Motorcyclists have a love for the open road. They feel the power of the machine, the wind in their hair, and go into a trance-like, almost meditative state. There is a certain sense of freedom, and even a slight bit of rebellion one might feel when riding a motorcycle.
The dangers inherent in motorcycle riding mitigates the sense of freedom and escape of riding a motorcycle. Consequently, motorcycle riders must be ever vigilant and look out for threats to his or her safety. The slender profile of a motorcycle often conceals the bike in and among other cars or gets lost in blind spots all too easily. The thin silhouette of a motorcyclist can increase the danger of riding a motorcycle when encountering a large truck.
A truck driver has the advantage of sitting up high in a cab which should provide the operator with a clear field of vision approaching 180 degrees to either side. To that extent, a broadside accident, which people sometimes refer to as a “T-bone” collision or sideswipe, should never occur if both operators proceed through the intersection carefully. Regrettably, that does not always happen. Truck drivers can cause a broadside accident due to inattentive driving, road rage, or disobeying traffic signals.
In a T-bone collision when a truck hits a motorcycle on the side, the momentum of the truck throws the motorcycle rider to the side. Not only will the rider “put the bike down” but will be ejected from the bike. The rider is then in immense peril as he or she is hurtling toward other motorists, curbs, poles, and whatever else is on the road with tremendous velocity. Depending on the relative speeds of the vehicles at the point of contact, a motorcycle operator might not survive the crash. Even at low speeds, a motorcycle rider is at an elevated risk of suffering a fatal injury if knocked off of the bike.
A motorcycle rider suffers at least two collisions when involved in a T-bone accident. The first collision happens when the large truck strikes the motor vehicle. The first collision can cause a variety of injuries. The second collision occurs when the rider hits the ground. The combination of these two crashes can cause a variety of injuries to the motorcyclist. Those injuries include:
- traumatic head injuries,
- broken bones,
- internal injuries,
- collapsed lungs,
- severe lacerations,
- friction burns (often referred to as “road rash”), and
- Spinal cord injuries.
Motorcycle accidents are common occurrences in New York, as they are nationwide. Nationally, 4,976 motorcycle riders died in crashes, and an estimated 88,000 suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident each year. The overwhelming majority of those people killed were motorcycle operators. Only six percent of people killed in motorcycle accidents were passengers, while 94% of deceased were operators. Fatal motorcycle accidents occur at a high rate at intersections. Nearly 33% of all fatal collisions happen at intersections.
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