Roadside barriers such as guardrails are designed to protect motorized vehicles from running off the road, colliding with trees, falling down embankments, or driving off of bridges. They have been installed over thousands of miles of highway and interstates across the nation, and they are credited with saving countless lives and minimizing accidents and injuries.
However, while guardrails are an effective safety measure for the majority of cars and trucks on the road, they actually pose a safety hazard to those on motorcycles. In fact, a 2007 study showed that 42 percent of traffic accident deaths related to road barriers involved motorcycles, even though motorcycles only make up a small percentage of road traffic. In 2005, 224 motorcycle riders across the country lost their lives in collisions with guardrails and road barriers.
Why Are Guardrails So Dangerous to Motorcycles?
Guardrails are designed for larger vehicles, such as passenger cars and commercial trucks. They also are designed for closed vehicles, not open ones such as motorcycles. While a guardrail is designed to stop a car from running off the road and into a hazard, a guardrail is more likely to stop a motorcycle and cause its rider to be thrown from his or her bike. The posts which support guardrail barriers often cause blunt force trauma to riders.
Some types of guardrails and barriers are safer for motorcycles than others, such as guardrails without abrupt edges or ones without sharp or protruding posts. However, upgrading or modifying guardrails throughout the United States is very cost prohibitive, especially considering the small number of motorcycles on the road compared to other vehicles.
Unlike many other types of motorcycle accidents, helmets often do not protect riders against serious injuries when it comes to guardrail and motorcycle collisions.
Newport Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a California motorcycle accident—regardless of whether it involved a guardrail—you may wish to speak with a Orange County California personal injury attorney about your case. A lawyer can help you review the evidence in your case, understand who was at fault for your injuries, and secure the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential meeting with an attorney at Russell & Lazarus, call (949) 851-0222 today.