fractures typically occur in high-impact accidents. When extreme pressure and force are applied to the bone, there is a chance that the bone will fragment into more than 2 pieces. Comminuted fractures are even more likely to occur in a motorcycle accident, because of the lack of protection that a motorcyclist has against severe impact in a crash.

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The weather is getting warmer and the roadways have been emptier than they normally are.  This combination can make for a motorcyclist’s dream.

The National Safety Council has deemed the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.   This is the time to bring awareness to both motorcyclists and drivers alike to the special safety challenges faced by motorcycle riders.

Although riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, it also comes with some sobering statistics.  Fatal accidents among motorcycle riders and passenger vehicles have more than doubled in the past 20 years.  Since 2017, motorcycle accidents account for 14% of all traffic related deaths.  Of these motorcycle death, older riders, age 50 and up, accounted for 36% of the deaths.  What’s more, 91% percent of those who died in motorcycle accidents were male.   And in a recent study, statistics showed that more motorcycle accidents occurred during the weekday versus the weekend.  The study also released that accidents that occurred at night were more serious, and often fatal, than those accidents that occurred during the daytime.

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Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience.  But there is no denying that it can be a dangerous activity on the increasingly congested roads of the metro Atlanta area.  Motorcycle fatalities occur at a rate that is 28 times higher than for deaths in car accidents and other types of accidents. In 2017, there were over 5,000 motorcycle fatalities nationwide.  In Georgia, over 260 motorcyclist died in fatal accidents in 2018.

If you are planning to ride a motorcycle, there are a few simple steps you should take to stay safe on the roads.

First of all, make sure you are properly licensed and trained. You may have many years of experience driving a car, but that does not adequately prepare you to take to the road on two wheels without proper training. Take a proper motorcycle safety training and education program. In Georgia, you require a Class M license to operate or ride a motorcycle anywhere in the state. You will have to pass a riding test and clear a motorcycle inspection before you receive a license.

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How a motorcyclist dresses can often impact his risk of injuries if he’s involved in an accident. In no season is that risk more pronounced than during the bleak winter months.

A motorcyclist must invest in special winter gear and accessories that reduce his risk of being seriously injured in an accident. In Georgia’s icy weather, a motorcyclist can quickly find himself getting increasingly cold and numb the longer he rides in the biting cold weather. Invest in a few extra pieces of clothing that can keep you warm. These additional pieces of clothing can not only keep you warmer, also reduce your risk of being injured in an accident by providing an extra layer of protection.

Extra layers of insulation can keep you both warm and safe.   Your face and neck region can become very cold while driving in winter. Use a liner under your helmet. This liner can help shield your face by leaving only your eyes exposed so you can see the road. Get a lining in a comfortable material. You can also protect your neck region with a scarf or a neck wrap.  An extra pair of leggings under your motorcycle pants can provide extra insulation and protection for you.

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Motorcycle accidents very often end in serious injuries, and even death, to the motorcyclist. Because of this, all motorcyclists should be aware of the most common causes of accidents and, more importantly, how to prevent them.  Below are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.

Many motorcycle accidents happen when the vehicle travelling in the opposite direction of the motorcycle makes a left turn in front of them. Left-turn accidents are very common, and usually the car making the left turn does so unexpectedly in front of the motorcycle. When this happens, it is often too late for the motorcyclist to stop or do anything to prevent an accident, and the result is a potentially serious crash. Reduce your chances of being involved in crashes like these by being very aware of the motorists around you and the actions they may take. Most car drivers will not see a motorcycle until it is too late.  If it looks like the car in front of you is going to make a left turn and you are unable to come to a complete stop, at least reduce your speed immediately. While it may not prevent an accident from happening, it can reduce the severity of the impact and your injuries.

Another common crash scenario happens when a car suddenly turns into the motorcyclist’s lane. Remember that motorists are usually not looking out for motorcyclists, so there is a good chance that a driver may not even see your motorcycle.  Therefore, always try to stay out of a car’s blind spots.

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