Recent Accidents Highlight Danger of Motorcycles

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Two recent Ulster County accidents, one leading to a young man’s death, draw renewed attention to the dangers associated with motorcycles. Kristopher Cuddeback, 23, was riding his 2005 Suzuki motorcycle on Winchell Mountain Road in the Town of North East at what investigators believe were likely unsafe speeds when he lost control of his bike and went off the road. Police arrived shortly thereafter to find an injured Cuddeback. He was immediately airlifted to Albany Medical Center, where the young man succumbed to his injuries ten days later. Cuddeback was engaged to be married and had become a Dutchess County Sheriff’s deputy in February of this year, though he was off-duty and riding a personal motorcycle at the time of the crash.

Later in the month, 29-year-old Johnathan Terry was injured while driving his motorcycle on private property when he hit a chain running across a driveway. Although he was treated at the scene of the accident by emergency personnel, he was ultimately airlifted to Westchester Medical Center in serious condition.

According to data recently released by the Governors Highway Safety Association which encompasses the first nine months of 2014, fatal motorcycle accidents in the state of New York have gone down, with only 118 fatalities compared to 153 fatalities in a similar time period in 2013. However, the Association points out that motorcycle riding remains a dangerous activity, and that risk factors for motorcyclists haven’t been reduced in recent years. The group instead attributes variation in fatality numbers to weather patterns and economic factors, though antilock brake availability has had a positive impact on motorcyclist safety. Due to the lower visibility of motorcycles relative to passenger vehicles, and the lack of a protective structure to shield drivers when crashes occur, motorcycles will always be more dangerous than passenger vehicles. The most recent available numbers show that fatality rates for motorcyclists are 26 times that of passenger vehicle occupants. In 2013, there were approximately 5.6 fatalities per 10,000 registered motorcycles, which is nearly identical to the fatality rate in 1997. In comparison, in the same span of time, the fatality per registered passenger vehicle has declined 66%.

Even cautious motorcycle riders can’t control for the behavior of other drivers. Injuries received from motorcycle accidents can be serious and require months of treatment and rehabilitation. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident due to another’s negligence, seek out injury lawyers who will fight for you. Contact the experienced Kingston personal injury attorneys at Basch & Keegan to determine if you may have a claim. Call (845) 338-8884 for a free consultation regarding your motorcycle accident.