Guardrails and Motorcyclists: A Dangerous and Often Deadly Combination

A motorcycle driver was recently injured in an accident on Interstate 95 in Stamford. The accident occurred when the motorcyclist crashed into the back of a car. He was rushed to Stamford Hospital to be treated for his injuries, which included lacerations to his face and arms. His motorcycle did not stop until it crashed into a metal guardrail.

Motorcycle Accidents and Guardrails

Motorcycle accidents are almost always quite serious due to the fact that motorcycle drivers lack the protection afforded to car occupants. When a motorcyclist hits a guardrail, the injuries sustained can be even more severe.

Statistics show that in 2005, 42 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involved guardrail collisions. This is because when motorcyclists are involved in an accident, particularly rear-end accidents, they are generally thrown from their vehicles, which can make them vulnerable to hitting roadside barriers.

Experts say that the seriousness of an accident involving a guardrail is dependent upon the type of guardrail used on the road. For example, steel guardrails can absorb energy from the impact of a crash, meaning that there is less energy available for motorcyclists to be thrown from their vehicles when they hit this type of guardrail. Despite this, the design of steel guardrails is dangerous for motorcyclists because they are generally narrow and have sharp edges that can injure the driver.

Although changing the design of guardrails may help save the lives of motorcyclists, this solution is seen as prohibitively expensive. As a result, little has been done in the United States to address this solution. Instead, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has focused its efforts on driver safety education issues such as:

  • The use of personal protection equipment
  • Avoiding driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Adequate training for proper motorcycle use

Have You Been Injured?

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact a qualified personal injury attorney with experience in motorcycle accident cases as you may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering.