Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

by / Wednesday, 04 March 2015 / Published in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Head-On Collisions

56% of all motorcycle accidents are accidents that involve another vehicle. In the vast majority of these cases (78%), these accidents are head-on collisions. Only 5% of car/motorcycle accidents happen when the car hits a motorcycle from behind.

Cars Making Left Hand Turns

When cars make left-hand turns, it can be an incredibly dangerous situation for motorcyclists. 42% of all accidents that involve a motorcycle and a car happen when a car is making a left-hand turn. This is also a very common cause of car accidents, but they become more dangerous when a motorcycle is involved because motorcyclists don’t have the protection of being in an enclosed vehicle. In most cases, the motorcycle is either passing the car, trying to pass the car, or heading straight through an intersection.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist tries to maneuver their bike in between lanes of cars, typically during events such as traffic jams. Although lane splitting isn’t explicitly illegal in most states, it isn’t advisable, either. Since there is less space between lanes of cars, lane splitting increases the risk of being involved in an accident.

Alcohol Usage

Just like cars and alcohol don’t mix, neither do alcohol and motorcycles. Alcohol is a factor in over half of all accidents involving a single motorcyclist. In 2005, 1 out of 4 car driver fatalities were related to alcohol, but 1 out of 3 motorcycle fatalities were alcohol-related.

Road Hazards

Hazards such as wet leaves, gravel, damage to the road, slick roads, and other debris in the road can all be very dangerous to a motorcyclist. If a motorcyclists rides into one of these hazards without having enough time to react, the results can potentially be deadly. Motorcyclists need to always be vigilant about watching out for potential hazards on the road in front of them and for ways to avoid them. The best way to prevent accidents caused by road hazards is to not ride into them in the first place. When making turns, enter them slowly so you’ll have a chance to react to any road hazards you weren’t able to see before making the turn. If the roads are snowy or icy or if it has recently started raining, it’s best to leave the motorcycle at home.  If you absolutely need to ride a motorcycle in the rain, it’s best to wait between half an hour and an hour after the rain has started.

Hitting Stationary Objects

About 25% of motorcyclist deaths are the result of a motorcyclist hitting a stationary object. This is another situation that is also a very common cause of car accidents, but tends to be more deadly for motorcyclists because of the fact that motorcycles don’t have the safety features that cars do.

Speed

When traveling over the posted speed limit, a motorcyclist has less time to react to dangerous situations ahead of them, have a harder time maintaining control of their bikes, and other motorists on the road have less time to see and react to motorcyclists. Many people may expect younger, more inexperienced riders to be the most common culprits of speeding, but motorcyclists of all ages and levels of experience can be found guilty of speeding.

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