Motorcyclists ride alongside vehicles that are comparatively larger and heavier, so they are always at risk of serious injuries in an accident. Because Maryland and much of the US are starting to get ready for motorcycle season and warmer weather, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) chose May for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Event materials include tips for riders, but a key focus is on spreading the word about safety to drivers of motorized vehicles sharing the road.
Despite the safety messaging, far too many motorcycle crashes occur because of motorist negligence. Fortunately, if you were injured in a motorcycle crash, you may qualify to recover compensation under Maryland law. A Baltimore County motorcycle accident lawyer can assist with the legal process, including settlement discussions and litigation. Plus, some details about statistics and causes of motorcycle collisions are informative.
Maryland Motorcycle Crash Statistics
According to NHTSA data, around 5,600 riders are killed in motorcycle accidents every year. Locally in Maryland, the statistics on casualties are concerning:
- Annually, there are almost 1,400 motorcycle accidents statewide, leading to 75 fatalities.
- Another 1,172 victims suffer injuries in motorcycle crashes.
- In total, 89% of all motorcycle accidents cause at least one death or injured victim. You can guess that the vast majority of victims are riders.
- More than one-third of all victims of motorcycle accidents are aged 21 to 39 years old.
- In Maryland, the most dangerous months for motorcycle crashes are June, August, and September.
Top Causes of Motorcycle Collisions
Driver carelessness is the reason that motorcycle accidents happen, and the associated theory of liability is negligence. When a motorist fails to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel, and this unsafe driving causes an accident, the victim can recover compensation. Some of the most common forms of negligence that cause motorcycle crashes are:
- Running red lights and stop signs;
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Failure to yield, usually because they do not see a motorcycle; and,
- Distracted driving.
Warning About Lane Splitting
There is a form of negligence you should know about because it could harm your rights in a motorcycle accident claim. Many riders engage in a practice called lane splitting, in which the operator travels between lanes of traffic that are stopped or slowed. This practice is illegal in Maryland, so it could be considered a negligent act by you. Under Maryland’s contributory negligence law, you cannot recover compensation if your own misconduct was a factor in causing the incident.
Set Up a Consultation with a Maryland Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
It is always important for both motorcyclists and drivers to make safety a priority, but collisions are still a common threat. For more information on your rights if you were injured, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman. You can call 410.363.6848 or visit us online to reach our offices in Owings Mills or Glen Burnie, MD. We are happy to schedule an initial consultation to review the facts of your case and discuss how to move forward.