Though motorcycle accidents may garner a lot of attention, in Virginia they represent a surprisingly low percentage of total vehicular accidents. The motorcycle accidents that do occur happen for a wide variety of reasons, and may result in either injuries or, tragically, fatalities.
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2014 there were 2,005 motorcycle crashes. This represents only 1.7% of all crashes in that year. Of these accidents, 76 were fatal motorcycle crashes, which represents 11.6% of all fatal Virginia crashes for the year. The vast majority of the motorcycle accidents led to personal injury, at 1,637 of the crashes. Another 292 of the crashes were determined to be property damage crashes. Of all the traffic injuries that occurred in 2014, only 2.8% were due to motorcycle accidents. Of the 1,778 motorcyclists injured, 1,628 were drivers and 150 were passengers.
For the motorcycle drivers who were involved in accidents, the reasons for their accidents vary tremendously. In many cases, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reports that the motorcyclists committed no violation that led to the accident. A finding of "no violation" accounted for 821 of the accidents, or 39.8%. Furthermore, of the crashes involving motorcycles, over 93% of the drivers were found not to be impaired by drinking.
These findings are significant, as they suggest that motorcyclists can be at the mercy of other drivers on the road. Despite driving safely and cautiously, accidents may happen through no fault of the motorcyclist's own. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the behavior of a distracted driver or other negligent party, you may have a cause of action. An attorney may be able to provide assistance and counsel.
Source: dmv.state.va.us, "2014 Virginia Traffic Crash Facts," accessed April 15, 2016