Motorcycle accidents are less common than car accidents, but tend to result in catastrophic or fatal injuries when they do occur. Because motorcyclists and their passengers lack many of the safety devices that protect vehicle occupants, motorcycle accidents have much higher death and injury rates than other types of automotive accidents. If you or one of your family members was injured in a motorcycle accident in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, or Arlington, the experienced Dallas motorcycle accident lawyers of Queenan Law may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering caused by the crash.
Texas Motorcycle Crash Statistics: Injuries and Fatalities
Even with the benefits of safety features like seat belts, airbags, and protective walls, car accidents often result in severe injuries. Not only do motorcycles lack these features, they are also much smaller than other vehicles, which makes them difficult to see and avoid. When a motorcycle accident occurs, the likely outcome is severe injury or death.
Every year, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDOT) publishes a series of reports on auto accidents throughout the state. According to TxDOT reports from 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, Texas recorded 3,534 total deaths resulting from traffic accidents. A disproportionately large number of these deaths – 463, or about 13% – were caused by motorcycle accidents, despite the fact that motorcycles represent only 6% of the registered motor vehicles in the state of Texas.
Texas isn’t alone in dealing with this issue. According to the Insurance Information Institute, motorcyclists nationwide are nearly 26 times more likely to be killed, and about five times more likely to be injured, than passengers in other types of vehicles. Sadly, these numbers are increasing despite a sharp decline in motorcycle sales from 2008 to 2014.
The increase in fatalities may be partially explained by the fact that motorcycles are being manufactured with larger and larger engines. However, crashes with other vehicles remain the leading cause of motorcycle accidents. According to the Hurt Report – a landmark study from the 1980s described by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as “the best source of detailed motorcycle crash data” – about three quarters of all motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle.
What Body Parts Are Most Likely to Be Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
There can be no disputing the fact that motorcycle crashes result in extremely high numbers of fatalities and serious injuries. But what types of injuries are most common?
- Leg, Foot, and Hip Injuries – A study published in 1994 described lower extremity injuries as ranking “among the most common injuries sustained by motorcycle riders.” That fact was reaffirmed more than two decades later in a 2008 NHTSA report. While motorcycle technology is improving, the danger of foot, hip, and leg injuries persists. Overall, lower extremity injuries account for nearly 50% of all motorcycle injuries. The NHTSA report also identified some of the most common lower extremity injuries in motorcycle crashes, which included:
- Femur Fractures
- Fibula Fractures
- Hip Dislocations
- Metatarsal Fractures
- Pelvic Fractures
- Tarsal Fractures
- Tibia Fractures
- Wrist Injuries and Hand Injuries – The same NHTSA report listed upper extremity injuries as second most common following lower extremity injuries, accounting for roughly 40% of motorcycle injuries.
- Head Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – Head injuries account for approximately 35% of motorcycle injuries, ranking third behind lower and upper extremity injuries. According to TxDOT, 50% of motorcyclists killed in fatal accidents in 2014 were not wearing their helmets. While helmet use inarguably saves lives, motorcyclists and passengers can sustain mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) even with helmets due to impact with the road surface or direct contact with the striking vehicle, particularly if the helmet is defective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 14% of TBIs in the U.S. were caused by motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle accidents, from 2006 to 2010.
Houston Car Accident Lawyer Representing Injury Victims
If you or one of your loved ones was recently injured in a motorcycle accident on the Baytown-East Freeway, the Katy Freeway, the Gulf Freeway, the Eastex Freeway, Beltway 8, or other roads, intersections, and highways in the Houston metropolitan area, you should contact the Houston personal injury attorneys of Queenan Law right away at (817) 476-1797 for a confidential consultation. If the accident was caused by another driver, you could be entitled to compensation.
We want to help you understand and exercise your legal rights as an injury victim in Texas. Don’t worry about having lots of questions – that’s exactly what our knowledgeable legal team is here to assist you with. Our attorneys also handle truck accidents and car accidents in Houston.