In 2015, more Nebraska motorcyclists died in traffic collisions than the state has seen since before 2011. In an age where automobile and motorcycle technology is the best it’s ever been, it’s hard to imagine why we saw such a drastic increase. In a 2015 interview with Omaha World-Herald, Fred Zwonechek, administrator of the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety, said that more than half of those fatalities were a result of preventable driving behavior.
One of the main factors in these motorcycle accidents was speeding. While enjoying the open Nebraska roads on a motorcycle, it can be tempting to enjoy the ride so much that you forget about what speed you’re traveling at. Being involved in a motorcycle crash can quickly force you to remember the implications of an accident, however. Motorcycle accidents never end well for the rider and often result in death.
According to statistics gathered by the Department of Health and Human Services between the years 2008 and 2013, Nebraska motorcyclists were 26 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than a driver or passenger in a passenger vehicle. Anyone who’s seen the aftermath of a motorcycle crash can attest to this fact. Smaller, lighter motorcycles simply don’t stand a chance when colliding with a larger passenger vehicle that is protected—especially at very high speeds.
If you’ve been injured in a serious motorcycle crash in the state of Nebraska, you need help. Getting the financial compensation you need from the other driver’s insurance company can be incredibly difficult no matter who’s at fault for the accident. It’s a simple fact that the insurance adjustors will not be on your side. To get the assistance you need, you first need an Omaha, NE motorcycle accident lawyer.
What Leads to Motorcycle Accident Deaths in Nebraska?
Deadly motorcycle accidents are usually caused by someone making a mistake due to adverse conditions, a failure of judgement, or a distraction that causes a driver to misjudge a situation. Oftentimes, negligence causes motorcycle accidents. When a driver in another vehicle fails to follow the laws of traffic or neglects to notice a motorcyclist in time, for example, the law states that negligence plays a part in any resulting accident.
Reckless behaviors or actions can also cause motorcycle accidents. When a motorcyclist speeds or when a passenger vehicle follows a motorcycle too closely, both situations can cause a devastating accident.
Below is a list of some of the most common causes for motorcycle accidents in the state of Nebraska:
- Speeding – When a motorcycle or passenger vehicle travels far above the speed limit and fails to notice another vehicle in time, stopping in time to avoid an accident is almost impossible. The results from motorcycle accidents caused by speeding are almost always disastrous.
- Head-on Collisions – A head-on collision occurs when a driver of a passenger vehicle fails to give a motorcyclist the proper right-of-way or fails to see the motorcyclist in time. These crashes are usually fatal to the motorcyclist, unfortunately.
- Splitting Lanes – Motorcyclists often feel comfortable passing other vehicles between lanes, but many times this maneuver goes unnoticed by the drivers of the passenger cars. Motorcyclists should be careful to not split a lane with another driver unless they are able to get the driver’s attention. Passenger vehicle drivers also need to continually watch out for motorcyclists who may be nearby and attempting this maneuver.
- Left-hand Turns – Passenger vehicles making a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle without noticing the motorcycle often cause a crash. This is one of the most common causes for crashes, in fact, and is just one example of why it’s vital to check both ways before making a turn.
- Alcohol Usage – Almost half of our nation’s traffic collisions overall are caused by impaired drivers who get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Alcohol kills. Impairment from drugs is also a factor.
- Distracted Driving – When a passenger vehicle driver gets distracted by a conversation that’s happening, an incoming text on their smartphone, their social media feed, or a new Pokémon Go battle, they can easily fail to see an oncoming motorcyclist.
- Road Hazards – Motorcyclists are more at risk to cause an accident during harsh weather, windy conditions, or after hitting a piece of road debris. Motorcycle riders need to be aware of possible road hazards and steer clear away from them or even consider taking a break from the road during adverse weather.
Many of the above causes are 100% preventable and occur due to negligent or reckless acts. As Nebraska residents, it’s within our power and control to prevent every single motorcycle accident that’s caused by distracted driving, impaired driving, and speeding. By working together, we can prevent deadly accidents.
One other way we can prevent deadly motorcycle crashes is by ensuring that motorcycle riders and passengers alike always wear helmets. Helmets are estimated to prevent 37% of crash deaths among Nebraska motorcycle riders and over 41% of crash deaths for motorcycle passengers. Wearing a helmet may not prevent a crash, but it helps protect one of the most vital organs in your body—your brain—should a crash occur.
Recover with the Help of an Omaha Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a major motorcycle accident in the state of Nebraska, you deserve to know that help is available. Recovering from a serious accident can take a substantial amount of time and effort and can quickly eat up a family’s bank account, especially if you’re unable to work or collect disability.
The other driver’s auto insurance settlement will likely not have enough of an impact to allow you to still provide for your loved ones should you find yourself in this situation. Without the help of a skilled and experienced Omaha, NE motorcycle accident lawyer, you won’t generally be able to receive the compensation you need to recover.
At Welsh & Welsh, we can fight on your behalf in the court of law to ensure you can afford your medical bills and recover from your injuries while still providing for your family. If negligence or reckless behavior caused your accident, you more than likely are eligible to file a lawsuit against the other driver. Doing so will open many doors to allow for a stress-free recovery. Contact our Omaha office to learn more.