Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

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Motorcycle accidents often lead to death of the motorcyclist. If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover damages from the at-fault party through a wrongful death claim. For years, our highly skilled Syracuse motorcycle accident attorneys have been settling and litigating motorcycle injury claims. With vast experience, you can rest assured that we will fervently advocate for your rights every step of the way.

Earlier this week, the New York State Police investigated a deadly accident in which a car allegedly turned left directly into the path of a Harley Davidson. The motorcycle driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the car was arrested and charged with drunk driving and other traffic offenses. Law enforcement is still collecting information on the accident and requests that anyone who has relevant information reach out to police.

Fatal Motorcycle Accident Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2016 fatal crash data reveals that motorcyclist deaths took place 28 times more often than deaths in other automobiles. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that there were 34,439 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2016 in which 37,461 deaths occurred. In New York, there were 965 fatal motorcycle crashes resulting in 1,025 deaths that same year.

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If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you need to contact a Syracuse motorcycle accident attorney without delay. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we thoroughly understand New York motorcycle laws and can help you file an accident claim to recover the damages you deserve for your harm. You can rest assured that we are committed to protecting your rights at every step of the way.

New York has a law that requires motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet regardless of age, licensing, or level of riding experience. Essentially, the law applies to anyone on a motorcycle. The relevant law is found in the Vehicle and Traffic Law at Section 381(6), which states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he wears a protective helmet.” The helmet must meet federal regulations.

Motorcycle riders are susceptible to catastrophic injuries when they get into an accident. The risk of injuries can greatly increase when individuals on motorcycles are not wearing a helmet. Data from the New York Department of Health reveal that motorcycle helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 42 percent effective for passengers. In addition, helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries in crashes; riders without helmets are three times more likely to have a brain injury as a result of a crash when compared to riders wearing helmets.

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Losing a loved one is never easy, but it is even more devastating when the death is a result of a tragic accident. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, we can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand how to navigate complex motorcycle accidents. You can rest assured that we can thoroughly investigate your case and help you pursue the compensation you need to move on with your life. Wrongful death claims are often very complex, and having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference in your case.

According to the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to experience a deadly crash on the road than people in passenger cars. The New York State Department of Motorcycles found that there were 142 fatal crashes involving motorcycles in the state in 2014. There were 4,055 non-fatal personal injury crashes that same year. Fatal motorcycle accidents can have a number of causes, including but not limited to:

  • Distracted driving;
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From semi truck crashes to pedestrian collisions, traffic accidents of all kinds can be devastating. However, motorcyclists often face particularly perilous outcomes when they are struck by a vehicle. Unfortunately, far too many motorcyclists have had their lives shattered because of the negligent behavior of drivers in Syracuse and other New York cities. For motorcyclists, recognizing the prevalence of these crashes could help. Sadly, even the most responsible of motorcyclists could find themselves in the middle of a serious accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published statistics on motorcycle accidents which show that an estimated 88,000 motorcyclists suffered an injury and over 4,660 motorcyclist fatalities took place during 2013. In comparison to the year before, these figures represent a slight decrease in the number of motorcyclists who were hurt and killed. However, the numbers are still staggering and far more people have had their lives shattered because of motorcycle crashes in the years since.

For victims of these crashes and the family members of motorcycle wreck victims, it is crucial to understand some of the other challenges that can arise from an accident, in addition to the loss of life and physical injuries. For example, a victim may lose his or her mobility, interfering with their quality of life and keeping them from earning a living. Moreover, funeral expenses, health care costs, and rehabilitation expenses can create even more financial problems. Because these wrecks are so serious, negligent drivers who fail to drive safely and watch out for motorcyclists must be held liable when they cause a crash.

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It seems that not a day goes by without you hearing about or seeing motorcycle accidents in New York. The number of riders is increasing every day; so is the risk of accidents. In 2015, there were “8.6 million motorcyclists on the roads” across the country, state the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Any type of accident that occurs on the roads is enough to leave you wondering what kind of injuries the victims sustained. You may also find yourself wondering about the causes of these crashes and what can be done to prevent them. Here is a brief overview of factors that lead to motorcycle accidents.

Road conditions

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Many New Yorkers believe the majority of motorcycle accidents occur when road conditions are bad. However, a recent study in Motofire states that “most motorcycle accidents happen when road conditions are ideal. The study is based on reported data on motorcycle accidents in Australia. The information suggests that there are other contributing risks that lead to motorcycle accidents. 

Take some time to learn about factors that affect motorcyclist safety when road conditions are ideal. 

Biker age 

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Motorcyclists are subjected to heightened safety risks on the road, especially when coursing busy thoroughfares laden with other drivers who may be distracted, inattentive or careless. While some motorcycle safety precautions are commonalities, others are incorrectly understood.

The Huffington Post shared an article which discusses some of these myths and aims to educate bikers and drivers alike to encourage motorcycle safety. Some of these notorious myths include:

  • Loud is best: While some people believe that a loud exhaust increases a motorcyclist’s safety by making more noise, this is false. Not only do many motorists drive with their windows up and music blaring, but sound projects backward which does nothing for drivers that may be in front of a motorcyclist.
  • Leather is a fashion statement: Because many bikers sport leather chaps, jackets and other apparel, people commonly think it is a fashion statement designed to make bikers appear more hardcore. However, the truth is that leather is highly effective against preventing road rash and bodily injury in the event a biker crashes.
  • Drivers are aware: Unfortunately, not all drivers are attentive and vigilant. In fact, even the most careful drivers can sometimes miss something in their blind spot. Bikers should never assume that they are going to be seen. Rather, they should always drive attentively and be sure that motorists can see them before changing lanes, turning or making other maneuvers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 14 percent of all traffic fatalities were people driving motorcycles. Additionally, in the same year, nearly 88,000 bikers were injured.  

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Many motorists are so excited to take the roads in New York that they fail to realize the dangers they face. Their vehicles do not have the same protective structures as cars. Even though some bikers wear helmets and riding gear for protection, many of them do not. According to, these factors along with higher speed limits, drugs and alcohol use increase the risk of motorcycle crashes, injuries and fatalities. 

Bikers who understand the common factors that lead to crashes can take measures to protect themselves on the roads. 

Other vehicles 

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There are many rumors and misconceptions that a motorcycle helmet can do more harm than good. If you are riding in New York, though, you should understand that a helmet is your best defense against severe injuries if you are involved in an accident. There have been studies and there is solid proof that helmets save lives.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation explains exactly how a motorcycle helmet protects you in a crash. The main parts of this safety gear are each designed with a specific purpose in mind. The padding and straps are made to ensure the helmet fits your head correctly and firmly. This will keep the helmet from sliding around and stop it from flying off or shifting in the event of an impact. The inner core is made of cushioning foam that absorbs shock and compresses to prevent direct hits to your head. The outer shell is made to be hard and firm, yet it also gives a little on impact to prevent it from breaking and allow it to provide complete protection as you hit a hard surface.

The most severe risk you face in an accident is a head injury. Protecting your head with a helmet only makes sense. If you are in a crash and fly off your bike, when you hit the ground, it is much better to have your helmet make impact rather than your skull. The helmet will absorb the shock and distribute it so your head does not get the brunt of it. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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Riding a motorcycle is a double edged sword. Yes, it gives you a beautiful sense of freedom and makes you look cooler than anyone else on the road. But, and it’s a big “but,” you have to deal with motorists who don’t see you and even ones who are openly hostile toward you. You’re completely exposed, so when an accident does happen, catastrophic injuries usually follow. Now throw drunk or distracted drivers into the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Those elements came together with tragic results one night in late January. A 47-year-old motorcyclist was heading south when he was hit by a man driving a Lincoln northbound. The motorcycle rider was thrown from his bike. Emergency rescue crews arrived at the scene and transported the man to a nearby hospital, but he was unable to recover from his injuries.

During an investigation, authorities discovered that the driver of the Lincoln was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. He is now facing charges of operating under the influence.

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