Motorcycle Head-On Collisions in Michigan

A head-on collision happens when the front ends of two cars, motorcycles, trucks, and other vehicles collide with each other in opposite directions. This type of collision falls under the category of crashes called lane-departure or road-departure crashes. This is because the causes are similar, even if the consequences are different. In both, the driver is not able to stay centered in their correct lane. Instead, they either leave the roadway or cross the center-line which will most likely result in a collision.

The consequences of a head-on collision are more drastic for a motorcycle rider because they are not protected by anything other than their helmets, unlike a vehicle driver. This fact alone puts them in more danger. The state of Michigan recognizes this and acknowledges that the visibility of motorcycles is a primary concern when it comes to motorcycle crashes. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation enumerated the following items as helpful in clearly identifying motorcyclists on the road:

  • Light-colored helmets
  • Light-colored eye protection
  • High visibility clothing, often brightly colored
  • Thick protective clothing (ex. leather clothing)
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Pants
  • Over-the-ankle boots
  • Protective gloves

One must be prepared and must be extra careful when driving a motorcycle because a crash will most likely result in cuts, lacerations, broken bones, other common injuries, or worse, death.

Motorcycle Collision Statistics in Michigan

According to the Michigan Traffic Crash Facts website, 2,964 motorcycles were involved in crashes last 2017. While this number has declined (from 3,384 in 2016), this is still a significant number to consider especially since 137 of these crashes result in the death of the motorcyclist. According to the police reports, in 117 or 85.4 percent of the 137 fatalities, the motorcycle driver was riding straight ahead before the crash.

Furthermore, 42 of the 137 deaths were due to a had-been-drinking accident while 38 of the fatalities had drivers identified as drinking before the crash. Majority of the accidents led to an injured motorcyclist (2,238). In fact, the same study notes that five in every 10,000 motorcycle registrations will end up in a fatality. In other words, motorcycles were involved in 0.9 percent of all traffic crashes in Michigan back in 2017.

To help ensure the safety of motorcycle riders, the Michigan Vehicle Code Public Act 300 of 1949 was enacted in 1969. This requires all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet to help protect them from an unfortunate incident such as a crash. However, on April 13, 2012, the state of Michigan changed this helmet law from a universal one to a partial helmet law instead. The updated law allowed some certified Michigan riders to go on a motorcycle without a helmet provided that they are over 21 and are carrying additional insurance. Looking at the statistics, among the 137 fatalities in 2017, 72 motorcyclists were wore their helmets, while 59 motorcyclists did not wear their helmets at all. A study done by the Wayne State University in 2013 identified statewide helmet use at 73 percent while high-visibility gear usage was at 5.6 percent only.

Possible Causes of a Head-On Crash

When it comes to a head-on crash, the following are some common situations that can cause it:

  • A drunk driver running a traffic signal
  • An intoxicated driver driving on the wrong side of the road before the crash
  • A tired vehicle driver (car or truck) who suddenly changes direction across the centerline of the road or highway. This can lead to crashing into the front of your vehicle.
  • A distracted driver who is by his/her cellphone or other mobile devices. He/she may lose control of his vehicle, which can then cause a head-on accident.
  • A driver who is recklessly handling his/her vehicle. He/she may lose control of his/her car while making a left-hand turn or over-correcting a turn. This can lead to him/her crashing head on to your motorcycle.

Whatever the cause of the accident may be, it’s crucial to contact an expert motorcycle accident lawyer in Michigan who can help protect your rights in such situations.

Get in Touch with Expert Accident Attorneys in Michigan

When it comes to a head-on collision, the first thing you need to consider is your health. Once everything is stable, the best thing to do is to get in touch with a top-rated lawyer who has experience in dealing with these types of situations. The Clark Law Office is your best option in Michigan. We have won millions for our clients across the state. We guarantee the same hard work and dedication when we deal with your case. Call us at (517) 347-6900 for a free consultation.