What Is the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
Although motorcycle accidents are less common than other types of crashes, bikers are around 28 times more likely to die in an accident than passenger car occupants. Motorcyclists also make up 14% of all accident-related deaths.
When a motorcycle accident happens, the motorcyclist does not have much protection from harm. Unlike cars and trucks, motorcycles provide little barrier between their passengers and the open road. As a result, bikers are more likely to experience severe or deadly injuries.
To reduce motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities, we need to understand the leading causes of motorcycle accidents (and what we can do about them). If another driver caused your motorcycle accident, contact our lawyers at (214) 305-8277 or contact us online for a FREE legal consultation.
The Leading Cause of Motorcycle Accidents
The most common action in deadly motorcycle accidents seems to be left turns.
Crash stats from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that 42% of fatal two-vehicle motorcycle accidents in 2017 involved the other driver turning left. In those same types of accidents, both vehicles were traveling straight 21% of the time. The other driver might not see, fail to yield to, or misjudge the distance from the motorcyclist, resulting in a severe accident.
Since motorcycles are much smaller than cars or trucks, it’s harder for other drivers to see them when turning. If a driver is not vigilant enough, they might not notice when a biker is trying to pass or overtake them legally.
Other Common Motorcycle Accident Causes
Here are some other common factors involved in motorcycle accidents throughout the country.
According to 2017 motorcycle accident facts and statistics from the Insurance Information Institute (III), out of 5,172 motorcyclists killed in accidents, 1,704 were killed in alcohol-related crashes. Motorcyclists were also found to have a higher percentage of drunk drivers than other vehicle drivers. Drunk driving plays a big part in too many auto accidents overall.
The NHTSA reported 32% of all motorcyclists involved in deadly accidents in 2017 were speeding. This is much higher compared to the speeding percentages for other drivers:
- 18% for passenger car drivers
- 14% for pickup drivers
- 7% for large truck drivers
Lane splitting happens when a motorcycle rider drives between two traffic lanes. A motorcyclist might lane split to get past slowed or stopped cars, but the practice is illegal in states like Texas.
Lane splitting can easily lead to accidents because:
- There is less room to maneuver and avoid accidents.
- Other drivers will not have much warning or space to avoid the motorcycle.
- Other drivers might open a door and hit the motorcyclist.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Road hazards like potholes, uneven pavement, and construction debris can cause all sorts of accidents. Unfortunately, road hazards pose a higher risk to motorcycle riders because they have smaller vehicles and less protection.
If a road hazard causes a motorcycle accident, the at-fault party might be a government entity or construction company. Talk to a Dallas motorcycle accident lawyer about how to seek compensation from the at-fault party for your damages.
Sport and Supersport Motorcycles
Sport and supersport motorcycles are high-performance vehicles that tend to get into more accidents.
Supersport motorcycles are very light, have high-horsepower engines, and are built to travel incredibly fast. Sport motorcycles have a lower power-to-weight ratio. Both types of bikes encourage super-fast driving, which increases the risk of accidents — and have a death rate four times higher than other types of motorcycles.
Other Factors Involved in Motorcycle Accidents
Now that we’ve covered the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, here are some other details to consider.
Not all motorcycle crashes are two-vehicle accidents. Collisions with fixed objects cause 25% of motorcycle rider deaths. Since a motorcyclist is likely to be thrown from their vehicle during a sudden crash, a single object can be deadly.
A massive percentage of motorcycle-car crashes occur when the car hits the motorcycle from the front. Head-on accidents are nearly always incredibly severe or fatal. These types of accidents also tend to involve very negligent behavior, like drunk driving or distracted driving.
Weekend and Nighttime Accidents
About half of motorcyclist fatalities happen because of accidents on a weekend day versus a weekday. Nighttime accidents are also more frequent and more likely to involve alcohol impairment.
What to Do if You Were Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident
If another driver caused your motorcycle accident, you have legal rights. In Texas, you can seek compensation by filing a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. An experienced lawyer can help you do it.
After the accident, you can begin building your case by:
- Calling the police to report the accident
- Getting emergency medical attention right away
- Taking pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and your vehicle damage
- Exchanging information with the other driver(s)
- Keeping track of all accident damages
- Consulting with a motorcycle accident lawyer right away
In your insurance claim, you will need to show how the at-fault driver was negligent and caused your accident. After you file your claim, the insurance company will likely try to offer you a lowball settlement. While this is not surprising, you should be very careful not to accept any settlement offer or sign anything from the insurer without speaking to a lawyer first.
Insurance companies are notorious for trying to pay as little as possible on accident claims — especially motorcycle accidents. To legally protect yourself and seek the fullest compensation possible, schedule a free consultation with a lawyer today.
Get Help From a Dallas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today — Starting with a Free Consultation
Our Dallas car accident lawyers can help you build and file a strong injury claim after your motorcycle accident. We know how stressful the aftermath of an accident can be, which is why we don’t charge you unless we win you compensation.
Contact us today to get matched with the best attorney for your case. Call (214) 305-8277 or contact us online to get started at no risk.