Motorcycle accidents are increasing in Missouri & Kansas
Motorcycle fatalities represent approximately 10% of all Missouri highway fatalities each year, but motorcycles represent approximately 2.7% of all registered vehicles in Missouri.
In 2016, there were more than 2,100 motorcycle accidents in Missouri. More than 1,900 motorcyclists were injured in accidents. A record high 122 motorcyclists were killed in Missouri traffic accidents in 2016. The record number of Missouri fatalities in 2016 slightly decreased in 2017, when 115 motorcyclists were killed in Missouri.
By comparison, there were 992 motorcycle crashes in Kansas in 2016. There were 749 injuries and 50 fatalities reported in Kansas in 2016.
Why are motorcycle accidents so dangerous in Missouri & Kansas?
One of the main reasons motorcyclists are killed in crashes is because the motorcycle itself provides essentially no protection in a crash. In contrast, an automobile has more weight and bulk than a motorcycle. An automobile has more weight and bulk than a motorcycle. It has door beams and a roof to provide some measure of protection from impact or rollover. It has cushioning and airbags to soften impact and safety belts to hold passengers in their seats. An automobile has more stability because it's on four wheels, and because of its size, it is easier to see. A motorcycle simply does not compare when considering vehicle characteristics that directly contribute to occupant safety.
Due to the dangerous conditions and lack of protection for motorcyclists, 79% of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death. There's this 37% increase in the likelihood of death if the rider is not wearing a helmet.
Are helmets required in Missouri or Kansas?
Missouri Revised Statute section 302.020 requires every person operating or riding as a passenger on any motorcycle upon any highway of the state to wear protective headgear at all times that the vehicle is in motion. There is no such requirement in Kansas for motorcyclists to wear a helmet.
How can you avoid motorcycle accidents?
The best defense for a motorcycle rider is to ride safely and be aware at all times. You should wear proper protection, including a helmet meeting the standards of the US Department of Transportation and completely cover your arms and legs, ideally wearing leather or heavy denim. Boots or shoes should be high enough to cover your ankles, and gloves should cover your hands for a better grip and for added protection in case of a crash. You should obviously obey local traffic laws and ride defensively.
In addition to taking these precautions, you should protect yourself and your family by having motorcycle insurance. Missouri requires drivers to carry $25,000 worth of liability coverage. However, motorcycle accidents are often severe and can easily result in medical bills far beyond these minimum coverage amounts. As a result, you should consider increasing your insurance to the highest amount you can afford. In addition, you should consider adding uninsured or underinsured driver coverage, too. This will cover you if the driver has no insurance (such as a hit-and-run driver) or if the driver has insufficient liability coverage.
Contact our Kansas City motorcycle attorney
After the accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney who has experience in motorcycle accidents. A Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney can help you understand your rights to compensation and help you determine whether a lawsuit should be pursued. Contact our office today if you've been involved in a motorcycle accident in Kansas or Missouri, our Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney is ready to help.
Our skilled legal team can review your individual case with a free, confidential consultation. Call our office at 816-203-0143 or fill out the form below to schedule a consultation. We can help you decide how to seek the compensation you may be owed for medical bills, property damage, future rehabilitation, and lost wages as well as pain and suffering.