About half of all road traffic deaths occur among vulnerable road users. These users include cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. Unfortunately, neglecting motorcycle safety could cause accidents to rise year over year. Understanding the different causes of motorcycle accidents could help you prevent a crash in the future. Here are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents and what all motorists on the road can do to prevent them from happening.
In the span of a single year, speeding was the cause of 31% of all motorcycle fatalities and 18% of all car driver fatalities. In fact, over 50% of the five million yearly crashes in the US are caused by aggressive drivers. Speeding is the most prevalent contributor to this statistic.
Even a 10-mph speed increase ups the risk of a crash by 91.5%. Yet, speeding is still the number one cited driver-related factor in fatal highway crashes. Every time someone gets behind the wheel, they should follow the speed limit.
Any areas where vehicles are parked alongside the road can pose a potential risk to motorcyclists. Known as “dooring,” this is when someone in a car opens their car door and accidentally hits someone. This is not only one of the common causes of motorcycle accidents, but this affects bicyclists, as well. This can be more difficult to prevent. Therefore, both car drivers and those on motorcycles should always remain aware of their surroundings and the traffic around them.
A lack of experience for anyone on the road could increase the risk of an accident. All motorcyclists and drivers should not only be licensed to operate their vehicles, but they should also feel comfortable and confident on the road. Also, the laws are different for each type of driver, so each party should know the traffic and road safety laws in order to prevent a motorcycle accident.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Always remain aware of your surroundings while you’re on the road. Otherwise, dangerous road conditions can cause an accident. Also, an obstruction could cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, leading to an accident. Examples of dangerous rod conditions could include:
- Animals and wildlife
- A lack of signs and signals
- Crumbling pavement
- Slick pavement due to rain
- Uneven lanes
Tailgating is dangerous and should never be done, especially to someone on a bike. If a student stop is made, someone driving a car may not react in time to avoid hitting the person in front of them. There should always be enough space left between yourself and other vehicles on the road. You can also avoid head-on accidents with the Four R’s:
- Read the road
- Drive to the right of the road
- Reduce your speed
- Ride off to the side of the road
When a driver moves between two lanes while cars are stopped are moving slowly, they’re “lane splitting.” This is legal in California. However, an accident can occur because of the proximity between a motorcycle and car in these incidents. Also, a driver might struggle to anticipate when someone is passing in front of their vehicle while traffic is stopped. It’s best to avoid maneuvering your motorcycle through heavy traffic.
Left-hand turns are one of the top causes of motorcycle accidents. Since motorcycles are smaller, they’re less visible to a turning car and are often side-swiped or completely collided with.
Unsafe Lane Changes
Everyone should always check for blind spots before changing lanes and signal to give other vehicles a warning of the maneuver you plan to make. Make sure you recognize the signs that a car is about to switch lanes, which can include:
- Wheels turning
- Turn signals
- The driver swiveling their head
- The driver checking their mirrors
The best way to ensure motorcycle safety is to become a defensive driver. Learning to recognize these signs when you’re sharing the road can help you respond quickly. You could avoid potential motorcycle accidents as a result.
Schedule time to have a professional check your motorcycle every few months. Otherwise, a poorly manufactured motorcycle could increase your risk of motorcycle accidents. A defective part could impact your ability to remain defensive while on the road.
If you’re in an accident due to a motorcycle defect, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. They can help you hold the manufacturer liable for the accident and your motorcycle injuries.
Driving Under the Influence
About 5,000 motorcyclists drive in accidents that involve alcohol-impaired drivers. If you notice a car swerving, keep your distance. If a drunk driver hits you, make sure to contact a motorcycle accident attorney right away. They can help you file a lawsuit. Then, you can fight for compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Safe Driving: Avoid These Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Understanding the different causes of motorcycle accidents can help you remain vigilant while you’re on the road. Take the time to learn how to become a defensive rather than negligent driver. If a negligent driver causes an accident, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney right away.
Want to talk to an attorney about your motorcycle injuries? Schedule a free consultation with Legacy Accident Lawyers today.