Schmitt Mulhern, LLC

Fatality rate substantially higher for motorcyclists

As we posted on earlier, preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association was pointing to a 10 percent increase from 2014 to 2015 in the number of motorcyclists killed on U.S. roadways. Missouri was also included in the list of 31 states to see increases in motorcyclist fatalities.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists have an inherently greater risk of getting into a fatal accident. The association claims that per mile driven, the fatality rate is 26 times higher for motorcyclists than those behind the wheel of a car, truck, SUV or other passenger vehicle.

One can point to a number of different reasons for this disparity. However, one thing that is a given is that motorcyclists are at a disadvantage when it comes to a collision with another passenger vehicle due to the relative size and the fact that -- even with a helmet on -- a motorcyclist simply does not have the added protection of being encased in a vehicle.

Drivers need to be on the lookout for motorcyclists

In looking at how to prevent future accidents, while there are measures that motorcyclists can take, we think it is very important to point out the fact that many accidents are caused by other drivers. The rider is simply going about their business, enjoying the breeze in their face, when another driver's recklessness or carelessness causes a crash. This is specifically why there are "Share the Road" programs, which encourage safer driver behavior, including being on the lookout for motorcyclists.

Simply saying, "I did not see them," is not a valid excuse for an accident. Rather, other drivers need to be checking their blind spots, especially when turning left, as a motorcycle could be approaching without someone even realizing it.

At Schmitt Mulhern, LLC, we take motorcycle accidents very seriously. In fact, our founding attorney -- Ben Schmitt -- is a rider and race sponsor himself. Motorcyclists have the same rights as other drivers and deserve the same level of respect and attention to detail when investigating the true cause of a crash.

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Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, Avvo.com and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.

Matt Mulhern

Attorney Matt Mulhern

Mr. Mulhern has over 25 years of legal experience and a 100 percent success rate arguing before the Missouri Court of Appeals. He has a unique knowledge of the inner workings of insurance companies and how they will dispute your injury claim. He practices in both Missouri and Kansas.