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Motorcycle Accidents: Primary Causes

Last modified: June 29, 2016 by Stephen Babcock


Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

motorcycle

The prevalence of motorcycle accidents is much higher when taking into consideration the total number of motorcycles compared to cars. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 56 out of every 100,000 registered motorcycles was involved in a fatal accident, while only 9 out of every 100,000 cars were involved in fatal crashes as of 2013. The number of motorcycle fatalities has decreased by roughly 2% in the past year, with an estimated 8.4 million motorcycles on U.S. reaches each year.

Motorcycle riders are at much more risk of being in an accident or being severely injury than other drivers on the roads. Most accidents are the result of other driver’s mistakes, either not seeing the motorcycle or assuming they are going to do something that they aren’t.

Head-On Collisions

  • Over 50% of all motorcycle fatalities will include a motorcycle and another vehicle. Over 78% of all crashes involving motorcycles are head-on collisions, which has a high rate of death for the motorcycle riders.

Cars Making Left-Hand Turns

  • Over 40% of all collision accidents happen when another vehicle is making a left-hand turn and hits the motorcycle. This type of accident is also very common for accidents between two cars as well.

Motorcycles Lane Splitting

  • A good amount of people who are not motorcycle riders may have seen a motorcycle rider lane split. Lane splitting is when the driver is between two lanes, usually during a traffic jam. This maneuver puts the motorcycle in closer proximity with other cars than usual, reduces their area to move or react and many drivers may not expect the motorcycle to pass them during this situation.

Drivers Speeding & Alcohol Use

  • Over half of all motorcycle accidents involving an individual motorcycle are caused by alcohol use or speeding. This is another example of a cause that is true for other cars on the roads as well. Since a motorcycle doesn’t have the protection a car provides, drinking and driving or speeding are much more deadly when riding a motorcycle.

Safety Tips:

One of the biggest issues when discussing motorcycle accidents is the lack of awareness drivers and motorcyclists have for one another. Staying focused and aware of your surroundings can dramatically decrease the chances of being involved in a crash. Checking blind spots and not assuming the other person is going to do something are also ways to be safer for everyone.

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