Motorcycle accidents in Arkansas are devastating no matter how serious they are. Even an ‘every-day’ crash can cause life-altering injuries for any individual involved. However, the risk of fatality is also extremely high. Indeed, not only are motorcyclists more likely to be involved in crashes than automobile operators, they’re more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a crash. Statistics collected by the Insurance Information Institute show that motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in a crash than their automobile operating cousins.
However, out of all the types of motorcycle collisions (rear-end, sideswiping, “right-hook”), there’s one that’s more deadly than all the rest combined: head-on collisions.
Head-On Collisions Represent Lion’s Share of Fatal Crashes
The vast majority of fatal motorcycle accidents in Arkansas involve head-on collisions. Those are crashes during which one (or sometimes both) vehicles stray from their designated lane and collide with the other at speed. Some estimates crafted from crash statistics suggest that over 77% of all fatal motorcycle accidents are head-on collisions.
This number is significantly disproportionate to the number of fatal head-on collisions involving two passenger vehicles. Statistics collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) show that head-on collisions represent just 13% of rural crash fatalities and just 7% of urban collision fatalities.
Why Are Head-On Collisions So Common?
Driver negligence is by far the leading cause of head-on collisions in the United States. That negligence can stem from a number of factors:
- Distracted driving
- Inability to adapt to road/weather/visibility conditions
- Driver inexperience
If a driver takes their eyes off the road ahead of them for just a moment, they run the risk of crossing that center line and straying into the path of oncoming traffic. While most head-on collisions happen when the road curves, a significant number occur at intersections and along straightaways because there is false sense of security by a driver who wants to look away for a second or two that the driver can stay in his or her lane without veering. Texting and driving accidents in Arkansas have proved to be deadly far too many times.
Why Are Head-On Collisions So Deadly?
They really represent “the perfect storm” as far as crashes go.
- Head-on collisions result in the most energy transferred to the victims because both vehicles are traveling in opposite directions.
- Motorcyclists are more often thrown from their bikes in head-on collisions
- The percentage of victims who suffer head trauma during head-on motorcycle accidents is much higher than the percentages involved in other types of motorcycle crashes because they often strike the oncoming vehicle after being thrown.
Without the benefit of a safety cage, crumple zones, or seat belts, the only protection that a motorcyclist has to rely upon is a helmet.
Assigning Fault in Head-On Motorcycle Accidents in Arkansas
Assigning fault in any auto accident is determined by assessing which party violated their duty of care to operate their vehicle safely. Clearly, when a driver veers out of the travel lane and crosses into the path of oncoming vehicles, they have violated that duty of care. However, there may also be circumstances behind that driver’s failure that are simply out of their control.
Weather, animals, other vehicles, visibility, road disrepair, mechanical failure can all play a role in tragic accidents, and when they do, assigning fault isn’t as cut-and-dry as you might think.
Getting Just Compensation After an Accident
That’s why, as a victim, you should always at least consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Arkansas before deciding how to continue the financial compensation process. An attorney can help you spot potential pitfalls, combat liability “loopholes” that insurance companies and defendant’s attorneys may try to exploit, and get the best compensation package available.