A motorcycle ride offers many benefits, including the release of endorphins (a/k/a “happy” hormones.) Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle carries some drawbacks, including a substantially higher risk of severe injury or death if you’re involved in a crash. That means that the harm your crash inflicts may permanently alter the trajectory of your life and/or those of your loved ones. If you have been seriously hurt (or a loved one killed) while aboard a motorcycle, you need the services of a knowledgeable Oregon motorcycle accident lawyer to ensure you receive restorative justice.
Less than a week into 2023, a motorcyclist in neighboring Clark County, Washington, lost their life. According to a KOIN report, investigators believed that the driver of a sedan in Vancouver “was turning southbound… from a parking lot when it collided with the motorcycle.”
A few weeks later, another motorcyclist died near Portland. This time, the site was Washington County. The crash involved a motorcycle and one other vehicle on an overpass to Highway 26 in Beaverton.
According to the Portland Police Bureau, these tragic deaths are part of a disturbing trend. Sgt. Ty Engstrom told KTVL, “in 2020, there were eight motorcyclists that died in the city of Portland. In 2021, there were nine that died. And in 2022, there were 11.”
The sergeant stressed the importance of motorcyclists using maximum alertness and the ultimate in defensive driving. Ride “as if everyone is out to get you. When I’m riding my police motorcycle I ride like I’m assuming that the person in the lane next to me is going to cut me off,” he stated.
The Many Ways that Car and Truck Drivers Can Cause Motorcycle Accidents
There are lots of reasons why car and truck drivers may place motorcyclists and their passengers in danger. Some of those are things that a driver may do without a second thought. If a driver suddenly opens their car door in front of an oncoming car or truck they risk losing a door. If they do that in front of an oncoming motorcyclist, the latter risks losing his/her life. In fact, car doors represent one of the half-dozen top bases for motorcycle crashes.
Another common reason why car and truck drivers cause motorcycle accidents comes down to simple physics and biology. Motorcycles are several times smaller and lighter than cars and trucks, making them inherently easier to overlook. These facts play a role in two causes: lane changes and left turns. When a car or truck driver fails to signal a lane change and/or neglects to check the blind spots in his/her mirrors, he/she risks crashing into a motorcycle that was hidden from view. Similarly, left-turning cars and truck drivers may maintain a sufficient lookout to see another car or truck, but not enough to spot a motorcyclist, leading to them turning in front of the motorcycle.
Lesser weight and size also play a role in the severity of the crashes that injure motorcyclists. As the police sergeant told KTVL, “if you are involved in a crash and you are in a car or truck or SUV, you’re much more likely to survive that crash than if you are a pedestrian or a motorcyclist or a bicyclist.” The statistics bear that out, showing that even though motorcycles represent only 3% of the registered vehicles in the U.S., motorcyclists and their riders are 14% of all traffic fatalities. Also, based on vehicle miles traveled, motorcycle accidents are 28 times more likely to result in fatalities as compared to those involving only cars and trucks.
The Oregon motorcycle accident attorneys at Kaplan Law LLC have the skills and experience to help your family with your case. Our office offers clients both knowledgeable advice based on direct experience, as well as personalized attention to fully meet their needs. Call us today at (503) 226-3844 or contact us online to set up your free consultation to find out more.