Mothers, fathers and siblings all worry about family members and friends who ride motorcycles. Why? The answer is simple: Motorcyclists are statistically more likely to be killed or injured in traffic collisions than drivers or passengers in cars, minivans, SUVs or pickup trucks that are caught up in serious roadway crashes. Of course, we are probably preaching to the choir when it comes to any biker who is reading this, but understanding as we do the downside to motorcycle accidents, we feel compelled to reiterate our message of caution.
As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my staff of legal professionals have seen riders who have been mildly to severely hurt in car-bike wrecks, as well as bikers involved in collisions with commercial trucks. Although most every motorcycle enthusiast understands the risks involved with traveling in dense traffic or along a high-speed interstate, the fact remains fatal and near-fatal injuries can easily result when a bike is hit by a larger vehicle or, worse, if the rider collides with a stationary object.
Traumatic brain injury is common, even for those who wear a certified helmet and other protective riding gear, as are broken bones and compound fractures, internal injuries and debilitating back and neck injuries. Never mind the potential for severe burns in crashes that ignite a gasoline-fueled fire. For anyone who chooses not to acknowledge the ever-present risk of injury or death while riding a motorcycle, consider the following news items.
Baltimore Woman Dies in out-of-state Crash
A woman from the Baltimore area died as a result of a motorcycle accident earlier this summer while traveling along a stretch of Interstate 95. According to news articles, 33-year-old Marva Wright was headed south on her ‘03 Suzuki GSX in the late evening when for some reason she lost control of the cycle and crashed. Police reports suggest that rider hit her brakes hard enough to cause the rear of the bike to rise up and flip over and into the air.
The victim, who was thrown from her motorcycle, hit the pavement and was subsequently run over by a passenger car belonging to a 66-year-old male driver. The bike itself was hit by a second vehicle — a ‘10 Toyota Prius — driven by an elderly out-of-state motorist. Sadly, even though the woman was wearing a helmet at the time of the traffic wreck, she died before medical help could arrive. There was no mention of whether defective equipment may have played a role in the fatal incident.
Wicomico Crash ends in Death
A bus-motorcycle collision in Salisbury, MD, resulted in the death of a teenager not too long ago when his cycle hit a local commuter bus. Based on news items, a passenger on the bike was severely injured, having been choppered out from the crash site to a Baltimore medical facility for emergency treatment. The accident reportedly occurred around 3pm in the afternoon, around which time police had received calls regarding an ORV being operated in a reckless manner.
Arriving at the scene of the accident, patrolmen found that both the driver and passenger of the ’11 Yamaha dirt bike had not been wearing helmets. Police further confirmed that the cycle was not properly registered, nor was it insured for use on public roadways. Based on information from Wicomico County Sheriff personnel, the deceased victim was only 15 years old; his 16-year-old passenger, as stated previously, survived but with severe bodily injuries. Nobody on the bus, including the 41-year-old driver, was injured.
Motorcycle Crash Victim Dies Weeks Later at Shock Trauma
News agencies announced that the victim of a terrible motorcyclist crash from last May passed away as a result of injuries sustained weeks prior. According to news reports, the biker had been rescued by emergency responders in mid-May following and accident on Rte 40 in Havre de Grace, MD. At the time of the incident, the 45-year-old rider was flown to a local hospital via an MSP medevac chopper. Reports indicate that the motorcyclist had run into the back-end of a passenger car that had pulled out of a nearby shopping mall.
Unable to avoid hitting the vehicle, which was operated by an 81-year-old elderly woman, the victim received facial injuries and possibly some kind of closed-head trauma; it was stated that he was rendered unconscious at one point during his stay at the Maryland Shock Trauma center in Baltimore. Sadly, the man died about six weeks after the initial crash. Oddly, his death will not be counted as one of Harford County’s fatal crashes because he passed away more than 30 days after the incident, per MSP rules regarding the collection of traffic accident statistics.
Bus, Motorcycle Collision in Salisbury Ends in Fatality; WBOC.com, September 13, 2012
Motorcyclist dies from injuries sustained in May crash, BaltimoreSun.com, July 31, 2012
Baltimore woman killed in I-95 motorcycle crash near Newark, NewarkPostOnline.com, July 26, 2012