Riding a motorcycle on the open road is an experience that many bikers can't equate to anything else in the world. However, the trade-off for the freedom you feel riding a motorcycle is that there's a lot less safety than when you have sidewalls, and a roof over your head like you do in a passenger vehicle.
To add insult to injury, if you do happen to be in an accident, there's a good chance the officer that's sent to the scene may be biased against you -- just because you're riding a bike and not in a car. That can affect the outcome of any personal injury case you decide to file as a result of your injuries. Here are a few things to consider:
1. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 5,000 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2015. That's 8.3% more than there killed in 2014. In general, motorcyclists are six times more likely to die in an accident on the road than someone in a passenger vehicle.
2. The human eye is actually terrible at picking up on the fact that there is a motorcyclist on the road. The eye-brain system is actually somewhat limited. Combined with the small, compact size of a bike compared to a car and the quickness of the machine, drivers really do have trouble seeing motorcyclists. That leads to problems like a passenger car driver turning left in front of a biker and causing an accident or pulling into a biker's lane without warning.
3. There's a fairly persistent image of motorcyclists as reckless, rebellious, young, and maybe even brutish. Thank the movies, motorcycle gangs, popular television shows, or whatever you like -- that's the image that many cyclists contend with. Despite the fact that more and more cyclists are over the age of 40 (sometimes well over) and are successful in their chosen careers (because motorcycles are not cheap transportation).
4. This bias can affect how an officer fills out an accident report -- which can then go on to affect how the insurance company tries to treat you. The officer may rely more heavily on statements from the driver of the passenger car than on any factual evidence -- like skid marks or witness statements.
This combination of problems is why it's wise to get a motorcycle accident attorney early in the process if you're injured in a motorcycle accident due to another driver's negligence. An attorney with experience handling motorcycle claims can help you challenge an obviously biased police report, gather actual evidence (like photos of those skid marks that indicate speed, reactions, where brakes were actually applied, and so on), and help you overcome the general bias against bikers so that you can get a fair settlement.