What Are Dangers of Driving a Motorcycle Under the Influence?

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A motorcycle is arguably the most dangerous mode of transportation you can use on Maryland roads. This is because it offers a motorcyclist little to no protection or safety features, which are especially noticeable if they collide with a standard motor vehicle or, worse, a commercial vehicle. So while no person should drive under the influence, this is particularly pertinent for motorcyclists. Read on to discover the potential dangers posed by driving a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and how a seasoned St. Mary’s County motorcycle accident lawyer at The Dorsey Law Firm can help if you have been made a victim.

What are the statistics on drunk driving accidents involving motorcycles?

According to a 2022 study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,934 motorcyclists were sadly killed in auto collisions. Of these 5,934 motorcyclists, 1,705 (29 percent) were under the influence of alcohol. That is, their blood-alcohol content (BAC) was above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Ultimately, the NHTSA study showed that motorcyclists made up the highest percentage of fatal crashes due to alcohol impairment than any other type of vehicle driver, at 28 percent.

What are the dangers of driving a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

There are always posed dangers when getting behind the wheel when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But to reiterate, these consequences are all the more aggravated for motorcyclists due to a motorcycle’s inherent dangerousness. Without further ado, these specific dangers read as follows:

  • Drugs and alcohol may reduce a motorcyclist’s reaction time to outside stimuli on the road.
  • Drugs and alcohol may reduce a motorcyclist’s judgment to following road rules and regulations.
  • Drugs and alcohol may decrease a motorcyclist’s peripheral vision or make it significantly blurry.
  • Drugs and alcohol may impair a motorcyclist’s ability to concentrate and focus on the task of driving itself.
  • Drugs and alcohol may impair a motorcyclist’s ability to maneuver a motorcycle or remain balanced on its seat.

Say, for instance, that you are a standard motor vehicle driver who collided with a motorcyclist. At first glance, it may seem as though the accident was your fault because the motorcyclist may have walked away with more serious injuries and damages. However, a breathalyzer or field sobriety test conducted by a responding law enforcement officer may prove otherwise.

If it does, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the negligent motorcyclist. But before you can commence your civil court proceedings, they may have to undergo criminal court proceedings first. After all, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a punishable crime in the state of Maryland and everywhere else in the country.

When in doubt, someone at The Dorsey Law Firm will look into your case. So please retain the legal services of a competent St. Mary’s County auto accident lawyer today.