What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?

Motorcycle accidents can be particularly catastrophic, which is why it’s absolutely essential that motorcyclists and motorists work together to share the road safely. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen and when it doesn’t, accidents, injuries, and even fatalities can be the result.

In 2014, an estimated 92,000 motorcyclists were injured and nearly 4,600 were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While some people might assume that the majority of the blame for these accidents rests with the motorcyclists themselves, the opposite is true; motorists who fail to see, or don’t look for, motorcycles are the number one cause of motorcycle accidents.

In fact, 40 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2014 occurred when the driver of a passenger vehicle unexpectedly turned left while a motorcyclist was going straight, passing, or overtaking. Motorcycle crashes are also frequently caused by motorists who fail to check their blind spot before changing lines, as well as those who park along the street and open their car door in the path of an oncoming motorcyclist.

However, motorist error certainly isn’t the cause of all motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists can cause accidents by speeding, making unsafe lane changes, or riding between two lanes of traffic, also known as “lane splitting.” Alcohol also plays a large role in motorcycle accidents; 30 percent of the motorcyclists killed in motorcycle accidents in 2014 had blood alcohol levels above the legal limit. Additionally, approximately 25 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes occur when a motorcyclist loses control and collides with a fixed object.

Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include inclement weather, poorly-maintained roads, and motorcyclists who lack the training necessary to safely maneuver high-performance motorcycles.

Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcyclists injured in accidents caused by another motorist’s negligence may be eligible to pursue compensation for medical bills, motorcycle repair or replacement costs, pain and suffering, and other damages. As a long-time motorcycle enthusiast and personal injury lawyer, Randy Sevenish can help you fight for the financial recovery you need. Contact Sevenish Law today to schedule your free initial consultation. Also request a free copy of our ebook, Indiana Motorcycle Guide: Protecting the Biker 101, for more information.