Like any type of accident, motorcycle accidents can happen due to a variety of circumstances such as weather, road conditions, negligence and more. Unlike other accidents, motorcycle accidents have a greater chance of resulting in serious injury or death simply because riders and passengers are less protected than those in cars and trucks. Sadly, a 63-year-old Kahului man recently died after he lost control of his bike and crashed into a guardrail. It is the fourth traffic fatality on Maui this year.
According to the Star Advertiser, Clifford Spencer of Kahului died from injuries after he lost control of his 1997 Harley Davidson motorcycle and crashed into a guardrail on the Piilani Highway in Kihei near Kaiwahine Street. Unfortunately, he was not wearing a helmet, although that is not required under Hawaiian law. Police are still investigating whether speed, alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash.
Spencer’s death is a reminder that motorcycle accidents frequently result in serious injury or death. Studies show that there are more bikers (motorcycles, scooters, mopeds and bicycles) on the road than ever before. One of the primary reasons this is true in Hawaii is likely due to gas prices. According to a recentUSA Today article, Hawaii has the highest gas prices in the nation, currently around $4.17 per gallon. That makes motorcycles and mopeds a less expensive mode of transportation.
More bikers on the road means more accidents. According to a Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) study, motorcycle accidents that resulted in fatalities increased 27 percent in Hawaii from 2011 to 2012 – nearly triple that of the national average of nine percent.
But, why do motorcycle accidents happen in the first place? The most common reason, according to Rider Groups, a social networking and motorcycle review site for motorcycle enthusiasts, is that cars and trucks simply don’t see motorcycles. The most common situation in which a motorcycle and a car collide is when the car is making a left hand turn in front of the oncoming motorcycle. This type of accident is the most dangerous for the motorcyclist because it results in a head-on, or near head-on, collision with the automobile.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to contact an experienced Hawaii motorcycle accident lawyer who can analyze your situation and review the facts and circumstances of the accident to discuss your legal options.
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, permanent disability and costly medical bills. If your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to motorcycle accident compensation in the form of lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering, permanent disability, mental impairment, earning capacity impairment, loss of profits, medical bills and more.
Keep in mind that Hawaii’s statute of limitations (the time in which you must file a lawsuit) for motorcycle accidents is only two years, so acting sooner rather than later is always in your best interests.