Residents of Arizona love to ride motorcycles. Even in the heat of the summer, bikers can be seen hitting the streets, riding their bikes for pleasure and for transportation. Most of these bikers make it to their destinations without any issues but unfortunately, thousands of motorcycle accidents occur every year in Arizona and cause thousands of injuries. This can be even worse when a motorcycle rider is riding drunk.
In 2013, there were 107,348 total traffic-related accidents in the State of Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Among all those collisions, only 3,081 involved one or more motorcycles, or fewer than three percent of all collisions state-wide. Yet these collisions are disproportionately responsible for a large number of injuries and deaths that occur, leading experts to question what efforts can be enacted to reduce or eliminate some of these crashes.
Drunk Driving Motorcycle Accidents in Phoenix
A common cause of motorcycle collisions in Phoenix and the rest of the Valley involves one or more motorists operating while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating compound. Drunk motorcyclists speed, run through intersections, wear helmets less often than sober riders, and generally drive recklessly
The law in Arizona prohibits motorists from driving while drunk and will presume drivers are intoxicated if their blood alcohol content ("BAC") is .08 or higher. Despite the illegal nature, every year motorists take to the roads after they have been drinking, increasing the odds that they will cause a collision and injure themselves or others.
Bikers are at an Increased Risk of Injury or Death
Bikers are at an increased risk of injury or death in the event they are involved in a drunk driving accident because motorcycles do not have many of the same safety protections provided by other vehicles, like cars. The absence of side paneling, airbags, and seat belts means that bikers and their passengers are easily thrown from a motorcycle during a crash, potentially striking the ground, another vehicle, or a fixed object.
Alcohol can pose a threat to bikers in one of two ways: either a motorcyclist may be under the influence or the driver of another vehicle in the area of a bike may be drunk. In 2013, there were 4,961 alcohol-related collisions in Arizona. Of those, 200 involved a motorcycle, resulting in 157 injury accidents and 31 fatal collisions.
Impaired Drivers and Riders Are a Serious Danger
When a biker is impaired, that motorists may suffer from decreased reaction speed and an inability to maintain control of his or her vehicle. As operation a motorcycle requires quick judgments, alertness, and the ability to balance on the bike, being drunk can increase the odds of a one vehicle or a multi vehicle crash.
But bikers are not the only threat to public safety when talking about drinking and driving. Annually, motorists get behind the wheels of passenger vehicles, trucks, and other forms of transit while they are under the influence of alcohol.
Many drivers express the belief that the small size of a motorcycle makes it difficult to see at times even when conditions are ideal. The addition of alcohol to a driver's system means that the driver's vision is decreased and the driver may not notice a motorcycle until it is too late. In addition to simply being under the influence of alcohol, drunk drivers often ignore traffic signals, stop lights, and speed limits, all of which may serve to increase the severity of a collision should one result.
Getting Compensation When You Are Injured by a Drunk Motorcycle Rider
Motorcycle accidents happen regularly in Phoenix and can leave even the safest drivers as victims, suffering from injuries and dealing with pain and suffering. No action can erase these collisions but the victims of these crashes may be entitled to seek financial relief for their losses which is separate from any charges that may be brought by the State of Arizona.
The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. have experience representing the victims of drunk driving accidents and we are ready to put our proven track record to use in your case. Call us toll free at (855) 749-5299 or locally at (602) 819-5191 and let us provide you with a free, no obligation case consultation regarding your accident and your legal options.
You may be entitled to bring a civil claim for your damages against the drunk driver who caused your injuries or against any other responsible motorist who contributed to or led to your crash. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe that those who have been harmed deserve to have an advocate on their side, fighting for their rights, and that is why we offer a free consultation. Everything discussed will be kept confidential and we never charge our clients a fee unless we make a recovery on their behalf.