Motorcyclists in Arkansas face all kinds of dangers every time they hit the road. From distracted drivers who fail to yield to bikers in dreaded “left cross” collisions to drivers who squeeze motorcyclists off the road (or worse) when making right turns without looking in their rearview mirrors. Nationwide crash data shows that the type of injuries that motorcyclists suffer in these crashes is often as varied as the types of collisions themselves. But you can’t always calculate the risk of serious—even fatal injuries—from the type of collision.
Indeed, a recent fatal motorcycle accident in Arkansas demonstrates that one of the rarest dangers a motorcyclist can face (being struck from behind) can often be one of the most lethal.
Fatal Motorcycle Accident on Highway 82 Could Have Been Caused by Driver Inattention
A 28-year-old motorcyclist died after being struck by a pickup truck while traveling east on Highway 82 in Garland City. The fatal collision occurred on the Red River Bridge when the operator of a GMC Yukon slammed into the back of the bike.
The operator was tossed from his machine and landed in the roadway. He was pronounced dead at the scene when EMTs arrived minutes later.
It’s unclear if the bike had braked prior to the collision or not, but the Arkansas State Police’s preliminary accident report states that the travel conditions were near ideal—clear skies and dry travel surface. Could this tragic accident have been caused by driver inattention?
Distracted driving killed just over 3,400 people in 2015. In spite of all the media attention this deadly habit has drawn and all the ramped-up enforcement of traffic laws by police agencies nationwide, that figure jumped to over 4,600 in 2018.
While many behaviors take our eyes away from the road—eating food, putting on makeup, even loose pets in the vehicle—the most prevalent distraction in our cars today is technology. Mobile phones and other smart devices contribute to a significant portion of those accidents. In fact, one study found that texting was a factor in 58% of accidents involving teen drivers in the United States.
And it only takes an instant of inattention to cause a fatal crash. At highway speeds, a car can travel 100 yards or more in the time it takes the driver to look at their phone.
Rear-End Collisions Rare but Often Deadly
According to the National Highway Safety Transportation Board’s official statistics, only 5% of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve rear-end collisions. That means that these types of deadly crashes only accounted for 264 deaths in 2018.
But if these types of collisions are so rare, why are they so dangerous?
According to a study published by the NCBI, rear-end motorcycle collisions result in head and neck injuries far more often than other types of collisions. This is because riders are often thrown from their bikes in these types of crashes and often collide with the bumper, hood, or windshield of the vehicle that struck them. Even when helmets are worn, riders involved in rear-end collisions often suffer serious (if not fatal) head and neck injuries.
If the rider survives a rear-end collision, they’re often left with life-altering injuries like:
- Paralysis (total or partial)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Neurological damage
In best-case scenarios, such injuries require lengthy hospital stays and months or years of rehabilitation—all of which can quickly max out insurance policies and family savings funds.
Assessing Fault in Rear-End Collisions—Your Right to Compensation
In almost every case, the driver of the automobile involved in a rear-end motorcycle accident is at fault. That means that individual is also liable for the financial damages associated with the victim’s injuries and the cost associated with any loss stemming from the crash.
However, getting compensation isn’t always as easy as determining liability. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a rear-end motorcycle accident in Arkansas, you need an experienced attorney who will safeguard your right to compensation.
Contact the Pfeifer Law Firm for a consultation today. You can call us directly at 501-374-4440 or contact us online.