Fatal Motorcycle Accidents Spike in Nebraska
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and drivers are reminded to share the road
The number of fatal motorcycle accidents in Nebraska spiked from 2019 to 2020.
According to state data, there were 25 motorcycle accident fatalities in 2019 and 34 in 2020. That's about a 30 percent increase in just one year. For many, the troubling statistic highlights the need for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
At Ausman Law Firm P.C., L.L.O., our motorcycle accident lawyers have seen the devastating effect wrecks can have on riders and their families.
To help promote secure roadways and prevent motorcycle accident fatalities and injuries, here are some statistics, safe driving tips for motorists and motorcyclists, and information about how crash victims can learn their legal rights and options.
Motorcycle crash facts
- In 2020, there were 447 motorcycle accidents in Nebraska. The crashes led to 34 deaths and 392 people being injured.
- There are about 104,000 licensed motorcycle riders and about 50,000 motorcycles in the state.
- While the number of fatalities increased, motorcycle crash injuries decreased in Nebraska from 2019 to 2020.
- In a crash, unhelmeted motorcyclists are three times more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) compared to riders wearing helmets. That's one reason why Nebraska has a universal motorcycle helmet law that applies to all motorcyclists and passengers.
Tips for motorists
- Stay alert. Motorcycles are smaller vehicles. This makes them hard to spot, especially if you're being inattentive when you're behind the wheel. Make sure to triple-check for motorcycles when turning, merging, or changing lanes. Never drive distracted or text and drive.
- Ask passengers to look out for bikes. The driver is responsible for safely piloting the vehicle, but passengers can help by alerting the driver to nearby motorcycles.
- Give bikers extra room. It can be hard to judge how fast a motorcycle is moving, so give motorcycle riders plenty of space and time to maneuver safely on the roadway.
- Don't rely on turn signals. A motorcycle's turn signal or blinker does not automatically shut off after a turn. This means the biker you see could be making a turn or have forgotten to turn the signal off. If you're not sure, slow down and give them room. Additionally, be careful relying on a motorcycle's tail lights to gauge whether it's slowing or coming to a stop. It's common for motorcyclists to downshift when they need to slow down or come to a stop, and doing so does not activate the bike's brake lights.
Tips for motorcyclists
- Wear a helmet. Again, it is illegal to ride a motorcycle in Nebraska without a helmet. In 2021, a bill was proposed to repeal this law. So far, nothing has come of it.
- Never ride while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Alcohol was a factor in 32 percent of fatal Nebraska motorcycle accidents in 2020.
- Don't speed. Driving too fast for conditions or ignoring the speed limit is another common factor in deadly motorcycle crashes. Speeding was identified in 36 percent of deadly motorcycle wrecks.
- Slow down at intersections. A lot of motorcycle accidents happen at intersections because another driver failed to see the motorcyclist. While it's every driver's responsibility to look out for motorcyclists, it doesn't mean you won't encounter a negligent motorist when you're out riding.
Motorcycle accidents in Omaha
Over the last several years, fatal motorcycle accidents in Omaha have occurred throughout the city but are concentrated at intersections, interchanges, and highway ramps. Hot spots for motorcycle accidents in Omaha include:
- Saddle Creek Road at Leavenworth Street
- I-480/US-75/US-6 exchange
- Abbot Drive at Crownpoint Avenue
- Papillion Parkway at Blondo Street
Motorcycle accident injuries
Motorcycle accidents have a higher likelihood of ending in a fatality, but serious injuries are more frequently the result. Some common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones in the leg, arm, ankle, or wrist
- Biker's Arm (nerve damage)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
- Lost limbs
Drivers who cause motorcycle accidents need to be held accountable for their negligence, and injured motorcycle riders have the right to pursue compensation for their losses (e.g., medical bills, replacement services, lost wages, diminished earning potential, pain and suffering, etc.).
But getting the compensation you need to cover your damages after a motorcycle accident isn't as easy as it should be. Insurance companies are known for making lowball settlement offers, and insurance adjusters have a habit of using unfair biases to pin the blame on injured riders.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers will deal with the insurance company
If you were injured or a loved one died in an Omaha motorcycle accident, schedule a free consultation with our law firm to learn your legal rights and options.
At no cost to you, a member of our legal team will listen to the details of your case and give you the information you need to make an informed decision on what you want to do next.
We are available to hear from you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us today to see how we can help you.