Motorcycles are notorious for being dangerous. With motorcycle accidents more likely to lead to a serious injury or fatality than a car accident, it is easy to see why. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycles made up 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2017.
It is reported that anywhere from 70 to 80% of reported motorcycle accidents result in injury or death, while the injury/fatality rate of passenger vehicles is 20%. Motorcycles offer no protection from the elements and no protective barrier between the road and vehicles on the road. Based on this information, it would behoove motorcycle riders and enthusiasts everywhere to learn more about the common causes of motorcycle accidents and how to avoid them. Today, we go over the leading causes of motorcycle accidents and ways to protect yourself from getting injured or killed on the road.
Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The following are some of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents:
Dangerous or sudden lane changes
Often a car does not spot a motorcycle until it is too late. Careless lane changes, blind spots, and reckless driving all contribute to this cause.
Unsafe driving can consist of running traffic lights, not stopping at stop signs, not signaling when changing lanes, speeding, or abruptly stopping. A motorcyclist could easily get hurt in any of these situations.
Opening a car door
Motorcyclists can get hit by an individual opening their car door without checking first to see if it is safe to do so.
Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to see, process what is happening in front of them, and then act accordingly. This can result in collisions and accidents. The faster the driver is speeding, the more intense the impact of a car accident will be if he/she hits a motorcyclist.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Driving under the influence can be especially dangerous to motorcyclists on the road as they do not have the same protection as an individual in a vehicle. They can get hurt much more severely if hit by a drunk driver.
Sudden stops could prove fatal to a motorcyclist driving in traffic.
Inexperienced drivers are more likely to make a mistake or not know how to share the road with a motorcyclist. Additionally, a new motorcyclist is more likely to make a mistake or attempt to do something reckless without thinking it through.
Dangerous road conditions
Kentucky roads can be a dangerous place after a heavy rain or snowstorm. It is best to be alert if the roads are slick, icy, or snowy.
How to Stay Safe While Riding a Motorcycle
It is important to motorcyclists to wear protective gear while riding. Additionally, they should be proactive and learn how to become defensive drivers on the road. Here are some other ways to stay safe while riding a motorcycle:
- Wear a Department of Transportation (also known as DOT) approved helmet
- Watch out for inclement weather
- Pay close attention at intersections, stop signs, and traffic crossings
- Be visible by wearing reflective clothing
- Drive at or under the speed limit
- Ride early in the day if possible
Consult with an Experienced Lawyer at Our Firm
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, it would be beneficial to schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer. At the Law Office of Pamela C. Bratcher, we can help you handle negotiations with your insurance company, file a personal injury claim, and represent you in court to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
If you were the victim of a motorcycle accident, contact our office online or call us at (270) 977-8910 to get started on your case. We offer a free, initial case evaluation.