Motorcycle Accidents Involving Stationary Objects

Most motorcyclists are well aware of the potential dangers they face daily while traveling on Indiana roadways. It is a known fact that motorcycles are harder to see than other types of vehicles, and more difficult to control in adverse conditions, so extra precautions must be taken when riding.

When you add aggressive or distracted drivers to the equation, the potential for a serious or fatal motorcycle accident increases exponentially. However, though there are many deadly motorcycle vs. vehicle accidents every year, more motorcycles are involved in fatal collisions involving stationary objects than in crashes with vehicles.

In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 22 percent of fatal motorcycle collisions involved stationary objects. As a comparison, only 18 percent of fatal accidents involving passenger vehicles were due to collisions with fixed objects, and only 14 percent for light trucks and four percent for large trucks. As motorcyclists who collide with stationary objects have little to protect themselves, fatal injuries are often sustained.

What Stationary Objects Pose a Threat to Motorcyclists?

While many factors (speed, weather, road conditions, safety gear or lack thereof, involved vehicles, and point of impact) may contribute to the catastrophic nature of a collision, what stationary objects pose the biggest threat? What do motorcyclists need to watch out for, particularly when traveling along unfamiliar roads?

Motorcyclists must remain vigilant at all times. Any stationary object could present a very real danger. A few of stationary objects riders must keep an eye out for include:

  • Construction equipment and signs
  • Road closure barriers or cones
  • Center dividers
  • Guard rails
  • Telephone or light poles
  • Walls and concrete barriers
  • Buildings

Common Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents Involving Stationary Objects

When a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, the likelihood that he or she will be thrown from the bike is extremely high. If the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet and protective gear, the chances of recovery are higher, but even then, the risks are substantial.

In motorcycle accidents involving stationary objects, the injuries sustained are often far more severe. Not only does the motorcycle collide with the stationary object, but the force of impact can result in the motorcyclist crashing into the object or ricocheting off of it. The riding speed and point of impact, as well as the solidity of the object, will determine whether the motorcyclist will face either life-threatening or fatal injuries.

Some of the injuries commonly seen in motorcycle accidents involving fixed or stationary objects include:

  • Concussions
  • Head trauma
  • Brain damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures
  • Neck injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Facial disfigurement
  • Partial or complete paralysis

Actions Motorcyclists Can Take to Avoid Stationary Object Collisions

Certain factors have been known to increase a motorcyclist’s chances of colliding with a stationary object, or being involved in any serious collision. The NHTSA notes that speed was a factor in 34 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents during 2013. Engine size may also impact risk, as motorcyclists who are less able to maintain control of high-performance bikes are more likely to collide with another vehicle or stationary object.

Rider distraction and alcohol consumption also play a role. In 2013, 28 percent of the motorcyclists killed had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, and another seven percent had lower alcohol levels but were still impaired.

Motorcyclists can lower their risk of suffering life-threatening or fatal injuries in a collision with a stationary object by following these basic safety tips:

  • Wear a helmet at all times while riding
  • Wear proper riding gear
  • Refrain from drinking and riding
  • Follow posted speed limit signs
  • Avoid construction zones, and slow down when encountering them
  • Avoid riding in areas in which you have no familiarity, particularly at night
  • Never operate a bike that has more power than you can comfortably handle
  • If you are new to riding, take lessons
  • Avoid rider distractions

Indiana Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may have the right to seek compensation. Don’t let the fact that you were involved in a single-vehicle accident with a stationary object deter you from speaking with an attorney to find out about your rights. Certain single-vehicle motorcycle accidents occur due to outside factors, rather than rider error, and your case should be reviewed. Our firm has helped countless clients pursue damages in a wide range of accident cases, and we will investigate the facts to determine if any other party can be held liable in your case. Call Jacobs Law today to schedule your free consultation.