Difference Between Car and Motorcycle Accidents in Phoenix, AZ

How Motorcycle Accidents Are Different from Car Accidents

Despite the fact that motorcycles only make up 3 percent of all registered vehicles on the roads, they are involved in a disproportionately high percentage of severe accidents. It is reported that motorcycle accidents have a shocking 80 percent injury or fatality rate, while car accidents have a rate of around 20 percent. 

There are several reasons why motorcyclists are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries in accidents. One major factor is that motorcycles lack the protective body frame and safety features such as seat belts and airbags which are standard-issue for cars. 

At Phillips Law Group, we know that both motorcycle and car accidents can leave victims with devastating injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in an Arizona motor vehicle accident, contact our law firm today. Call us 24/7 to schedule a free case evaluation.

Common Causes of Arizona Car Accidents vs. Motorcycle Accidents

Whether you are driving a car or motorcycle, you have an obligation to drive safely and obey the rules of the road. The majority of motor vehicle accidents are caused by some type of driver error. Drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving are dangerous regardless of the type of vehicle you are driving. 

Common causes of car accidents

The following are some common causes of Arizona car accidents:

  • Distracted driving: Anything that takes our attention away from the road is considered to be a distracted driving risk. This may include texting, talking on the phone, programming the GPS, eating, checking email, and more. 
  • Speeding: Speeding is dangerous because the faster you are going, the less control you have over your vehicle when you face an unexpected hazard on the road. Additionally, the faster you are going in the event of an accident, the more likely you are to face catastrophic injuries. 
  • Reckless driving: A reckless driver intentionally disregards traffic and safety laws. Examples of reckless driving include excessive speed, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, running traffic lights and signs, street racing, and more. 
  • Driving under the influence: It is illegal in Arizona to drive if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is .08 or higher. Alcohol can have a negative effect on a driver’s coordination, judgment, depth perception, vision, and comprehension. 
  • Drowsy driving: Drowsy driving may be the result of sleep deprivation, medications, alcohol, or untreated sleep disorders. Driving while drowsy not only increases your risk of falling asleep behind the wheel but can also impair your reaction time, awareness, and ability to focus. 

Common causes of Arizona motorcycle accidents

Accidents involving motorcycles are often caused by:

  • Speeding: Most motorcycles are able to accelerate quickly, and it is tempting for riders to push their bikes far beyond the posted speed limit. However, this is especially dangerous since motorcycles do not have the protection of a steel frame like automobiles do. The faster a person is traveling, the greater the force of impact in a collision. 
  • Driving under the influence: The legal BAC for motorcyclists is the same as the limit for motorists, .08 percent. Alcohol impairs the skills a person needs to safely operate a motorcycle. 
  • Left-hand turns: Many accidents occur when the rider is turning left. A driver may fail to see the motorcyclist, or the rider may miscalculate the amount of time he has to execute the turn. 
  • Lane splitting: Arizona has recently passed a law allowing motorcyclists to pass stopped vehicles going in the same direction. However, lane splitting is only allowed under specific circumstances, such as when traffic is traveling slower than 45 mph. When lane splitting laws are not obeyed, it can be a dangerous driving behavior and lead to severe accidents. 
  • Lane changes: Motorcycles are considerably smaller than other motor vehicles and can be difficult to see when a motorist changes lanes. If drivers fail to yield or check their blind spots, they could collide with a motorcyclist while changing lanes. 

Motorcycles Lack Safety Features to Prevent Accidents

When motorcyclists are involved in an accident, they lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle. Reports show that the number of fatalities on motorcycles is close to 29 times higher than in cars. 

One of the main reasons why motorcycle accidents result in more fatalities and catastrophic injuries is that automobiles are enclosed and equipped with many safety features. 

Safety features commonly found in new automobiles include:

  • Airbags
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Safety belts
  • Back-up cameras
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Electronic stability control
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Forward collision warning
  • High-speed alert 
  • Curve speed warning
  • Brake assist and more

Motorcycles, on the other hand, have few of these safety features. While anti-lock braking systems, traction control, rear lift-off protection, and other features are making motorcycles safer, they are not a substitute for the protection of a steel frame that a car provides. 

Motorcycle Accidents Result in More Severe Injuries Than Car Accidents 

In addition to the lack of safety features, there are other reasons why motorcyclists are more susceptible to accidents. Motorcycles are smaller than cars, vans, and trucks, making them easily hidden in drivers’ blind spots. 

The design of motorcycles makes them more unstable than cars. A motorcyclist has to balance the bike on two wheels while riding, turning, and encountering adverse road conditions. This vulnerability makes them more susceptible to tipping over. 

Environmental factors also contribute to motorcycle accidents. Rain, gravel, grass clippings, dirt, and other debris can affect motorcyclists’ ability to keep their bikes in an upright position. 

Common injuries sustained in Arizona motorcycle accidents include:

  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Broken bones, especially the collarbone, and pelvis
  • Road rash from sliding across the pavement
  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Nerve damages
  • Facial scarring
  • Tissue damage
  • Internal organ damage
  • Loss of limbs
  • Paralysis

While many car accidents also result in injuries, there is a greater chance of car accident victims only sustaining minor injuries. 

Drunk Driving Is the Cause of Many Car Accidents and Motorcycle Accidents

While alcohol is more likely to be a contributing factor in more motorcycle fatalities than car accident-related deaths, it is a contributing factor in both. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports alcohol being involved in 27 percent of motorcycle deaths and 23 percent of car accident fatalities. 

People who have been drinking may not have the ability to perceive hazards, brake when needed, stay in their lane, or judge how close they are to other drivers. Whether you are riding a motorcycle or driving a car, drinking alcohol, and operating a motor vehicle do not mix.

Get Risk-Free Help From Phillips Law Group for Your Unique Accident Case

Any type of motor vehicle accident can result in severe injury or death. However, motorcycle accidents are more likely to result in life-changing injuries or death. If you or someone you love has been harmed in a motorcycle accident, our compassionate legal team is here to help.

Our personal injury attorneys may be able to help you file a motorcycle accident claim to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We truly care about the people we represent and will work hard to help you recover maximum compensation for your losses. 

We offer all potential clients a free case evaluation today. You are under no pressure or obligation to retain our legal services after the evaluation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.