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Bikes and the Danger of Guardrails

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for motorcycleriderleg.jpegIn late September, a motorcyclist was killed after crashing into a guardrail on Interstate 95 in northern Camden County, Georgia. The crash happened after a pickup truck had just overturned. This occurred because the pick up truck had the misfortune of blowing out a tire. Having represented motorcycle riders and their families as an Atlanta motorcycle crash lawyer, it is often the case that circumstances on the road — such as the tire blowout and the overturning of the truck — end up causing a rider’s injury or death.

Sadly, in this accident, the rider could not maintain control of his bike and ended up crashing into the guardrail just as the pick up truck had … he was killed.

Riders know that guardrails can be very dangerous for bike riders. When riders collide with a stationary object like a guardrail, severe injuries and death can occur. In fact, the statistics for fatalities when riders hit guardrails are dismal. Many fatalities for riders involve guardrail collisions. Research indicates that motorcycle crashes that involve a rider hitting a guardrail have a much higher fatality rate than motorcycle crashes in general.

A study from Virginia Tech notes that “from 2000-2005, the number of car occupants who were fatally injured in guardrail collisions declined by 31% from 251 to 171 deaths. In contrast, the number of motorcyclists fatally-injured in guardrail crashes increased by 73% from 129 to 224 fatalities during the same time period.” Even with a helmet, bikers can be killed hitting a guardrail and bikers are 80 times more likely to be killed than car occupants when hitting a guardrail.

The type of guardrail on our roads may need to change before these statistics improve. Steel guardrails that are seen across America are very dangerous for bikers — they can have sharp edges and are narrow. But the expense involved in changing these guardrails is too great to realistically accomplish this across the country.

The effort instead has been to educate riders on how to safely manage the roads and circumstances they can face. This includes the use of approved helmets that can protect you when you ride, riding sober and knowing your bike after training on it.

If you or someone you know has been harmed in a motorcycle crash, please contact me for a free consultation. I represent many riders and their families and have a dedication to the biking community that I represent in my law practice, the Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, P.C. With offices throughout metro Atlanta, I am happy to meet with you at a location convenient to you.