Motorcyclists face unique risks on the highways and byways of the Tar Heel State. Riders are particularly vulnerable to severe and fatal crash injuries due to a combination of factors, such as minimal vehicle protection, increased susceptibility to road hazards, and, most critically, the careless drivers around them.
As a result, motorcycle accidents are distressingly common in North Carolina. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help determine what to do if a motorcycle crash causes death or serious injuries.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in North Carolina
How many motorcycle deaths per year occur in North Carolina? The answer is higher than you might expect.
The following statistics from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles illustrate the frequency and severity of motorcycle accidents statewide.
- There were 4,088 total motorcycle crashes in North Carolina in one recent year, slightly above North Carolina’s five-year average of 4,080 motorcycle crashes per year.
- That same year, there were 206 fatal motorcycle accidents throughout North Carolina. This was an increase of approximately 9 percent over the five-year average of 189 deadly crashes.
- That same year, there were 3,227 nonfatal injury crashes involving motorcycles, which is 1.7 percent higher than the five-year average of 3,172 nonfatal injury crashes.
- Overall, traffic crashes resulted in the deaths of 201 motorcycle accident victims, a decrease of 0.5 percent from the previous year.
- A total of 3,017 motorcycle riders sustained nonfatal injuries, a 1.5 percent increase from the previous year.
- Motorcycle crashes accounted for 3,743 of the 493,060 crashes in one year or about 0.7 percent. However, the 2,869 injury crashes and 206 fatal crashes accounted for 2 percent and 7 percent of those totals, respectively.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Most motorcycle accidents (and motorcycle accident deaths) are preventable tragedies resulting from driver error and other forms of negligence. Here are some common examples of contributing factors in motorcycle accident cases:
- Distracted driving
- Drivers failing to yield
- Cars making left turns in front of motorcyclists
- Following too closely
- Unsafe lane changes
- Dooring accidents
- Impaired driving
- Poor road conditions
- Roadway obstructions
- Defective road design
- Malfunctioning traffic signals
- Inadequate signage
- Oil spills
- Debris on the road
- Sudden stops by other vehicles
- Drivers ignoring motorcycle right-of-way
- Failing to monitor blind spots
- Aggressive driving
Tips for Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists can take proactive steps to protect themselves and reduce the risk of motorcycle accident injuries. Here’s what you can do before and during rides to keep yourself safe:
- Wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, durable clothing, and protective eyewear.
- Enhance your visibility to other drivers by wearing reflective clothing.
- Perform a comprehensive safety check of your motorcycle before embarking on any ride.
- Strictly adhere to all traffic regulations and posted speed limits.
- Stay alert and focused on the road, scanning for possible signs of danger.
- Ride defensively by anticipating the actions of other drivers and preparing to react safely.
- Maintain plenty of distance from other vehicles, giving yourself ample time and space to react.
- Clearly communicate your intentions by using turn signals well before every turn or lane change.
- Avoid riding in adverse weather conditions that reduce traction and visibility whenever possible.
- Position your motorcycle in a way that keeps you visible and out of other motorists’ blind spots.
- Complete a certified motorcycle safety course to refine your riding skills and techniques.
- Steer clear of road hazards such as potholes, gravel, and debris.
Contact Our North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorneys for Help
Hurt in a motorcycle crash? Kreger Brodish LLP is ready to provide the support and guidance you need. Contact us now for a free consultation with a North Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer, and take your first step toward peace of mind.