Motorcycle use in Northern Virginia has increased substantially in recent years. In 1994, there were just under 60,000 motorcycle registrations. In 2008, there were 177,147. With the increased popularity of motorcycles, however, also comes an increase in accidents and deaths. There were over 2,000 motorcycle accidents and 71 deaths in Virginia in 2009, and people under the age of 35 account for the majority of these deaths. A Northern Virginia personal injury lawyer can advise motorcyclists or their family members of who might be liable in the event of a motorcycle accident.
A 9-year-old Northern Virginia boy was riding on the back of motorcycle with his father when a pickup truck pulled into the motorcycle’s path, killing the boy and injuring his father. The truck was making a left turn, and its driver failed to notice the motorcycle. The motorcycle crashed into the passenger side of the truck as it turned across the motorcycle’s path. Virginia police charged the truck driver with reckless driving, which is a misdemeanor and could result in up to a year of jail time along with a $2,500 fine.
Both the boy and his father were wearing helmets at the time, but the speed at which the motorcycle was traveling was too much for the helmet to prevent the boy’s death. Helmets are effective in most accidents, however, and investigators believe that each year helmets would prevent between 500 and 1,000 motorcycle deaths if all drivers wore them. Un-helmeted motorcyclists are about 40% more likely to suffer a fatal head injury than helmeted ones.