Guardrail Motorcycle Accidents Pose a Serious Danger to Georgia Motorcycle Enthusiasts


March 06, 2013

If you travel throughout the Atlanta area via motorcycle, you are aware of the heightened risk of serious injury. Motorcyclists face an increased risk both of being involved in a motorcycle accident and suffering permanent debilitating injury.

Guardrail accidents are among the most dangerous types of motorcycle accidents.

A recent fatal motorcycle accident on I-95 in northern Camden County reveals the dire consequences when a motorcycle rider collides with a guardrail. The collision occurred when a pickup truck experienced a tire blowout and crashed through the guardrail. The motorcyclist following behind the pickup lost control of his bike causing him to collide into the guardrail.

During a 5 year period, fatal motorcycle collisions involving guardrails increased almost 75 percent according to a study conducted by researchers at Virginia Tech. Motorcyclists may suffer fatal injuries in a guardrail motorcycle accident even when using a helmet. Although motorcycles account for only 2 percent of the motor vehicle fleet, they constitute 42 percent of all guardrail fatalities. Despite the general effectiveness of motorcycle helmets in preventing fatal collisions, two-thirds of those involved in fatal guardrail motorcycle accidents were wearing a helmet based on data from the Virginia Tech study.

Guardrail design contributes significantly to the severity of injuries suffered in these extremely dangerous motorcycle accidents. Because guardrails are fixed objects, riders may be severely injured when they are thrown into these barriers on the side of the roadway. In other motorcycle accidents, riders who collide with guardrails are ejected from the motorcycle. When steel guardrails are used, they can absorb some of the force of impact leaving less energy for the motorcyclist to be thrown from the vehicle. By the same token, steel guardrails pose a serious risk of injury because they are narrow with sharp edges.

When negligent passenger vehicle drivers hit motorcycles from the rear, they may cause motorcyclists to collide with the guardrail. Although retrofitting guardrails to make them safer would reduce the risk, the enormous cost associated with such safety improvements makes this option unrealistic at least in the short-term. Instead, federal agencies have focused on education programs regarding the danger posed by guardrails to motorcycle riders.

If you are involved in a motorcycle guardrail collision, you may have a right to financial compensation if the collision is caused by the negligence of another. Negligent drivers cause the most significant number of guardrail motorcycle crashes when they engage in unsafe driving behavior, such as:

  • Speeding or driving reckless
  • Texting and driving
  • Driving with insufficient sleep
  • Following a motorcycle too closely
  • Talking on a cell phone or to a pedestrian
  • Disregarding traffic signs or signals
  • Fatigued driving
  • Cutting off a motorcycle by failing to check blind spots
  • Other forms of driver distraction

Our Atlanta motorcycle accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been protecting the legal rights of bikers for 30 years and are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.