What Are the Common Causes for a Motorcycle Accident?

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Motorcycle accidents are often ending with fatal outcomes. Perhaps they don’t occur that often as car accidents, but the injuries for the riders are far more severe. Motorcyclists are not protected as drivers, even if they wear helmets and riding clothes.

In most cases, cars hit the motorcycle from the front, which often ends with death for the rider. 

Cars making left-hand turns

The most dangerous situation for motorcyclists happens when cars are making left-hand turns. These crashes make almost half of all motorcycle-car accidents. The turning car hits the motorcycle when the motorcycle is passing the car, trying to pass the vehicle or going straight through an intersection. 

Such accidents are common between two cars as well, but the motorcycles are smaller, so they are less visible to the vehicle that is turning to the left. 

Motorcycles that pass cars within the same lane are at bigger risk. Cars usually don’t expect the motorcycle and are often surprised by them.  

In most cases, the car that hits another car or motorcycle while making a left-hand turn is at fault for the collision. But, if the motorcyclists were riding fast or we’re going in the wrong lane, they too may be at fault for the crash. In most states, the motorcyclist has a partial fault and will get smaller compensation for their damages and injuries. 

Lane splitting

Lane splitting happens when a motorcycle rides between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars. It happens mainly in traffic jams. Lane splitting is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents because of reduced space the motorcycle has to maneuver, the closeness of the cars and the motorcycle, and the fact that the vehicles don’t expect that any other car or motorcycle will pass them in a slowed traffic. 

If an accident happens while a motorcycle is splitting lanes, the fault depends on whether lane splitting is permitted in that state. It will also depend on the views of the officer and judge on lane splitting, and the actions of the driver and motorcyclist before the accident. 

Speeding and drinking

About half of the motorcycle accidents involving a motorcycle are caused by speeding or drinking. Motorcycles don’t really protect the rider, and such accidents that involve speeding or alcohol are very likely to end with fatal outcomes or severe injuries.

A crash between motorcycles and fixed objects

Motorcycles often hit fixed objects; such accidents make about one-quarter of the motorcyclist deaths. This is because the rider has nothing to protect him or her, and when they hit a fixed object, they are thrown far and hard from the motorcycle.  

Road hazards 

Motorcycles are exposed to more serious dangers from road hazards than any other vehicle. The small size of the motorcycle and their weight and not so stable nature, make every hole, dead animal, uneven heights between lanes or other road hazards a real risk. Very often, even a small road hazard can be the reason for the motorcyclists to lose balance and hit in another vehicle or fixed object.  

High-performance motorcycles

High-performance motorcycles come in two categories: supersport motorcycles and sport motorcycles.

  • Supersport motorcycles  These motorcycles are built on racing platforms that are adjusted for highway use. These vehicles are lightweight and have high-horsepower engines, which means they can go extremely fast (up to 160 mph). Most supersport motorcycle riders are younger than the age of thirty, which is another factor that contributes to a large number of motorcycle accidents. Younger riders are not cautious and tend to make more mistakes on the road (often speeding and riding under the influence). 
  • Sport motorcycles – These motorcycles are similar to supersport motorcycles, but don’t have such a high power to weight ratio. Riders of sport motorcycles are usually younger than thirty-four.  

The death rate among riders of supersport motorcycle accidents is four times higher than that of riders of conventional motorcycles (cruisers, standards, and touring motorcycles). The riders of the more popular motorcycles are often older, usually over the age of forty). The death rate among riders of sport motorcycles is twice that of conventional motorcycle riders.

Motorcycle accidents are frequently happening and, unfortunately, often end with fatal outcomes.

Injured motorcyclists should seek compensation claims, no matter if they were at fault for the accident.

If you or your loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, it is time to seek legal help. Call our office and let our team take your case. 

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