If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, you understand the many challenges and dangers that motorcyclists face out on the road.
You probably also know how serious a motorcycle accident can be.
Because motorcyclists lack any surrounding protective structure on their vehicles, they are more likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries when involved in a collision.
On average, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and are over five times as likely to be injured.
According to the federal government, for every mile traveled in 2006, there were 35 times more deaths from motorcycle accidents than vehicle accidents.
Because of these alarming statistics, motorcyclists need to learn about the most frequent causes of accidents so they can use that information to reduce their level of risk.
In the article below, we’ll discuss the common causes of motorcycle accidents.
Table of Contents
- Head-On Collisions
- Left-Hand Turns
- Motorcycle Lane Splitting
- Alcohol Use
- Collisions Between Motorcycles and Fixed Objects
- Road Hazards
- High-Performance Motorcycles
- Contact The Angell Law Firm If You’ve Been Involved In A Motorcycle Accident
Accidents between motorcycles and other vehicles account for 56% of motorcycle accident deaths.
In most of these accidents, the car strikes the motorcycle from the front 78% of the time.
Motorcycles are only struck from the rear only 5% of the time.
Unfortunately, head-on collisions between other vehicles and motorcycles are often fatal.
Cars Making Left-Hand Turns
The most dangerous situation for motorcyclists to be in occurs when other vehicles make a left turn.
Collisions like these makeup for 42% of accidents between motorcycles and cars.
The turning car usually strikes the motorcycle when the motorcycle is:
- going straight through an intersection
- passing the car
- trying to overtake the car
In all of these situations, the motorcycle is in a car’s blind spot, if even just for a fraction of a second.
These accidents are common between two cars as well, but because of the motorcycle’s smaller size, it makes it even less visible to the turning vehicle.
If you pass a car within the same lane on a motorcycle, you are even more vulnerable.
Drivers in other vehicles don’t expect and are often surprised by such motorcycle maneuvers.
A vehicle that causes an accident while making a left-hand turn will almost always be found at fault for the accident.
But if the driver of the motorcycle was speeding or in the wrong lane, the motorcyclist may be partly responsible for the accident.
If that’s the case, in most states, that will cause the motorcyclist to receive less compensation from the driver of the car for injuries and damages caused during the accident.
In some states, the motorcyclist’s behavior could bar recovery altogether.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
One of the common causes of motorcycles that’s unique to motorcyclists is lane splitting.
Lane splitting occurs when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars, usually in traffic jams.
Lane splitting is a common cause of motorcycle accidents due to several factors:
- The proximity of the cars to the motorcycle
- The reduced space the motorcycle has to maneuver, and
- The cars don’t anticipate that any vehicle or motorcycle will pass them in slowed or stopped traffic
If a motorcyclist gets into an accident while lane splitting, whether the bike or car is at fault depends on several factors.
Those factors include whether lane splitting is permissible in that state, the judge and police officer’s views on lane splitting, and the actions of both the driver of the car and motorcyclist before the accident.
One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents that is entirely preventable is alcohol use.
About half of the accidents that involve a single motorcycle involve speeding or alcohol use.
This isn’t surprising because these factors play a large role in wrecks among other vehicles as well.
But because motorcycles don’t provide much protection to the rider, motorcycle crashes that involve speeding or alcohol are much more likely to result in fatalities or severe injuries.
Collisions Between Motorcycles and Fixed Objects
Motorcycles colliding with fixed objects account make up about 25% of motorcyclist deaths, compared to just 18% of car crash deaths.
A motorcyclist is not surrounded by a box of metal, and is much more likely to be thrown far and hard.
As a result, many accidents are more deadly when riding a motorcycle.
Motorcycles are more susceptible to the dangers posed by road hazards than cars and other vehicles.
The smaller size and less stable nature of motorcycles leave them more vulnerable to potholes, dead animals, slick pavement conditions, uneven heights between lanes, and other irregularities or unexpected objects in the road.
Motorcyclists need to always be mindful of road conditions while they’re riding.
Even though they comprise a small portion of the overall number of motorcycles on the road, high-performance motorcycles account for a disproportionate number of motorcycle accidents.
High-performance motorcycles fall into two categories: supersport motorcycles and sport motorcycles.
Supersport motorcycles are built on racing platforms with modifications for highway use.
These motorcycles are lightweight and have high-horsepower engines so that they can reach speeds upwards of 160 mph.
Most supersport motorcycle riders are under 30, another contributing factor to the higher accident rate.
Younger motorcycle riders, and younger drivers, in general, are typically less cautious and take more risks than older riders.
Sport motorcycles are similar to supersport motorcycles but have a slightly lower power to weight ratio.
Drivers of these motorcycles are typically under the age of 34.
The death rate among riders of supersport motorcycles is four times that of conventional motorcycles when involved in accidents.
The death rate among riders of sport motorcycles is two times that of conventional motorcycle riders.
Contact The Angell Law Firm If You’ve Been Involved In A Motorcycle Accident
Those are just a few of the common causes of motorcycle accidents.
Motorcyclists are more at risk for severe or fatal accidents on the road than other drivers.
Luckily, motorcycle riders can increase their safety by being aware of the common causes of accidents.
All motorcyclists should take steps to reduce or avoid the risk of an accident by taking extra care when lane splitting, anticipating road hazards or resisting the temptation to speed and use alcohol.
The Angell Law Firm is an experienced motorcycle accident law firm that has successfully won substantial amounts for victims of motorcycle crashes.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, call the Angell Law Firm as soon as you receive medical treatment so you can speak to a personal injury attorney.
They will investigate every aspect of the crash to make sure you receive fair compensation for your damages.
If injured in a motorcycle accident, click the button below for a free consultation with the personal injury lawyers of the Angell Law Firm.
You may be entitled to a cash settlement for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.