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Study shows police blame speed too often for motorcycle crashes

A recent study, conducted by the Motorcycle Council, suggests that speed is too often pointed to as the factor that caused a motorcycle crash than it should be. They argue that police investigators are too overzealous to charge motorcyclists or car drivers with traffic-related offenses that they neglect to fully investigate these crashes. It's believed that this practice gives way to continued accidents as opposed to reducing them.

The study's authors argue that crash scene investigators should avoid rushing to judgement in pointing to speed as the cause of motorcycle accidents. This recommendation comes at a time when police officials cite speed as seen as being responsible for at least 40 percent of all motorcycle crashes.

Although speed is regularly cited as the reason behind a road crash occurring, the study's authors argue it's rarely actually to blame. In fact, according to a 2005 joint study conducted by Virginia Technical University and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it was determined that speed only played a factor in 7 percent of all accident cases.

In contrast, driver distractions were found to have to have proceeded motorcycle accidents in at least 80 percent of all cases. Most of these types of distractions were found to have occurred in the last three seconds before an accident.

Researchers hint that crash scene investigators either do not know how to properly evaluate a crash scene or that such tests are not adequate for motorcycle accidents. They argue that to determine what the true cause of an accident was, it requires for crash scene investigators to run and then interpret algorithms to see if speed was indeed to blame for the crash.

The problem with these algorithms, though, is that they seem to overcompensate for the role speed plays in a crash. The researchers report that they're particularly poor in gauging the speed of motorcycles.

When it comes to motorcyclists, thousands are either injured or die each year because they are run off the road or struck by a negligent driver. In discussing your case with a San Bernardino, California, motorcycle accident attorney, he or she may be able to advise you as to the benefits in filing an injury claim in your legal case.

Source: Motorbike Writer, "Police over-estimate speed as crash cause," Mark Hinchliffe, June 20, 2017

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