For many Americans, riding a motorcycle is a cherished pastime. However, a pleasant midday drive can quickly turn sour on the road, resulting in traffic fatalities and significant physical injuries. A variety of factors can cause motorcycle crashes.
Some accidents are caused by the motorcyclist’s carelessness or negligence, while many others are caused by the fault of another vehicle on the road.
This article presents an in-depth look at the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. As you go through them, remember that the failure of motorists to identify and acknowledge motorcyclists in traffic is the leading cause of motorcycle crashes.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Because of its compact size, a motorcycle may be hard to see, especially when in patches of glare or obscured by other vehicles around the area. It’s no wonder that crossroads are one of the most prevalent areas where cars fail to give the right-of-way because they don’t notice a motorcycle.
1. Taking Left Turns
Left-hand turns are the cause of a lot of accidents. When a motorcyclist is turning left, some cars can fail to notice the motorcycle’s turn signal. In other cases, drivers unintentionally collide with the motorcyclist while making a left-hand turn in their vehicle.
A motorcycle can be hard to perceive and could be in the motorist’s blind spot, even if they check their mirrors before turning.
Speeding is another one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, but it is especially deadly for motorcycle riders. Three of the major benefits of riding a motorbike are high-speed performance, flexibility, and low cost.
Many individuals choose sports bikes because of their lightweight builds and quick performance. Sports bike riders have a death rate that is two to four times that of traditional motorcycle riders.
3. Poor Road Conditions
Motorcycle accidents are frequently caused by hazardous road conditions such as slick asphalt, uneven pavement, loose gravel, or debris on the road, especially near construction sites. Motorcycles may be more prone to dangerous road conditions than other vehicles since they are smaller and have less stability than a car or truck.
4. Lane Splitting
Lane splitting, or straddling between two lanes, is prohibited in most states. It is permitted in just one state, which happens to be California. Even if you are allowed to do so, you should avoid it.
While a motorbike is tiny and flexible enough to allow riders to travel across two lanes to avoid traffic bottlenecks, one false move by a car might put a biker in danger. Lane splitting has been blamed for many motorcycle accidents.
5. Driving Under the Influence
Whether you’re driving or sitting at a bar with friends, alcohol affects judgment and motor skills. Riding a motorcycle necessitates lightning-quick reactions, and even a single drink can slow reflexes below safe levels. In 2018, alcohol was implicated in over 40% of all single-vehicle motorbike deaths.
As of 2018, motorcyclists with a blood alcohol percentage of more than .08, the legal limit, made up about 26% of multiple-vehicle collision deaths. Driving while intoxicated is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
6. Switching Lanes
Motorcyclists are constantly endangered by car drivers’ lane shifting behaviors. Many motorists examine their blind spots, switch on their turn signals, and switch lanes in a myopic manner. The issue with this behavior is that motorbikes are compact and move quickly.
A motorcycle may have entered the scene by the time the car driver has moved their eyes from the blind spot to turn on their signal. It’s possible that if the motorist doesn’t double-check their blind spot before turning, an accident will occur.
7. Reckless Driving
Motorcycle accidents are frequently caused by speeding and irresponsible driving. When drivers or bikers drive recklessly, speed, drive inattentively, or tailgate the car in front of them, accidents can happen.
Some riders, particularly those riding motorcycles or sportbikes, may attempt to reach high speeds where the vehicle is more likely to lose control.
8. Weather Conditions
Though California is known to be beautiful and sunny most of the year, the Golden State has its fair share of poor weather conditions. Interestingly, the vast majority of motorcycle accidents happen in clear or overcast weather with no rain or other weather problems.
The majority of bikers are aware that cycling in the rain might be dangerous. Inclement weather keeps the majority of motorcycle riders off the road. On the other hand, motorcyclists are sometimes forced to ride in the rain owing to unforeseen downpours.
9. Abrupt Stops
Tailgating or following too closely is a leading cause of injury in all types of cars. Although a rear-end vehicle accident normally results in little damage, a rear-end motorcycle accident can result in catastrophic injuries if the rider is thrown off the bike.
There is no specific safe spot since it fluctuates with speed. Nevertheless, it is recommended to maintain at least a three-second traveling distance between vehicles.
Bodily Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
Just about any injury you can think of can happen during a motorcycle accident. Some of the most common include:
- Concussions and lifelong brain damage
- Irreversible nerve injury in the upper half of the body
- Spinal cord injuries that can result in the rider being paralyzed
- Road rash from sliding around the pavement or gravel
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Damaged joints from violent impacts
- Wrongful death
- Facial deformity from not wearing proper safety gear
The best way to avoid any of these injuries is to wear a helmet and riding gloves and be aware of your surroundings.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle wreck, you should consult with an attorney. A motorcycle accident lawyer can assist you with your insurance claim, negotiate a fair settlement, arrange for medical care, or represent you in the courtroom.
Nationally recognized and top-rated as personal injury lawyers in San Diego, California, Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC, is a great option for motorcyclists needing legal counsel.
Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side.
If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines