A retired crash investigator is part of a new study to improve motorcycle safety by installing cameras on motorcycles to document rider behavior.
Mike Ginocchi is cooperating with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to document his speed, relative distance to vehicles, and maneuvers over the 20,000 miles per year he puts on his motorcycle to help researchers better understand how motorcycle riders behave when confronted with various situations on the road.
The study involves the use of five cameras placed on his bike to record data from all angles. Mike is one of more than 100 “wired” bikers contributing to the study in the hope of improving motorcycle training for future riders.
Wired Bikers Hope To Prevent Crashes
The numbers for motorcycle injuries and fatalities are not encouraging. In 2011, crashes in Florida, Mike’s home state, went up by 15 percent and the number of motorcycle fatalities rose by 18 percent.
Mike agrees that the dangers are very real. He says that drivers often pull right out in front of him as if he is not there, and he believes that the reason is that they honestly do not see oncoming motorcycles.
Top Five Reasons for Motorcycle Crashes
There are some very common elements in most motorcycle crashes. While single-vehicle motorcycle accidents are most often the fault of the motorcycle rider, multi-vehicle accidents are often the fault of the driver of another vehicle rather than the motorcycle operator.
The top five reasons most drivers cause motorcycle crashes are:
1) Did not see oncoming motorcycle. Drivers tend to be blinded when driving to vehicles smaller than their own. The same phenomenon affects pedestrians and bicyclists, as well.
2) Overestimated distance or underestimated speed. Many drivers pull out in front of an oncoming motorcycle at an intersection because they believe they have enough time to make it across the road. Unfortunately, an oncoming motorcycle looks both slower and farther away than it actually is.
3) Made a left turn in front of the motorcycle. This is the most common multi-vehicle crash scenario and relates to the first two points. Many drivers believe they can make a left turn with time to spare but find out too late the motorcycle is approaching faster or closer than perceived.
4) Feels motorcycle riders are aggressive. Because motorcycle riders are able to split the lane and perform other maneuvers that car drivers cannot use, some drivers develop an aggressive attitude toward motorcycle riders.
5) The blind spot issue. Motorcycles are very easy to miss in a car’s “blind spot” and drivers changing lanes can easily overlook a motorcycle rider approaching from behind.
What To Do If You Are In A Motorcycle Crash
If you have been the victim of a motorcycle crash, you may be entitled to collect money from the person who hit you. Attorneys who handle motorcycle accidents are well aware of the obstacles faced by motorcycle riders claiming injury and can help you recover the damages you are entitled to have under the law.