Motorcycle Accidents: Learn The Common Causes

Woman drives on a motorcycle on a morning highway

With the never ending road construction, constant traffic hazards and distracted drivers on the road, driving a motorcycle can be risky business. It is, nevertheless, a popular and widely-enjoyed method of commuting. The more you know about the causes of motorcycle accidents, the better you’ll be able to try and prevent them. Let’s take a look at the most common dangers facing motorcyclists on the road today and how a motorcycle injury lawyer can help if you’ve been injured in an accident.

Head-on Collisions

Collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles are responsible for 56 percent of motorcycle accident-related deaths. And 78 percent of these accidents involve head-on collisions with a car and a motorcycle. Vehicles hit motorcycles from the front most of the time, only striking the rear of the motorcycle five percent of the time. Unfortunately, head-on collisions are usually fatal to the motorcyclist.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is the term used to refer to when motorcyclists maneuver between other vehicles, generally during traffic. This often leads to accidents because of the small spaces in which the motorcyclist is maneuvering between vehicles and how close the other vehicles are to the motorcyclist. This is made worse by the fact that car drivers don’t expect a motorcycle or other vehicle to pass them during times of heavy traffic, so they don’t always look out for weaving motorists.

Left-Hand Turns

Left-hand turns are dangerous situations for car drivers and motorcyclists alike, although they are most dangerous for motorcyclists, accounting for 42 percent of all accidents that involve a car and a motorcycle. Accidents most often occur at left-hand turns when the motorcyclist tries to pass another car, when they drive straight through the intersection or when the motorcyclist tries to overtake another car. While the driver making the left-hand turn is generally found at fault in these types of accidents, the motorcyclist may be found at fault if they were in the wrong lane or speeding.

Road Hazards, Alcohol, and Speeding

Hazardous road conditions, drinking while driving and speeding increase the risk of accidents for both car and motorcycle drivers. But because motorcycles don’t offer the protection of four wheels, airbags, and a metal enclosure, their drivers are more likely to be seriously injured in an accident. Road hazards that other vehicles can overcome like dead animals, uneven lanes, potholes and slick pavement are even more dangerous for motorcyclists. While collisions with fixed objects are only responsible for 18 percent of car crash-related deaths, they are responsible for 25 percent of motorcycle crash-related deaths.

Sport Motorcycles

Finally, high-performance motorcycles like sport motorcycles and supersport motorcycles account for more deaths than one would expect, given the fact that high-performance motorcycles don’t make up the majority of motorcycles on the roads. One possible factor that could account for this is the ages of motorcyclists. While the majority of motorcyclists are actually over the age of 40, motorcyclists who operate sports motorcycles are usually under the age of 34. And those driving supersport motorcycles are even younger, with the majority being under 30 years of age. The death rate of drivers of high-performance motorcycles is four times that of drivers of conventional motorcycles, suggesting that younger drivers may be less experienced and willing to take more risks on the road.

Contact a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, consult a motorcycle injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Peter Davis to discuss your legal options. With almost three decades of experience in the Paterson, New Jersey area, we understand the region’s community and its traffic laws. Contact a motorcycle injury lawyer today!