If you ride, you know the thrill of the open road—but you’re probably also aware of the very real dangers that motorcyclist’s face. When you’re on your bike, there is virtually nothing (other than your safety gear) to protect you from the impact of an accident—unlike the protection the steel encasement of a car or truck provides. Motorcycle accidents are always serious, and rear-end accidents can be especially dangerous.
Due to their relatively light weight, motorcycles require shorter stopping distances than larger vehicles do. When a car follows a motorcycle too closely—or tailgates—that driver increases the risk of injuring the cyclist in a rear-end accident. The disproportionate stopping distances between the motorcycle and the larger vehicle exacerbate this danger.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) relays the startling statistic (as compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) that motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to die in vehicular accidents in 2015—based on miles travelled—than occupants of cars were (40 percent of those cyclists who died weren’t wearing helmets). Further, cyclists were five times more likely to be injured in such crashes.
Motorcycle accidents are serious accidents, and if you’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence, you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. At the Law Office of William W. Hurst, we understand how devastating these accidents can be, and we’re here to help navigate your claim toward its most positive resolution.
While rear-end motorcycle accidents typically occur less often than other kinds of motorcycle accidents, they do happen and they can be extremely dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 6 percent of motorcycle accidents that involved another vehicle in 2013 were crashes in which the motorcycle had been rear-ended.
Rear-End Accident Injuries
The injuries typically sustained in rear-end accidents are exacerbated when the vehicle that’s rear-ended is a motorcycle. Such injuries can manifest in a variety of ways:
Neck injuries are common to rear-end accidents. While such injuries can vary from mild to severe, every neck injury should be taken seriously. Even a relatively minor neck injury can evolve into a debilitating condition that necessitates ongoing physical therapy and medical treatment.
Back injuries, too, can range in seriousness from minor to extreme, including paralysis. Even mild back injuries can be exceedingly painful, and the recovery process can be slow and difficult. Many sufferers require ongoing medical and therapeutic care. A back injury can infiltrate your life and lifestyle, and they also often lead to serious financial setbacks, including lost wages, extensive medical expenses, and a diminished capacity to earn.
Spinal cord injuries—a specific kind of back injury – can be especially serious, painful, and difficult to recover from. Such injuries are usually precipitated by the intense force of the motorcycle accident, which can push the vertebral discs out of alignment and lead to bulging or herniated discs that require extensive treatment.
Because victims of motorcycle accidents are so vulnerable to significant injury, they often face traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Such injuries are usually caused by a forceful blow to the victim’s head or by the victim’s head being whipped back and forth. TBIs are often extremely serious, and are linked to a variety of symptoms, including nausea, headaches, confusion, sleep disturbances, overwhelming fatigue, incoordination, changes in personality, sudden onset of numbness or weakness, and unconsciousness.
Traumatic brain injuries are especially important to consider because their effects can be so overwhelming. Your brain is your body’s mechanism of control, and even minor changes within this delicately-calibrated control system can lead to significant and ongoing physical and emotional consequences. Above all else, TBIs are highly unpredictable and can lead to altered mental functioning, defective sensory perception, and other significant changes that can leave you feeling unlike yourself and that can even negatively affect your close personal relationships.
Motorcycle accidents are so dangerous and so serious that it’s necessary to consider the ultimate consequence, death. Such fatalities can be instantaneous, but motorcycle fatalities can also be the result of complications from injuries sustained in the accident. When a motorcyclist is killed in a rear-end accident, the implications for the cyclist’s loved ones are immense. Families suffer acute emotional pain and suffering that’s often accompanied by extreme financial setbacks.
Rear-End Motorcycle Accidents: Contributing Factors
Many conditions can contribute to rear-end motorcycle accidents:
Driving is a huge responsibility that requires a driver’s utmost attention and care. When drivers fail to uphold this responsibility, they endanger everyone on the road.
- A distracted driver
- An impaired driver
- A speeding driver
- An aggressive driver;
- A reckless driver
Distracted driving has become such a pronounced issue that it’s important to take a closer look. Distracted driving is so prevalent that the government has created a distracted driving website, distraction.gov. Distracted driving is identified as any driving that doesn’t engage the driver’s full attention. Smartphones play a significant role in the uptick we continue to see in distracted driving. Further, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) finds that distracted driving plays a significant role in rear-end collisions (DOT, 2007 Analysis of Rear-End Crashes).
While Indiana—unlike many states—doesn’t ban handheld devices such as smartphones, it does ban texting while driving.
If a Rear-End Motorcycle Accident Injured You, Contact Our Office to Consult with an Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If a negligent driver has caused you or a loved one to be injured (or worse) in a rear-end motorcycle accident, you know just how difficult that can. Motorcycle accidents are some of the most serious on our roads, and motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to significant injuries. Your rights and your rightful compensation matter, and you need a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer. At the Law Office of William W. Hurst, we have the experience, knowledge, and compassion to help guide your claim toward the compensation to which you are entitled. We’re here to help, so please schedule a free consultation today by contacting or calling us at (317) 636-0808.