Archive for October, 2013

String of Motorcycle Accidents Has Safety Experts Decrying “Safety Nightmare”

There have been 13 fatalities in Western New York motorcycle accidents since May, with the crashes attributed to driver error, visibility issues and speeding.  The string of motorcycle accidents in the area has the Buffalo News reporting a “safety nightmare.”

Motorcycle accident lawyers in Buffalo know that there are a lot of factors that contribute to causing motorcycle accidents, with some crashes caused by driver error and others resulting from mistakes made by motorcyclists. Everyone on the roads needs to do their part to reduce the risk of accidents, especially as the fatality number has risen so dramatically in Western New York.

Motorcycle Accidents in Western New York

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of motorcycle accident deaths has increased each year for the past 14 years with the exception of 2009. This increase has occurred at a time when the overall number of accident fatalities has declined. In New York, the fatality rate has also been generally trending upward as well, although there was a slight decrease in deaths from 2010 when 180 people motorcyclists lost their lives as compared with the 168 motorcyclist deaths in 2011.

The recent string of accidents in the Buffalo area, however, shows just how deadly a motorcycle accident can be. The NHTSA estimates that a motorcyclist is 30 times as likely to die and five times as likely to be injured in an auto accident.

In Western New York, the motorcycle riders were found to be speeding in two of the recent deaths while five accidents were attributed to the inability of the motorcyclist to go around a curve. Drivers, however, were also responsible for causing some of the recent deaths and several crashes were attributed to unsafe lane changes or U-turns. Unsafe lane changes are one of many common accident causes including:

  • A failure to yield. The Gold Wing Touring Association estimates that two-thirds of all motorcycle crashes involving multiple vehicles occur as a result of a passenger car turning into the lane of a motorcycle rider or as a result of a driver otherwise failing to yield the right-of-way as required.
  • Drivers failing to see motorcyclists. A program called Look Twice, Save a Life, aims to reduce the dangers of this type of accident.

Driver intoxication, driver distraction and aggressive driving are other top causes of motorcycle accidents.  Motorcyclists are also more vulnerable to road defects that can cause their bikes to go out of control.  The Gold Wing Touring Association, for instance, indicates that around two percent of motorcycle accidents occur because of a problem on the roadway.

With so many accidents occurring in Buffalo, both drivers and motorcycle riders need to understand top crash causes and need to follow good safety practices including obeying the rules of the road; paying attention to other traffic; and staying in their own lanes.

Car accident lawyers in Buffalo can help if you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident. Contact the Law Offices of James Morris today for a free consultation. Call 800-477-9044.