Published On: Wed, Aug 7th, 2019

7 Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are more likely to result in severe injury or death. Unlike with a vehicle, motorcyclists are not protected during collisions. Studies show that motorcycles account for five times the deaths and ten times the severe injuries compared to cars.

With such alarming statistics, it’s important to understand the most common causes of motorcycle accidents and to use this information to lower the risk of a collision.

1. Speeding

Speeding is a common cause of all traffic accidents, but it can be especially deadly when a motorcycle is involved. About half of all accidents involving a motorcycle are caused by speeding. 

Motorcyclists cannot prevent other motorists from driving at high speeds, but they can be aware of their surroundings and others on the road who are operating their vehicles unsafely.

2. Lane Splitting

Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist drives in between two lanes of slowly moving or stopped vehicles. The practice is a dangerous one, and it often leads to accidents due to several factors:

  • The narrow space the motorcyclist has to maneuver
  • The close proximity of the vehicles to the motorcyclist
  • Motorists not expecting a motorcycle to pass them in stopped or slowed traffic

This type of accident can easily be avoided simply by not engaging in the practice of lane splitting.

3. Intoxication

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is another common cause of motorcycle accidents – and all roadway accidents. Whether it’s another motorist or the motorcyclist, intoxicated drivers put everyone on the road at risk.

4. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is becoming an increasingly common cause of accidents both among motorcyclists and motorists. 

Drivers who look down at their phones while driving or while stopped at a stop sign or red light may not see a motorcyclist. When this happens, the resulting collision can be severe or deadly.

5. Collisions with Fixed Objects

Approximately 25% of motorcyclist deaths are the result of collisions with fixed objects. The reason for the high percentage of death is because the motorcyclist is not protected by a metal box like a motorist. These types of accidents are more deadly when riding on a motorcycle.

6. Road Hazards

Road hazards are a greater danger to motorcyclists compared to cars and other vehicles. Motorcycles are small and less stable, which is a recipe for disaster when faced with dead animals, potholes, uneven lane heights, slick pavement and other road irregularities. 

7. Head-On Collisions

Collisions involving motorcycles and other vehicles account for more than half of all motorcycle accident deaths. About 75% of the time, the car strikes the motorcyclist from the front. Rear-end collisions only account for about 5% of accidents. 

Head-on collisions are especially deadly. Motorcyclists typically end up severely injured or killed in these types of accidents.

Practicing safe driving habits – whether you’re riding a motorcycle or driving a vehicle – can go a long way in preventing these types of deadly accidents. Motorcyclists need to be especially vigilant and aware of their surroundings, particularly if motorists are distracted or speeding on roadways. 

 

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