Motorcycle Crashes Cost Society $16 Billion According to GAO
Posted on February 8th, 2021 by Zane Cagle
A recent report by the Government Accountability Office claims that motorcycle accidents in the United States cost society a collective $16 billion in 2010. This figure attempts to measure all the direct costs, including such things as medical expenses, legal fees, emergency services, and loss of productivity. HOWEVER, the GAO cautions that long-term medical expenses and such intangibles as pain and suffering can be impossible to estimate; therefore, the economic impact of these crashes is likely significantly higher.
This report comes on the heels of a motorcycle death in south St. Louis City on Nov. 22 reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. There, a motorcyclist was weaving in and out of traffic on westbound Chippewa, just east of Gravois, when he weaved into oncoming traffic and was struck head-on by a Honda Civic. He died at the scene. Two boys in the Honda Civic were treated for injuries but are expected to be alright.
As a Missouri car accident attorney, I think these two stories highlight the need for motorcyclists to be extra careful when out riding. Obviously, in the crash cited above, the motorcyclist allegedly took many risks and put himself in harm’s way. It goes without saying that behavior like this should be avoided. But even the safest of riders needs to be careful. Since motorcycles offer so little protection for the rider, they are inevitably more dangerous than crashes between two cars. In fact, motorcyclists are about 30 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than passenger car occupants per vehicle miles traveled. The Missouri car accident attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm and I know from experience how devastating motorcycle accidents can be.
Due to the injuries/deaths and due to the high cost of these accidents, the GAO recommends taking certain steps to help reduce these collisions. The main recommendation from the report is to give states more flexibility in applying federal motorcycle safety grants to gauge their effectiveness. It also recommends that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study these strategies and identify high-priority or promising ideas to implement nationally. In this way, the government hopes to balance the freedom of motorcycle riders to engage in an activity they enjoy while also reducing the number of collisions to save society money.
At The Cagle Law Firm, we know just how seriously Missouri motorcycle crashes can be. These can cause broken bones, head and neck injuries, catastrophic injury, traumatic brain injury, even wrongful death. Zane T. Cagle and the Missouri car accident attorneys have represented many clients who, although riding safely and following all traffic laws, were injured in a crash that was not their fault. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash in Missouri or Illinois, the Missouri motorcycle crash attorneys may be able to help. Call Zane T. Cagle and the attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm today for a free consultation at (314) 276-1681.