Alcohol & Motorcycles = Bad Combination
August 10th, 2015
Attorneys Serving Victims of Drunk Motorcycle Riders in Massachusetts and Rhode Island
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27% of motorcycle accident fatalities involved riders whose blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeded 0.08%. Being that motorcycle driving is inherently more dangerous than driving a vehicle – resulting in a fatality 16 times more frequently, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – adding a mentally debilitating component can have disastrous consequences. If you or a loved one has been affected by a drunk motorcycle driver, you understand the severity of these potential consequences. Following are some of the specific reasons why drunk motorcycle driving is especially dangerous, as well as some things to consider for your motorcycle accident case.
The Dangers of Drinking and Motorcycle Driving
Essentially, drunk driving exacerbates all of the already-existing dangers of motorcycle driving. While all of us know that motorcycle driving is more dangerous than driving a car, it’s important to understand why. First of all, a motorcycle is substantially lighter than a car, which makes it less likely to stay in place when hit by another vehicle. For example, being rear-ended at 10 miles per an hour in a car will not typically result in serious injury. However, being rear-ended at the same speed on a motorcycle can easily lead to serious injury or even death, especially if the rider is not wearing a helmet. Unlike cars, motorcycles offer little cover, which makes it much easier for a driver to be thrown off the bike, potentially into traffic or onto hard objects.
This becomes increasingly possible when a driver is not in a sober frame of mind. Safe motorcycle driving relies heavily on balance and coordination, both of which are greatly impaired when an individual is intoxicated.
Drunk Driving and Safety Equipment
Driving a motorcycle while drunk also causes riders to be less responsible with safety equipment, such as wearing a helmet. Wearing a helmet while driving a motorcycle is the most significant safety measure that can be taken while driving, akin to wearing a seatbelt while driving an enclosed automobile. According to the NHTSA, not wearing a helmet leads to a 40% higher chance that an accident will lead to a fatal brain injury for the rider.
Some other common injuries that result from motorcycle accidents include:
- Spinal Cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Road rash
The potential for these types of injuries makes safe motorcycle driving – from wearing a helmet to following basic traffic laws – immensely important. Adding alcohol or other drugs into the mix only makes motorcycling more dangerous, as it significantly undermines a rider’s judgment and coordination.
Determining Motorcycle Accident Liability
When a motorcycle accident does occur, many things are taken into account when liability is determined, including everything from the mental state of the riders and/or drivers involved and the weather conditions. Typically, if a driver who is involved in an accident registers a BAC at or above 0.08%, they will be found responsible for the accident; however, there are many factors that can complicate accident cases.
Bottaro Law, Serving Your Motorcycle Accident Needs
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, you need an experienced attorney to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys understand what it takes to establish fault, and we would be happy to represent your case. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.