The number of motorcycle accidents seems to be on a staggering increase as the years fly by. About 3% of registered motor vehicle accidents in the US were from motorcycles. Of these accidents, 14% resulted in motorcyclist deaths.
Although there is an inherent risk to riding these vehicles, riders need to be aware of the best riding practices to avoid accidents and injuries. They go a long way in ensuring that the number and frequency of motorcycle injuries and deaths plummet. Read to learn more about the accidents’ causes and how to avoid them.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle operators must understand the common causes of accidents and how to mitigate the risks. Here are five common ones riders need to be aware of.
1. Cars Making Left-Hand Turns
Accidents resulting from collisions with cars making left-hand turns are pretty prevalent. These cars often collide with passing or oncoming motorcycles at intersections. These accidents occur primarily due to speeding, low visibility, and driver distraction.
According to the left-turn right-of-way laws, motorcycles should be free to pass because the cars should yield. Therefore, if the driver doesn’t give right of way and ends up causing a fatal accident, it will be the driver’s fault.
When you ride a motorcycle, you are particularly vulnerable in case of a collision. You don’t have as much protection as you would in a car with airbags. At the same time, motorcycles are lighter and smaller than cars. Here are some of the most common collisions:
- Collisions With Fixed Objects: A motorcyclist is likelier to die from a collision with a fixed object than a passenger in a car. For instance, a rider might get serious injuries from veering off on a rain-slicked road and hitting a fence, guardrail, or tree.
- Head-on Collisions: These crashes constitute a significant percentage of the most dangerous road accidents. The reason is the excessive force from other cars, which are heavier, plus the need for adequate motorcycle safety measures.
The design and structure of certain motorcycles could easily tempt riders into speeding, which is especially true for sport and supersport bikes. Such high speeds from these high-end motorcycles encourage risky behaviors on the roads.
Younger riders are mostly the culprits in such cases. These young lads are more likely to get involved in road accidents due to the adrenaline rush that comes with riding. When you couple this with the absence of safety and protective wear like knee pads and helmets, the accidents could prove fatal.
4. Motorcycle Lane Splitting
You have probably seen this happen while on the road. It is when a motorcycle rider tries to find their way through slow-moving or halted traffic. This behavior is lane splitting, one of the major causes of motorcycle accidents. Typically, drivers are oblivious and don’t expect anything to happen in such situations.
As riders try to weave through the traffic, they have little to no room for defensive maneuvering in case of sudden outcomes. Lane splitting is mostly illegal, so the rider will be at fault in most cases here. Lane splitting could also incur potential liabilities in some states.
5. Road Hazards
While on the road, it can sometimes be challenging for riders to notice road hazards like gravel on pavements, railway tracks, or uneven surfaces. Therefore, motorcycle riders should remain vigilant while on the road to watch out for potential road hazards. The lack thereof might result in fatal accidents as motorcycles are less stable and smaller than cars. Also, unexpected objects and irregularities are likely to lead motorcycles to crash.
Riding motorcycles is inherently risky. Despite the numerous uncertainties on the roads, there are steps you can take to mitigate road accidents, fatal injuries, and even death. If you take heed of the best practices, you will be steps ahead toward safe riding on the road. In the unfortunate event you end up involved in an accident, here is where the services of a Wilmington motorcycle accident lawyer might come in handy.