On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, around 2 p.m., a man riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle in Cumberland County hit the driver side of a Dodge Ram pickup and died from his injuries. According to the Kentucky State Police, the accident happened when a man driving Ram pickup turned left off of KY 90 into the path of the Harley Davidson.
The motorcycle rider was taken to Cumberland County Hospital and later passed away from his injuries. The driver and a passenger of the pickup were not injured in the wreck.
The following morning, July 25, 2019, around 2 p.m., another motorcycle rider was killed when he ran into a truck pulling a livestock trailer. According to KSP, the motorcycle was traveling on KY 32 in Owen County when he hit the livestock trailer when the driver of the truck pulled onto the highway.
Owen County EMS called for a helicopter to take him to the hospital, but he died at the scene. Police say the driver of the truck was not injured.
Country Roads and Motorcycle Crashes
Riding a motorcycle is always dangerous. In fact, a motorcycle rider is 28 more times likely to die in an accident than a typical passenger vehicle crash. The reasons for this are many, but foremost is likely the lack of visibility of motorcycles.
Auto safety experts say that when someone is riding a motorcycle, they are often not “seen” even though the driver of a motor vehicle looks right at them. This is called tunnel vision or “tunneling”, and it is a factor in many motorcycle fatalities.
According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the accident fatality rate on rural highways is over double that of urban highways despite the fact that of all miles driven per year, 32 percent were on rural roads and 68 percent were on urban roads. Looked at another way, 60 percent of all traffic fatalities each year are on rural roads leaving 40 percent on urban roads.
This means that urban driving outpaces rural driving 2 to 1, and yet the fatality rate is double for rural accidents, and well over half of all fatalities happen on rural roads.
The reason for this is just speculation with some finding that accidents on rural roads are more likely to be fatal because of the speed of the vehicles and a high number of head-on collisions. When cars are traveling on rural highways and collide with another vehicle, the speed of at least one vehicle is commonly over 50 mph. These high speeds make greater impacts which leads to more fatalities.
Motorcycle on Urban Highways
As the accidents mentioned above illustrate, when a motorcycle is traveling at a high rate of speed and hits a stopped or slow-moving vehicle, the impact is considerable. While we don’t know if tunneling was a factor in the above crashes, we know that it seems that the motorcycle riders hit vehicles at a high rate of speed with little or no time to react.
Country Road Motorcycle Accident Injuries
When a motorcycle is in an accident on a country or rural road, the impacts are more often greater than those in urban environments because of the speed. When a motorcycle hits a stopped vehicle, the rider is often ejected from the bike over the handle bars and onto the pavement. These accidents show certain patterns of injuries suffered by the motorcycle rider.
Some of these injuries are:
- Head Injuries: Traumatic Brain Injuries and severe concussions are caused by the impact of the head on another vehicle and/or the ground.
- Broken Wrists/Arms: In rural accidents, the motorcyclist usually has no time to react except to tighten his or her grip on the handle bars. This often causes fractures in the wrists or arms.
- Chest Compression Injuries: Many times, the rider’s chest hits the handle bars, and the impact causes injuries to organs like spleen and lungs.
- Broken Ribs: The handle bars and any other object in the path of the ejected driver can cause broken rips.
- Severe Road Rash: In almost every motorcycle crash, the rider is ejected and often gets “burns” on any skin exposed to the pavement.
What Should I do if I’m involved in a Country Road Motorcycle Accident?
After taking care of your immediate medical needs, you need to talk to an attorney. Do this before you speak to anyone from an insurance company or their attorney’s. The reason for this is that insurance companies have been through this process hundreds of times, and this is probably your first. They know what they are doing, and the get paid more by paying you less.
At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, we offer a free consultation where we can let you know the process and the law so you can make an informed decision. If you choose to hire us, we will immediately put our experience to work and level the playing field.
Call the attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, and they will stand behind you to make sure that you are treated fairly and that you get the highest compensation allowed by the law.