According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 5,000 motorcyclists were killed on U.S. roadways in 2018 alone. Motorcyclists do not have the same restraint systems and protection that are enjoyed by drivers and passengers of cars and trucks. As a result, they are considerably more likely to suffer serious – and often fatal – injuries whenever they are involved in an accident.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents are as below.
The faster you travel on your motorcycle, the harder it will be for you to stop to avoid a collision. Traveling at high speeds will also mean it is that much harder for other road users to see you.
Unsafe Lane Changes and Reckless Driving
Many accidents are caused by car drivers changing lanes without signaling and striking an unseen motorcycle in the adjacent lane. Also, even if you are careful, there is little you can do to prevent accidents from occurring when motorcycle riders ride recklessly.
Lane splitting by motorcyclists (driving between two lanes of traffic) and making sudden stops are common causes of motorcycle accidents, especially when performed by inexperienced riders following other vehicles too closely or over-speeding and repeatedly changing lanes in order to get ahead of traffic.
Lane splitting is especially dangerous because of how close adjacent cars are to the motorcycle and because of the limited amount of space the motorcyclist has to maneuver his or her bike.
Also, most car or truck drivers will, at least in most cases, not even expect another vehicle – even a motorcycle – to try to get ahead of slow or congested traffic by driving carelessly.
Driving Under the Influence
28% of motorcycle accidents in 2018 involved a motorcycle rider who was drunk. When you add the number of accidents caused by car and truck drivers who operate their vehicles under the influence and strike a motorcyclist, the numbers are even higher.
Dangerous Road Conditions and Motorcycle Defects
There are many different things that pose serious threats to the safety of motorcyclists that are generally harmless to other road users. Potholes, dead animals, slippery road conditions, open bridge joints, edge breaks, expansion joints, train tracks, gravel, leaves, and liquids such as oil, antifreeze, and even snow or water can cause a serious accident if an unprepared or speeding motorcyclist suddenly comes across any of these conditions while riding on the road. Poorly designed or malfunctioning motorcycle parts can also cause a sudden accident, so be sure to inspect your motorcycle before every ride.
Poor Lighting and Colliding With Stationary Objects
Motorcyclists can run into objects anywhere, but accidents on poorly-lit roadways are especially common. For example, an improperly parked vehicle on a dark roadway can be hard to see, and it can be very hard for a motorcyclist, even one traveling within the legal speed limit, to come to a stop in time to avoid a collision.
As noted earlier, because motorcyclists lack comprehensive body protection, death or serious injury can occur when a rider collides with objects on the road.
After reading this content, you might be thinking is there any accident lawyer near me, right? If not, then you should!
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