Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Each year, more than 5,000 motorcyclists
are killed on U.S. roadways every year, making them more
than 29 times more likely to die in an accident than passengers in
Thousands more motorcyclists are injured
every year in these accidents—and all too often, these accidents and injuries
are through no fault of the motorcyclist's driving behavior. The risk of
becoming injured in a motorcycle accident is understood by anyone who mounts a
motorcycle to drive on public roadways, but this doesn't make the accidents
themselves any easier to face when you or a loved one crashes and suffers an
When these accidents occur, it's
important to understand your rights as a cyclist and the steps you need to take
to protect and advocate for yourself to make sure your healthcare expenses and
other costs are covered by the responsible party. Read on for an overview of
the top causes of motorcycle accidents, as well as what steps you can take to
protect yourself before and after an accident occurs.
What is the Primary Cause of Motorcycle Crashes in
The leading cause of motorcycle accidents
is a collision with another moving vehicle. According to the most recently
available motorcycle driving statistics, collisions with another vehicle
accounted for more than 53 percent of injuries occurred
while riding a motorcycle in 2018.
In many cases, these accidents are due to
the other vehicle's inability to identify a motorcyclist on the road. Drivers
of other vehicles may change lanes without realizing that a motorcycle is in
their blind spot, or they might turn onto a different road without checking to
see if their turn is cutting off a motorcyclist.
Motorcyclists are well aware of the high risk that other vehicles will not spot them on the road, which is why defensive driving is preached to motorcyclists in an effort to reduce the risk of injury. Even so, motorcycle crashes continue to be disproportionately caused by crashes involving at least one other passenger vehicle in motion at the time of the accident.
While passenger vehicle collisions account for the majority of motorcycle accidents, other common causes include the following:
-—� Collision with a fixed
object. This can include vehicles, signs, trees and
other obstructions in the road. Motorcyclists should note that, even in cases
where a motorcycle strikes a fixed object, the motorcyclist is not
necessarily liable for the crash, depending on the object and who is
responsible for that roadway obstruction.
-—� Collision with a non-fixed
object. This could include moving non-vehicles and
other non-stationary objects, including animals or pedestrians.
-—� Noncollision accidents. This could include situations where the motorcyclist loses control of their vehicle and crashes. Common causes could include icy or slick conditions, damaged roadways, or operator error.
Even though motorcyclists are often not
liable for the accidents causing them injury, every cyclist should practice
defensive driving and take preventative measures to avoid injury and/or reduce
the potential seriousness of an injury.
Consider taking the following steps:
-—� Wear a helmet when riding. While helmets are not legally required for motorcyclists in every
state, they are required for all Georgia motorcyclists. This
includes both drivers and passengers. Wearing a helmet will save you from
getting pulled over and fined, and it could end up saving your life.
-—� Wear reflective clothing when
riding during poor visibility. This will improve your
visibility and make you less likely to suffer a collision.
-—� Maintain a safe riding
distance from other vehicles. Other vehicles may
struggle to see you if you're riding too close. By keeping to a safe distance,
you will be more visible, and have more time to react if roadway hazards
develop up ahead.
-—� Ride in groups when possible. Motorcyclists are more visible when driving as part of a larger group
rather than solo.
-—� Enroll in a motorcycle safety
course to brush up on safety techniques. If it has
been a while since you received proper safety training, a safety course can
offer a refresh on defensive driving and other tactics to avoid accidents and
protect yourself in a crash.
If you do find yourself in a motorcycle
crash, the first thing you should do is call 911 to get emergency services to
the scene of the accident—even if you think you've escaped with minor injuries.
You should also get the contact
information of the other parties involved in the accident, as you will need
this information when dealing with police and insurance. Once your emergency
care needs are met, make sure you contact
a (motorcycle crash attorney) to get the legal support you need to
navigate this process and make sure your needs for healthcare and other
compensation are properly met by the responsible party. Even if you believe
you're at fault, an attorney can review your situation and determine if other
parties are partially or fully to blame for your accident.
How you respond to a motorcycle
crash—including whether you are properly compensated for your losses and
suffering—will have a tremendous impact on your ability to recover from this
event and move forward with your life. Always make sure you have the support
and advocacy of a trusted motorcycle crash attorney to help you through this