A motorcyclist was killed in a crash after hitting a deer in western Missouri. While motorcycles are easier to maneuver around a deer in the road, if a crash does happen the biker is far more likely to get seriously hurt than if they were driving a car.
Motorcycle Hits Deer: Biker Killed
The crash happened eight miles south of the town of Bethany, an hour northeast of St. Joseph.
A 65-year-old motorcyclist was riding northbound on U.S. Route 69 around 7am on July 12, 2019.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, he saw a deer on the roadway and tried to avoid it. However, this put his motorcycle into a skid that ended up hitting the deer, anyway. The motorcycle went off the right side of the highway, and the biker was thrown off.
Emergency responders brought the biker to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Good and Bad of Motorcycles and Wildlife in the Road
Animals crossing or loitering on the roadway are a constant threat to the safety of drivers in Missouri and in the St. Joseph area. Even if you do see them on the road ahead, it can be impossible to predict how they are going to react to your perceived threat and where they are going to go.
Generally, motorcyclists are in a better position to avoid wildlife because motorcycles are easier to maneuver and stop. They are lighter and smaller, so bikers have far more control over where they go. Additionally, the shorter stopping distance of a motorcycle can bring the bike to a stop even when the animal only appears at the last second.
Finally, motorcyclists are far less likely to be driving while distracted because of their close proximity to the road. Being more “in tune” with the road helps bikers see and react to deer and other wildlife much quicker than the average car driver.
However, motorcyclists are far more vulnerable if they do collide with an animal on the road. Without the “metal cage” of a car that so many motorcyclists hate, the impact of the crash hits them, directly. If the crash happened at anything higher than a minimum speed, that impact can be serious.
This is especially true when the animal involved was a deer. While deer often only weigh around 200 pounds – little more than the average human pedestrian – their four-legged body structure makes a big difference. Most motorcyclists collide directly with the bulk of a deer’s body. The injuries from this initial impact can be life-threatening. The loss of control and subsequent crash can be even worse.
St. Joseph Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office
Motorcyclists who hit a deer have no one to sue for compensation, but that does not mean they cannot use a car accident and personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies are known for trying to short-change injured bikers or for outright denying their claims.