The Impact of Speed on Motorcycle Crashes

February 29, 2024

The Impact of Speed on Motorcycle Crashes

Discover the impact speeding has on motorcycle accidents that cause severe injuries and even fatalities. Explore the factors behind speeding, the injuries sustained in high-speed collisions, and the importance of seeking legal counsel for a motorcycle accident injury claim.

  • Speeding contributes to motorcycle accidents and fatalities so extensively that more than 2,000 motorcyclists lost their lives in accidents involving speeding in 2021. 
  • High-speed collisions can cause motorcyclists to suffer traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and internal injuries.
  • Speeding increases the risk of collision and can increase the severity of the injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents.
  • Mental health issues like PTSD and depression can arise from high-speed motorcycle crashes.
  • Seeking legal advice is crucial for victims of motorcycle accidents caused by another motorist’s speeding or other negligent actions.
Topic Key Points
Speed’s impact on motorcycle accidents – Speeding leads to accidents and fatalities.
Injuries from high-speed collisions – Traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and internal injuries can result.
Mental health consequences – PTSD, depression, and anxiety can arise from high-speed crashes.
Role of legal advice in motorcycle accidents – Seeking legal counsel is essential for victims of speeding-related accidents.

Why is seeking legal advice crucial for motorcycle accidents involving excessive speed?

Seeking legal advice is vital because the stakes are exceptionally high in these legal claims. Speeding-related accidents can result in severe injuries and lifelong mental health issues. A lawyer can help victims pursue compensation and navigate the legal process.

Why Do We See Drivers And Motorcyclists Speeding?

Several variables have led to the rise in drivers speeding on our roadways. Among these factors, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported, are:

  • Traffic congestion on our roads and highways: Increased traffic congestion irritates many drivers. Some motorists react to traffic congestion by speeding, carelessly passing other cars, or developing road rage toward anybody they perceive to impede their progress. There’s even a name for drivers and motorcyclists increasing their speed as soon as they see an end to traffic congestion and an open road ahead of them: “speed variance.” 
  • Rushing due to lateness: When drivers run behind schedule, whether on their way to work, important appointments, or leisure activities, they often seek to “make up time” by driving faster. However, if their excessive speed causes a collision, the crash will put them even more behind schedule. Exceeding the speed limit puts drivers and others on the road around them at risk. 
  • The capacity to remain anonymous: Alone in their automobile or on their motorcycle, a driver may feel cut off from the outside world. No one is around to see their risky behavior or, if they notice a “bad” driver, to associate the reckless driving activities with the individual behind the wheel in a personal sense. Drivers may start to view the road around them from the detached perspective of an observer, forgetting that they’re actively participating and that driving at excessive speed poses real risks. 

Drivers should always obey the speed limit for both legal and safety reasons. Instances in which speeding becomes particularly problematic include: 

  • Tailgating, or following cars too closely
  • Unlawfully passing through forbidden areas, such as driving through medians and on the shoulder 
  • Erratically changing lanes, especially without ensuring the driver has enough space to safely get over 
  • Failing to use signals to communicate their intentions to other motorists

Speeding can cross the line into aggressive or reckless driving behaviors. These actions endanger everyone on the road, especially motorcyclists, who are particularly vulnerable to the impact of a collision. 

What to Know About Speeding Motorcycle Accidents

What’s the worst that can happen while speeding? Perhaps the negative consequence drivers most commonly imagine is getting a traffic ticket and paying a fine. 

What to Know About Speeding Motorcycle Accidents

In reality, driving at excessive speed can also have more far-reaching adverse effects, such as: 

  • Increased chance of losing control of the vehicle
  • Reduced capacity to brake or stop quickly in the event of impending danger
  • A higher chance of an accident in which one or more of the parties sustain injuries
  • Economic effects of accidents involving speed

Through all of these consequences, speeding can contribute to an increased risk of motorbike accidents. A speeding motorcycle rider may overcorrect their course or find themselves needing more time or space to stop their vehicle. Speeding drivers of cars and trucks not only face the same possibilities but are also more likely to fail to see motorcycles and their riders when they aren’t operating the vehicle with appropriate caution. 

The higher speed may also increase the impact force in a collision. Even if speeding isn’t the cause of a crash, it’s likely to result in more serious injuries than if the vehicles had been moving more slowly. Traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and potentially fatal internal injuries can result from a high-speed accident. 

A driver’s speed significantly impacts both the probability and severity of a collision.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2021 alone, speeding claimed the lives of 12,330 people on American roadways.

Speeding plays a crucial part in motorcycle accidents. In 2021, speeding was a factor in 33% of all crashes that involved a motorcyclist fatality, according to the NHTSA. That amounted to 2,026 motorcycle rider deaths. 

All told, the 5,932 motorcyclist fatalities reported for 2021 represented 14% of all traffic deaths that year and an all-time high since the Fatality Analysis Reporting System began collecting data back in 1975. 

Motorcyclists who ride too quickly or beyond the posted speed limit frequently suffer serious injuries or even lose their lives. It isn’t always the motorcyclist whose speed is problematic. When motorcyclists wind up in the path of speeding drivers of cars, trucks, and other vehicles, they tend to suffer more severe injuries than occupants encased inside these vehicles. 

Factors That Contribute Serious Injuries in Speeding-Related Motorcycle Accidents

Speeding and other reckless behavior on the road make accidents more likely and increase the likelihood that those crashes will cause serious injuries. The most significant factor that makes motorcycle accidents particularly dangerous is exposure to collision forces. 

Occupants of cars and trucks certainly can suffer serious injuries in a crash. However, the vehicle around them typically absorbs at least some of the force of an impact. In comparison, no such protection exists for motorcycle riders, whose bodies are left vulnerable to the full force of an accident. 

As a result, serious injuries like fractured bones, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries are common consequences of a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle riders are also considerably more prone to sustaining skin abrasions (road rash) from sliding across the pavement in or following a collision than vehicle occupants. 

Injuries From High-Speed Motorcycle Crashes

In addition to raising the risk of a collision happening in the first place, driving or riding faster than the posted speed limit might also worsen any injuries the victims involved in the crash sustain. 

Some of the injuries most commonly associated with high-speed motorcycle collisions include:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Motorcyclists should always wear helmets to protect their heads while riding. Unfortunately, while helmets offer some protection, the risk of TBIs still remains. Brain damage is one of the most catastrophic consequences that can result from a high-speed motorcycle accident. 
  • Spinal injuries: Accidents that involve fast-moving vehicles may lead to a variety of different types of injuries to the spine. Spinal cord injuries can cause victims to suffer paralysis or even death. Herniated discs in the spine can cause life-altering pain, numbness, weakness, and loss of mobility. 
  • Internal injuries: Internal damage from a high-speed motorcycle accident may not be visibly obvious, but if left untreated, it can be devastating. Potential internal bleeding or organ damage requires immediate treatment. 
  • Broken bones and fractures: When an accident abruptly knocks a motorcycle rider off balance, broken or fractured bones are common consequences of the fall. 
  • Road rash: These painful skin abrasions occur when a rider slides on the pavement after a collision. Road rash may not seem as dire as TBIs, spinal injuries, or internal bleeding, but these abrasions could become infected if not treated properly and promptly. 

Beyond the physical injuries, the trauma of experiencing a high-speed motorcycle crash can leave victims with PTSD, depression, and other mental health consequences. 

The injuries that result from motorcycle accidents that involve excessive speed are varied, but they have one thing in common. Accident victims tend to have the best prognosis when they undergo a thorough medical examination as soon as possible and follow through with a trusted medical professional’s treatment plan. 

Does Speeding Contribute to Fatalities and Permanent Disabilities?

Speeding isn’t just against the law. Operating a vehicle at excessive speed, whether a motorcycle, car, or truck, can have deadly repercussions.

According to the NHTSA, there were more than 5,900 motorcycle deaths in crashes in 2021. 

Speeding is a factor in a considerable proportion of motorcycle-related deaths. The increased collision force that results from excessive speed makes severe and catastrophic accidents, like spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries, more likely compared to accidents in which vehicles were going the speed limit. 

Can There Be Mental Health Consequences From a High-Speed Crash?

The physical damage that arises in a high-speed motorcycle accident doesn’t tell the whole story of the effects the crash has on a victim. The psychological damage that can result from such a trauma can be just as life-altering as the physical injuries, and it can last a lifetime. 

Can There Be Mental Health Consequences From a High-Speed Crash?

Some of the mental health consequences victims may face after an accident include: 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Self-esteem issues, especially if their physical injuries affect their appearance or abilities 

Following the posted speed limit saves lives and can preserve individuals’ quality of life by avoiding severe physical and mental health impacts resulting from high-speed crashes. 

Why Should Motorcycle Accident Victims Seek Help From a Lawyer?

A motorcycle crash can be life-changing. Seeking legal advice is crucial in motorcycle accidents involving speeding, because the outcome of the victim’s claim affects their future. 

Bringing in an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to handle the claim can make the process easier and increase the chances of a favorable outcome for the victim. 

A motorcycle accident injury lawyer can assist victims and their families in the following ways: 

  • Protecting the victim’s rights: A lawyer can ensure the injured motorcyclist’s rights are preserved and their interests represented throughout the legal process.
  • Pursuing compensation: Legal counsel can help victims and their families pursue compensation for all of their damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • Handling complex legal procedures: Dealing with insurance companies and legal procedures can be complicated, but a lawyer can guide accident victims through the process and oversee all legal proceedings.
  • Providing expertise: Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers draw on the knowledge they have gained over years of handling similar cases, making them well-equipped to build a strong case on their client’s behalf and overcome any obstacles that arise in the claim.
  • Giving victims peace of mind: The last thing victims need during this already challenging time is the stress of trying to navigate the complicated legal process on their own. Having a legal expert by their side provides motorcycle accident victims and their families with peace of mind so they can focus on recovery.

In Summary

Speeding can cause motorcycle accidents that lead to fatalities and severe injuries. High-speed collisions can result in traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and internal damage, along with mental health issues like PTSD and depression. 

Seeking legal advice is essential for victims to address the legal aspects of their cases and obtain the compensation needed to make them financially whole after a crash.

Contact Us at Manchin Ferretti

If you need legal assistance or have questions about motorcycle accidents and speeding-related injuries, please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team. We’re here to help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights, starting with a free consultation.


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