motorcycle on pavement next to grey passenger car with door open

What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?

Several factors can cause or contribute to motorcycle accidents. Riding a motorcycle requires more skill and coordination than driving a car, and motorcycles are far less crashworthy than other vehicles. While rider inexperience is a leading cause of motorcycle crashes, the majority (63%) of accidents involve another vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about one-third of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes are a result of other motorists turning into the path of the motorcycle, especially at intersections.

Other causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Drivers making left turns
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Drivers who fail to see motorcyclists
  • Drunk or drugged drivers
  • Distracted drivers
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Aggressive driving
  • Dooring (when a car door opens into a motorcyclist’s path)
  • Poor road conditions
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Brake failure
  • Defective motorcycles or parts

To stay safe, motorcyclists must practice defensive driving and try to make themselves visible at all times. They must also be more careful when riding in inclement weather. Still, many accidents occur due to another driver’s negligence, and other parties may be at-fault for accidents when roads are not properly maintained or the mechanics of a motorcycle fail.

Alcohol

Approximately 43% of fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol, and 26% of fatally injured motorcycle drivers in 2018 had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at or above 0.08%.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a huge factor in all kinds of motor vehicle accidents. The NHTSA estimates that drunk driving takes more than 10,000 lives each year. Whether motorcyclists or other drivers on the road to choose to drink before operating a motor vehicle, the results can be equally catastrophic.

Our Insights

Unfortunately, motorcyclists are much less likely to survive any kind of traffic accident with any kind of cause. Motorcyclists lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle and are 27 times more likely to die in an accident. Data from the NHTSA reveals that more than 80% of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist.

Although a helmet can help prevent traumatic brain injuries and fatalities, drivers should take extra caution when driving around motorcycles. If drivers check their blind spots, are careful at intersections, and keep an eye out for motorcyclists, they can save countless lives.

Failure to take this kind of care may even be construed as negligence in a personal injury lawsuit. If you’ve been injured or bereaved by a driver who failed to care for others on the road, MR Civil Justice may be able to help.

Call us at (214) 307-8387 today to discuss your legal options during a free case review.

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