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NC motorcycle accidentsMore than 11 percent of the people killed in traffic accidents in North Carolina in a recent year were motorcyclists.

Motorcyclists are more likely to sustain serious injuries or die in motor vehicle accidents because 1) they are not protected by an enclosed passenger compartment as car occupants are, and 2) because of their smaller size, other motorists are more likely to not notice the motorcycle before moving in front of it.

In North Carolina in 2021, there were 3,712 motorcycle accidents, of which 210 (5 percent) were fatal and 2,847 (77 percent) caused injuries, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reports. Many of those collisions were caused by the drivers of passenger vehicles.

If you are a motorcycle rider or passenger who has been injured in an accident someone else caused, our experienced lawyers at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks in Raleigh, N.C. will do everything we can to help you put your life back together again. Our attorneys help people injured in North Carolina motorcycle accidents, and their families. Our knowledgeable attorneys are ready to review your motorcycle accident case and discuss your rights to get money for your losses.

Get started by setting up a free initial consultation to evaluate your legal options.

National Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Nationwide, 5,932 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle accidents in the U.S. in 2021, representing 14 percent of all traffic fatalities, the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) reported.

In 2021 you were almost 24 times more likely to die if you were in an accident on a motorcycle than if you were in an accident in a passenger car, the NHTSA said.

According to the NHTSA:

  • The 5,932 motorcyclists killed in accidents in 2021 was the highest number since the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System started collecting data in 1975.
  • The number of motorcyclist fatalities increased by 8 percent from 2020 to 2021.
  • The 82,686 motorcyclists injured represented a 5 percent increase from 2020.
  • Among the 6,082 motorcycles involved in fatal crashes, 3,471 (57%) were involved in collisions with other motor vehicles.
  • 43 percent of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes were alcohol-impaired.
  • Motorcycle riders killed in crashes at night were found to be alcohol-impaired three times more often than those killed during the day.
  • 33 percent of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared to 22 percent for passenger car drivers, 15 percent for light-truck drivers, and 7 percent for large-truck drivers.
  • 75 percent of motorcycles involved in fatal two-vehicle crashes were struck in the front. Only 8 percent were struck in the rear.
  • In 43 percent of fatal two-vehicle motorcycle crashes, the other vehicle was turning left while the motorcycles were going straight, or overtaking other vehicles. In many instances, the automobile driver did not see the approaching motorcycle or misjudged the motorcycle’s speed and turned in front of the motorcyclist, making a collision unavoidable.
  • In states with universal helmet laws (which includes North Carolina), 9 percent of motorcyclists killed in accidents were not wearing helmets. In states without helmet laws, 55 percent of motorcyclists killed in accidents were not wearing helmets.
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North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Statistics

The NC DMV reported that in 2021 in North Carolina, there were:

  • 3,712 motorcycle accidents
  • 210 fatal motorcycle accidents
  • 2,847 non-fatal injuries in motorcycle accidents

The DMV reported that from 2017 to 2021 in North Carolina, there was a yearly average of:

  • 3,483 motorcycle accidents
  • 171 fatal motorcycle accidents
  • 2,728 non-fatal injuries in motorcycle accidents
  • 584 motorcycle accidents with property damage only.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand your rights to seek maximum compensation after a serious accident involving bodily injury.

Some Notable Motorcycle Accident Statistics by N.C. County

According to the 2021 DMV Traffic Facts report:

  • The number of motorcyclists killed in North Carolina increased 14.8 percent from 2000 to 2021. Overall, N.C. traffic deaths increased by 7.5 percent.
  • Motorcycle accidents trend higher in warmer months when more riders are on the road in North Carolina. The months of May and September in 2021 had the highest numbers of motorcycle crashes in N.C., with more than 430 crashes each of those months.
  • Those months also had the highest number of motorcyclist injuries.
  • Wake County had 271 motorcycle crashes involving 234 non-fatal injuries and 13 fatalities
  • Wake County ranks second behind Mecklenburg County in motorcycle crashes and motorcycle crashes involving injuries or fatalities, based on a five-year average. Mecklenburg County averaged 273 motorcycle crashes per year compared to 264 in Wake County.

How To Minimize The Risk Of Accidents On Motorcycles

Motorcycles are often in accidents because their smaller size and narrow profile make them more difficult to see in traffic. Other motorists, particularly those who don’t ride motorcycles, may not look for motorcycles in traffic. This lack of alertness on the part of some drivers puts motorcyclists at risk.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), a not-for-profit organization sponsored by multiple motorcycle manufacturers, has published a library of rider training and safety materials.

Here are 10 safety tips from an MSF poster:

  • Take formal rider training and get licensed, such as the NC Motorcycle Safety Education Course.
  • Wear proper gear – including a helmet – when riding.
  • Do not ride after consuming alcohol or drugs.
  • Assume other motorists do not see you.
  • Maintain 360-degree awareness of surrounding vehicles.
  • Create a space cushion – adequate distance between you and other vehicles – to allow you to react if another driver stops, turns, or changes lanes unexpectedly.
  • Proceed through intersections with caution.
  • Practice emergency braking and swerving.
  • Refresh your skills and knowledge regularly.
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Get Legal Help from Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

After being injured in a motorcycle crash, the recovery process might be lengthy, especially if you have traumatic brain injuries or other catastrophic injuries. You could encounter bias against motorcycle riders if you pursue an insurance claim on your own. A motor vehicle accident attorney can push back if an insurance company tries to shift the blame and liability for the motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle accident victims deserve fair compensation for medical expenses and other losses if another motorist caused their motorcycle accident injuries. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, can protect your rights and advocate forcefully on your behalf.

If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another motorist, a Raleigh motorcycle accident attorney can help you seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, lost wages, physical pain, suffering, and more. Contact our Raleigh motorcycle accident lawyers today for a free consultation. Let our legal team answer your questions about pursuing a motorcycle accident claim at no cost. If we can pursue a claim for you, we will not charge a legal fee unless and until we get money for you. Fill out our online contact form or give us a call at 919-661-9000 for a free case evaluation.

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