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Study Shows Motorcycle Accident Risks Tied to Rising Gas Prices

Motorcycle in MaineHardy, Wolf & Downing advocate on behalf of motorcycle accident victims in the Lewiston, Portland and Central and Southern Maine regions, making sure bikers and their families secure the compensation they deserve in the wake of an injury caused by negligent drivers.

While careless motorists and poor road conditions are often to blame for serious motorcycle accidents in Maine and other states, a new study sheds light on another possible culprit – rising gasoline prices. Researchers with the University of Nebraska Medical Center looked at how escalating gas costs have spawned a new generation of bikers on our nation’s roads – a smart choice given a motorcycle’s small tank and cost-effective nature compared to gas-guzzling vehicles.

As gas prices go up, so do motorcycle fatalities

The study on motorcycle accident risks was published online last month in the journal Injury Prevention. Researchers analyzed data from California’s Integrated Traffic Records System, paying close attention to non-fatal and fatal motorcycle-related injuries that were reported between 2002 and 2011. This data was then compared to trends in gasoline prices.

He Zhu – one of the study’s lead researchers — found that increasing gasoline prices were associated with at least 800 deaths and more than 10,000 motorcycle accident injuries in California during the nine-year period.

“In 2008, the number of fatalities and injuries reached 13,457 — a 34% increase since 2002, a time period in which inflation-adjusted gasoline prices increased about $0.30 per gallon every year,” explained Zhu.

The research also yielded other statistics about individuals injured in motorcycle crashes. The overwhelming majority of bikers were men (90 percent); two-thirds were white and almost fifty percent were middle aged. The study researchers concluded that besides enforcing compulsory helmet laws, other methods to reduce risk of accident and injury may entail investments in public transportation as an alternative mode of transport and required courses in motorcycle riding skills and safety.

The good news is that gas prices in Maine have been dropping steadily for months, but this may have little effect on the number of motorcycle crashes or fatalities involving bikers already on the road. If you or someone you love has been involved in a collision, you’re encouraged to enlist the services of experienced Maine motorcycle accident lawyers with a long track record of success.

Not long ago, we procured a $550,000 motorcycle accident settlement on behalf of a client who was hit by an uninsured motorist. The client suffered several pelvic fractures and spent weeks in the hospital. Our team worked diligently to secure a fair insurance settlement from a separate commercial policy on a second vehicle owned by the defendant.

Expert legal representation from Maine accident attorneys

The Maine personal injury lawyers at Hardy, Wolf & Downing are uniquely qualified to handle your motorcycle accident claim, having successfully litigated dozens such cases in the greater Portland and Lewiston area. Trial attorney Christian Lewis, who joined the firm in 2006, has been an avid biker for nearly two decades, and understands the perils facing Maine motorcyclists today.

Take advantage of more than four decades of combined litigation experience and call us today for a no-charge case review with an attorney at Hardy, Wolf & Downing. You can reach us toll-free by calling 1-800-INJURED.

  1. Injury Prevention, The relationship between gasoline price and patterns of motorcycle fatalities and injuries http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2014/11/04/injuryprev-2014-041314
  2. Maine.gov, State of Maine: motorcycle crash history 2006-2010 http://www.maine.gov/mdot/traffic/documents/pdf/crashrecords/currentMoto_TruckPublication06-10.pdf