There is nothing quite like the power, control, freedom, and thrill that riding a motorcycle provides. However, those superlatives are sometimes outweighed by the dangers of riding a motorcycle. Motorcyclists are much more likely to get into fatal crashes than those that drive a car. Furthermore, when an accident occurs, there is an accompanying injury (or fatality) more times than not. Though it is not impossible to avoid all accidents, being aware of the most common reasons for motorcycle accidents can potentially save you from making ill-informed decisions while riding. If you have been in a collision, the attorneys at the Law Office of Jugo & Murphy recommend that you immediately seek medical attention, call the police, and contact an experienced accident attorney to represent you. Learn more about the main reasons for motorcycle accidents below.
Most motorcycle accidents involve a car hitting a motorcycle head-on. Rarely do motorcycle accidents happen that involve a car rear-ending a motorcyclist. Unfortunately, many of these accidents cause head injuries, brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, as well as fatalities.
Accidents Caused By Drivers Making Left-Hand Turns
In general, left-hand turns account for many crashes. This is also true with motorcycle collisions. In fact, more than 40% of all motorcycle crashes (that involve cars) occurs during a left-hand turn. Typically, the car is turning left and does not see the motorcycle going straight. In other instances, the motorcyclist may be attempting to pass or overtake the car while it's making a left-hand turn. In most cases, if the driver turning hits a vehicle going straight, the turning driver is found at fault. Exceptions to this can occur if the motorcycle driver was speeding or otherwise driving recklessly.
Motorcyclists Splitting The Lane
We've all seen motorcycles driving in between the lanes during rush hour traffic or at a red-light and wished that we could also escape the gridlock of traffic as well. Though this is a common practice, it is not recommended. Lane splitting is dangerous because it reduces the motorcycle's margin of error due to how close they are to cars. Furthermore, car drivers may not be aware of the motorcyclist's lane splitting and can potentially attempt to switch lanes or make an abrupt turn. Though this maneuver can certainly save time, it could lead to serious injuries and potential fatalities. Thus, it is best to stay in one lane and adhere to traffic laws.
Intoxicated Drivers And Speeding
Approximately half of all motorcycle accidents involve speeding or the use of alcohol. While this is true of car accidents as well, the consequences are far more severe for those riding a motorcycle. There is very little protection afforded to the body of a person on a motorcycle. When an accident occurs, the likelihood of a fatality or life-altering injury is very high. If you are riding a motorcycle, it is best to adhere to posted speed limits and stay away from any intoxicants. Furthermore, be vigilant of other drivers that may be inebriated or speeding as they are less likely to see you.
Hazardous Driving Conditions For Motorcycles
Hazardous conditions for a car and hazardous conditions for a motorcycle are not the same. Conditions like light rain, potholes, animals, uneven lanes, fog, etc. can make riding a motorcycle very dangerous. One mistake and it could cost the rider their life. For this reason, it is important to drive at a safe speed and stay off of your bike in the event that driving conditions are not favorable. You cannot prevent every accident, but you can certainly increase the likelihood of a safe ride by being vigilant of what you can control.