Motorcycle Accidents Peak in Summer Months


Summer is a popular season for motorcyclists. Day trips and simply enjoying the beautiful weather are common reasons to put on a helmet and hit the open road. With more bikes on the roads, the number of motorcycle accidents also increases.

More than 1,100 motorcycle accidents happen in the summer versus only 420 in the winter. One-third of all fatalities happened in June, July, and August. The rate of injury was similarly high in these months.

When another driver is at fault, a motorcyclist may have grounds for a personal injury claim.

North Carolina Ranks High for Motorcycle Crashes

Motorcycles are common in North Carolina. With more than 189,000 registered motorcycles, the state ranks 16th in the United States. The Tarheel State also ranks high in a grim statistic, the number of fatalities.

According to 2019 data, North Carolina ranks 5th in the number of fatalities per 10,000 motorcycles. Our southern neighbor, South Carolina, ranks second. Louisiana holds the spot for most fatalities.

Motorcycle Accidents Commonly Cause Injury

In North Carolina in 2019, there were 3,516 motorcycle accidents. More than 2,700 of those crashes – 77% – resulted in injuries.

Nearly 83% of motorcycle accidents in Mecklenburg County caused injuries, and 3% were fatal.

Typical causes of motorcycle accidents include the following:

  • Limited visibility of the motorcycle
  • Cars making left-hand turns
  • Head-on collisions
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Hazardous road conditions

Weather is rarely a precipitating factor. About 97% of all fatal collisions occurred on clear or cloudy days and more than half took place during daylight hours.

Because a motorcyclist has little protection between themselves and the road, motorcyclists have a much higher percentage of serious injury when compared to passenger vehicles and trucks.

Common injuries in motorcycle accidents include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Road rash

National reports show motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a crash compared to a passenger in a car. In 2020, more than 5,500 motorcyclists were killed in the U.S. Roughly 34% of those deaths were in crashes involving alcohol and 37% of motorcyclists killed in an accident were not wearing a helmet.

Motorcycle Requirements in North Carolina

Legally operating a motorcycle in North Carolina requires either a learner permit or a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license. N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles provides a Motorcyclists’ Handbook with information on safe motorcycle operation.

All operators and passengers on motorcycles and mopeds must wear a motorcycle safety helmet of a type that complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218. The state is one of 19 that require helmet use for all motorcyclists.

For motorcycle safety tips and upcoming classes, check out BikeSafeNC. The next Rider Skills Day in Charlotte is scheduled for July 1, 2022.

Possible Compensation from Injury Accidents

If you are injured in an accident that was not your fault, you might have grounds to recover damages. However, North Carolina is one of only five states that follow contributory negligence rules. If a court determines you are even 1% responsible for an accident, you will be barred from receiving any award. For this reason alone, a skilled attorney is important to argue that you are blameless in an accident.

Compensatory damages, both economic and non-economic, are available. That means you can be paid for costs such as medical care, physical therapy, hospital stays, and medication. You can be compensated for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.

Punitive damages may be awarded to punish a defendant for egregiously wrongful acts and to deter the defendant and others from committing similar wrongful acts. Punitive damages awarded against a defendant cannot exceed three times the compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater. An injury caused by a drunk driver is exempt from this cap.

When you file a claim matters. North Carolina limits the time in which you can file a personal injury lawsuit to three years from the date of the accident.

Talk to Us About Your Motorcycle Accident

Anyone injured in a motorcycle accident that is not their fault should not be forced to bear the costs of their care, lost wages, and more. At Jetton & Meredith, PLLC, our attorneys understand all aspects of personal injury law and how to put that knowledge to work for your case.

Our firm handles personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. You will not pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for you.

Injured in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina? Schedule a consultation with us by calling (704) 931-5535 or sending us an online message.