Two people were killed in a North Carolina motorcycle accident recently in Boardman. CBS North Carolina reports state troopers investigated the fatal crash, in which a pickup truck reportedly collided with the motorcycle on U.S. 74.
It was around 6 p.m. that day when the 71-year-old pickup driver was reportedly hauling a trailer and did not yield for a stop sign before crossing into the path of that motorcycle, driven by a 51-year-old man. The motorcycle operator and his 52-year-old female passenger were killed.
The truck driver, who did not suffer any injuries, was charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. Authorities do not suspect drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.
Wrongful death lawyers in Charlotte know that while the crash is still being investigated, this motorcycle accident was likely preventable. Although investigators have not specifically indicated here that distraction was an underlying factor, we do know that distraction is one of the leading causes of failure-to-yield crashes. In 2014, there were nearly 3,200 people killed nationally in distracted driving accidents.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation reports that of the total 1,380 traffic deaths reported in 2015, 163 of those were motorcyclists. Motorcycle fatalities in North Carolina rose by 14 percent between 2014 and 2015, compared to an eight percent increase in overall traffic fatalities in the state. Any increase is concerning, but for motorcycle deaths to rise at nearly double the rate of those involving other motor vehicles is especially alarming.
Nationally, the most recent figures available are from the 2015 Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which indicated there were 4,693 motorcyclists killed that year, an increase of nine percent from just one year before. Although motorcyclist deaths had been on the decline beginning in the early 1980s, they started to rise again in 1998, a trend that continued for about 10 years, peaking in 2008 at 5,112. Those figures fell again for several years, and now they are once again climbing. The number of motorcycle accident deaths in 2015 was more than double the number recorded in 1997.
About 60 percent of all motorcycle accidents involve at least one other vehicle, and in many cases, it is the other driver who is to blame. Motorcycles tend to be less stable and less visible than cars, and riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, which means riders are more likely to be injured or killed than someone traveling in a car or truck. When you factor in the average number of vehicle miles traveled, people on motorcycles are 27 times more likely to be killed in a crash than someone in a car.
Unlike some other states, North Carolina does require motorcyclists to carry insurance coverage – $25,000 for property damage, $30,000 for bodily injury or death per person, and $60,000 per accident. It’s generally a good idea to buy more extensive protection, particularly in the form of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. That’s because if another driver strikes a motorcyclist and either doesn’t have insurance, flees the scene, or lacks enough insurance to cover the full extent of the damages, operators and passengers are going to need some kind of insurance on which to rely.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
NC pair killed in motorcycle crash after truck pulls into traffic, officials say, Jan. 2, 2017, Staff Report, CBS North Carolina
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