Personal Injury Lawyers Bronx and Westchester County, New York

What Are The Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents?

Man in a leather jacket on a motorcycle against the backdrop of New York streets.

National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month takes place annually in May, according to the American Motorcycle Association (AMA). This year, the educational campaign is more important than ever. That’s because motorcycle accidents continue to be on the rise in New York and across the nation.

“Motorcycle riding is more popular in New York than ever,” according to the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. “There are more than 750,000 licensed motorcyclists (in New York,) and that number continues to grow with each passing year… However, motorcycling can be dangerous. It requires skill, concentration, and reasonable precautions.”

At Giampa Law, our attorneys understand how devastating motorcycle accidents can be to victims and their loved ones. That's why we are here to help injured riders demand justice and accountability. If you were injured or a loved one died in a motorcycle accident due to the negligent actions of another driver, contact us today to see how we can help you.

Motorcycle accidents are increasing nationwide

The number of motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities has been on the rise nationwide in recent years. In 2022, motorcyclist accident fatalities set a 47-year record with 6,218 deaths, the most in a single year since 1975, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC). In addition, 82,687 motorcyclists sustained serious injuries in motorcycle crashes nationwide in 2022.

To put such figures in perspective, according to the NHTSA, the number of motorcycle accident fatalities in 2022 represented 15 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities, even though motorcycles only account for 3.5 percent of all registered motor vehicles in the country.

In general, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in an accident compared to other motorists and four times more likely to be injured in an accident, according to the NHTSA.

Motorcycle accidents in New York

Like the rest of the country, motorcycle accidents in New York have been on the rise in recent years. In 2021, motorcycle accident fatalities in New York soared to 201 deaths statewide, a 52 percent increase compared to 2019, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

“The crash data we cite are not just numbers, they are your friends, family, and neighbors,” New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Chair and DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said in a statement. “Motorcycle safety has long been a priority for New York and by calling attention to this issue, we’re hoping to avoid another tragedy.”

Unfortunately, motorcycle crashes in New York City happen even more often than in other parts of the state. Specifically, the motorcycle accident fatality rate in New York City is nearly twice as high compared to the rest of the state and is “significantly higher” compared to the rest of the country, according to a motorcycle accident safety study conducted by the New York City Department of Transportation.

What are the most common types of motorcycle crashes?

Certain types of motorcycle accidents involving other drivers are more common than others. Some of the most common types of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Left-turn accidents – These are often intersection accidents in which a vehicle making a left-hand turn hits an oncoming motorcyclist approaching head-on from the opposite direction.
  • Drivers changing lanes – Many motorcycle accidents, especially ones that occur on highways, happen when drivers change lanes without looking and sideswipe a motorcyclist in another lane.
  • Rear-end accidents – Many motorcyclists get hit from behind by a driver who’s often following too closely, speeding, or not paying attention.
  • Head-on collisions – Another common type of motorcycle collision involves drivers who hit motorcyclists head-on, especially on rural roads or city streets that don’t have a barrier between on-coming traffic. Head-on motorcycle accidents are often fatal to motorcyclists.

Along with certain types of motorcycle accidents, drivers often cause these collisions for many of the same reasons, including:

  • Speeding, which accounts for 34 percent of motorcycle accident fatalities, according to the NHTSA.
  • Drunk driving, which plays a role in 27 percent of motorcycle accident deaths, the NHTSA reported.
  • Distracted driving, especially texting while driving, which often contributes to rear-end motorcycle crashes, head-on collisions, and lane-switching accidents.

What are my legal options if I’m injured in a motorcycle accident?

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in New York City, you may have several legal avenues to consider:

  • Accepting a settlement offer: You may receive a one-time settlement offer from the insurance company. This offer is designed to cover all your motorcycle accident-related expenses, including medical bills and lost wages. However, it's important to ensure that the settlement adequately covers all your needs. Remember, insurance adjusters are notorious for offering quick, lowball settlements to save the insurance company money.
  • Negotiating for a better offer: Before accepting any settlement, you (or your attorney) have the option to negotiate. This can be crucial in securing a more comprehensive settlement that fully addresses the cost of your crash-related losses.
  • Filing a lawsuit: If negotiations do not result in a satisfactory settlement offer, you can take legal action by filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit. This allows you to seek damages— the legal term for financial compensation—through the court system.

At Giampa Law, our motorcycle accident lawyers are prepared to protect your rights and put you in the best possible position to recover the compensation you deserve. With years of experience fighting for injured motorcyclists in New York, we are ready to act swiftly and efficiently on your important legal case.

To find out how we can help you, schedule a free consultation with our law firm. We have offices in the Bronx and Valhalla, and we offer legal representation on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no fees unless we win your case. Contact us today to learn more.

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