The Most Common Motorcycle Accident Causes
Motorcycles may not be regarded as the safest vehicles available, but they do not present constant danger either. Being involved in a motorcycle accident is not some kind of inevitable outcome. There are measures you can take to keep yourself safe.
Learning about the common causes of motorcycle accidents is one thing you can do. You can protect yourself better against those threats by recognizing, acknowledging, and avoiding them.
Find out more about the threats you need to avoid as a motorcycle rider by continuing with the rest of this article. Easily avoiding threats while riding your motorcycle is certainly possible. The information in this article should help you manage that consistently.
Common Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
Before we get into the common causes of motorcycle accidents, let’s first take the time to understand what they can do to you. Some of the injuries people sustain from motorcycle accidents can be life-altering.
It is important to be aware of what they are. We have detailed some of those common accident-related injuries below.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Among the most severe injuries caused by motorcycle accidents are ones that affect your brain. Riders who do not wear their helmets are the ones most susceptible to these injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions can have immediate and long-lasting effects. Concussions can cause you to feel dizzy, and they may also make your senses more sensitive. A concussion can also affect your cognitive functions, and you may even experience depression because of it.
Brain injuries are difficult to treat because there is no medication you can take to immediately alleviate their symptoms.
Beware of these injuries as a motorcycle rider. Keep your helmet on and keep yourself adequately protected.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Another sensitive part of your body that could sustain long-lasting damage from a motorcycle accident is your spinal cord.
Do not underestimate injuries to that part of the body. Some spinal cord injuries are serious enough to cause permanent disability.
Protect yourself accordingly to avoid those potentially devastating injuries.
You could also end up breaking some bones during a motorcycle accident. Many riders will stick out their hands or feet when they think they are about to lose control. Unfortunately, that instinct could make the outcome worse.
The bones in your extremities are more likely to break when sticking out like that. Try to protect yourself by tucking your extremities in before the crash.
Do not forget about the scratches and abrasions you may get during a motorcycle accident. Wounds are probably the least concerning of the injuries you may sustain following a crash, but they still require immediate treatment.
Those wounds could get infected if you do not clean and treat them properly. You could experience even more health issues if you neglect the wounds you got from the crash.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Now that we know more about the dire consequences of motorcycle accidents, we can focus more on their different causes. Always keep the following things in mind before you hop on your two-wheeler. Forming that habit could help you become a safer motorcycle rider.
Drunk driving is one of the most dangerous and irresponsible things any person can do. That holds true whether you are driving a car or riding a motorcycle.
According to statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 29% of motorcycle riders who were killed in crashes back in 2019 had a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher. An additional 7% of riders who perished in those crashes had a blood-alcohol level that ranged from .01 to .07.
Another troubling statistic reveals that alcohol impairment makes motorcycle riders more prone to making bad decisions regarding their safety.
The NHTSA found that only 54% of riders who had alcohol in their system at the time of a fatal crash were wearing their helmets. To put that number into context, 67% of motorcycle riders who had not consumed alcohol prior to a fatal crash had their helmets on.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is not only a habit that makes you more susceptible to being involved in an accident. It also increases the odds of that accident being fatal.
Do not expose yourself to that kind of risk. If you plan to head out for a night of drinking with friends and family, secure ridesharing or choose a designated driver ahead of time.
Speeding on Your Motorcycle
Riding a motorcycle gives you a sense of freedom that cars cannot replicate. There is nothing like the experience of hitting that open road. When you see that wide-open stretch of road in front of you, it is hard to resist the temptation of going full throttle.
There is nothing wrong with putting some pedals to the metal but do not push things too far. Going too fast on your motorcycle is one way you can get into a lot of trouble.
Once again, the statistics provided by the NHTSA offer valuable insight regarding the dangers of speeding for motorcycle drivers. Per the NHTSA’s numbers, around 33% of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2019 were speeding.
That is a staggering number, and it speaks to how dangerous that type of driving truly is.
It also makes sense to learn that speeding is dangerous for motorcycle riders. After all, riders put themselves at great risk whenever they engage in that habit.
They greatly narrow down the time they have to react to other vehicles by speeding. By the time they recognize the threat, it may be too late for them to do anything.
Speeding is an absolute no-no for motorcycle riders. Follow the established speed limits in your area so you can keep yourself safe.
Issues with the Motorcycle
Sometimes, you are already at risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident before hitting the road. That could be the case if your motorcycle is not maintained properly.
Make a habit of checking your motorcycle ahead of every ride. Check the engine, the wheels, and the brakes to see if they are all in working order. You should also inspect the lights of your motorcycle because you do not want those going out in the middle of your drive.
Diligent maintenance can be a lifesaver, and it is something you need to partake in as a motorcycle owner.
Unfortunately, some issues affecting your motorcycle may not be easy to detect. Factory defects could catch you off guard simply because you never expected certain parts of your two-wheeler to present any serious issues.
Hopefully, you can catch those factory defects ahead of time. You can also make more time to examine your motorcycle to catch those defects.
Lane splitting, also known as lane sharing, is the driving maneuver where a motorcycle rider squeezes between two rows of vehicles. Once in that position, the motorcycle rider will attempt to pass the vehicles on their sides. They are essentially using the lines dividing the lanes as their own lane.
You may have seen other riders try that maneuver before. It is something riders will do to get to their destination faster.
However, there are two critical issues with lane sharing.
First off, lane splitting is highly dangerous.
You cannot tell how the drivers on both sides of you will react. One could move unexpectedly, and you cannot get out of the way because there is a wall of vehicles on the other side. A driver could also hit you accidentally because your motorcycle is too close to their car.
The other reason you should avoid lane sharing is, it is illegal. The state of Maryland has prohibited it.
Unless you want to get yourself in trouble, you should avoid the temptation to try lane splitting. Nothing good can come from that kind of driving.
Carrying Passengers or Cargo
Riding with a passenger or heavy cargo is something motorcycle owners can do. However, you should account for a few things before you start riding with a passenger or cargo in tow. Failing to do so could lead to you being in an accident.
To avoid accidents caused by carrying a passenger, you first need to modify your motorcycle. Add footpads and a seat so your passenger can stay in position. You should also give them the same pieces of safety gear you use.
Also, instruct your passenger to maintain a firm grip on their seat so they do not accidentally fall off. Tell them to avoid holding on to you because that could affect your driving.
As for the cargo, you need to secure that properly. Once it is in position, try moving it around to see how stable it is.
You should also gain more experience before riding with a passenger or additional cargo. Do not take passengers along until you feel completely comfortable riding solo
Vehicles Turning Left
A motorcycle accident is not always the rider’s fault. The people in the cars could also commit errors that lead to those crashes.
For example, a driver in the middle of completing a left-hand turn could accidentally swipe your motorcycle. You may fall off your bike if that happens.
Left-hand turns commonly lead to motorcycle accidents due to poor visibility. The driver of a passenger car may not see the motorcycle to their left. By the time they notice the two-wheeler, they can no longer stop.
Turn your lights on if you are in the path of vehicles turning left. That way, they will know about your presence and can move slowly to avoid accidentally hitting you.
Not all drivers are mindful of others when they are on the road. That much is evident from the way they control their vehicle.
You will see them make abrupt maneuvers, or they may drive with a clear disregard for anyone around them. If you happen to be riding your motorcycle close to one of those drivers, you could be in trouble.
In that scenario, the best thing you can do is maintain your distance. Avoid driving too close to that reckless driver because you never know what they could end up doing to you.
Partner up with a personal injury attorney if you believe that a reckless driver caused your motorcycle accident. File a lawsuit against them and seek compensation for your injuries.
Distracted driving is an issue for all motorists. As soon as your mind drifts away from the road, you immediately become more susceptible to being in an accident.
Do your best to avoid distractions while you are riding your motorcycle. Put your phone away and maintain your gaze on the road ahead.
On some days, you may feel like you cannot concentrate on your driving. That could be because you are under a lot of stress or some other mental issue.
If you know that you cannot concentrate while driving, stay in or ask someone else to give you a ride. Do not risk your safety and the safety of others by driving while distracted.
It is difficult to drive in bad weather. The roads are slick, so your motorcycle may have a tough time staying steady. Furthermore, visibility can be a real issue when the rain is pouring down.
Check the weather report before heading out to know the driving conditions. If things sound like they will be bad, you may want to postpone your trip.
Lastly, damaged roads can also cause motorcycle accidents.
You could end up hitting a pothole hard and flipping over the handlebars of your motorcycle. Uneven roads are also treacherous to traverse for motorcycles.
Plan your route ahead of time so you can avoid those damaged roads.
The motorcycle accident you were involved in may not have been your fault. Hold the other party accountable for their negligent actions that caused your accident by suing them.
Reach out to us at Leppler Injury Law if you wish to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. We will go after the guilty party in your case and make sure that they compensate you properly for what happened.