Most motorcyclists know that catastrophic injuries can result from a motorcycle accident. An accident is always a possibility when a person is on the road in any motor vehicle, including a motorcycle. But what does the data show about the prevalence of motorcycle accidents in Oklahoma?
Reports from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office show that hundreds of motorcycle accidents in the state have resulted in fatalities over the past several years. The most recent data available from OHSO is from 2014, and it shows 55 motorcyclists died in accidents that year. That marked a substantial decrease from the 92 deaths in 2013 and 83 in 2012. Thirty-five of the 55 riders who died in crashes in 2014 were not wearing helmets.
Wearing a helmet and other safety gear is always wise when riding a motorcycle. But even if a rider fails to take those precautions, that doesn't mean they are automatically at fault for the injuries they suffer in an accident.
It is no secret that motorcycles cannot offer riders the same safety protection as other vehicles. Likewise, a motorcycle is no match for a much larger vehicle like a car or truck, and thus the rider is likely to suffer more serious injuries than are the people in other vehicles. But none of this negates the responsibility that drivers in those other vehicles have toward maintaining the safety of everyone on the roadways, including motorcyclists.
When a person suffers motorcycle accident injuries due to a negligent driver, that driver will be legally responsible for the damages the rider incurs. Riders should always put safety above all else when on a motorcycle. But if they get injured in an accident, riders or their family members should know they have legal rights.
Source: Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, "Motorcycle Fact Sheets," Accessed on April 19, 2016