Although motorcycle accidents don’t necessarily occur more often than other types of accidents, they are, unfortunately, more likely to result in more severe injuries. Sometimes, motor vehicle accidents can also lead to death. According to the federal government, there were 35 times more deaths from motorcycle accidents than car accidents in 2006. Because of this alarming rate, motorcyclists should learn about these accidents’ most common causes to reduce their risk of getting into an accident.
Motorcycles in Head-On Collisions
56% of motorcycle accident deaths involve the motorcycle and another vehicle. In 78% of these cases, the car crashes into the motorcycle from the front. In 5% of these, the car rear-ends the motorcycle. Unfortunately, head-on collisions are often fatal to motorcyclists.
Cars Making Left-Hand Turns
The most dangerous position for a motorcycle to be in is passing a driver attempting to make a left-hand turn. These collisions make up 42% of all motorcycle-vehicle accidents. Most commonly, the car making a left-hand turn hits the motorcycle when the motorcycle is:
- Going through the intersection
- Passing the car
- Attempting to overtake the car
While left-hand turn collisions are common with regular cars, the small size of motorcycles increases the risk of serious injury. Drivers making left-hand turns have a harder time seeing the oncoming motorcycle. Drivers can all be surprised by motorcyclists attempting to overpass them in the same lane. Because they are harder to see, this maneuver puts the motorcyclist in great danger.
Most of the time, insurance companies and the court will find the driver making the left-hand turn at fault if they hit another vehicle. However, motorcyclists need to know that they may also be at fault for the accident. If they are found speeding or in the wrong lane, they may be liable for the accident as well. When this occurs, most states will give the motorcyclist less compensation for their injuries obtained during the accident; however, other states may revoke their right to any compensation at all (assuming the motorcyclist’s behavior caused the incident).
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
Lane splitting is a term used to describe when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes to get ahead of stopped or slowed cars. This commonly leads to accidents because:
- The space between the cars and the motorcycle decreases
- The motorcycle must maneuver at a slow speed
- Drivers don’t expect motorcyclists passing them in slowed or stopped traffic
In this type of accident, the fault is determined by whether the state allows lane splitting, how the judge and police officer view lane splitting, and how the accident occurred due to the driver and motorcyclist’s actions.
Speeding and Alcohol Use on a Motorcycle
Speeding and alcohol use, unfortunately, cause frequent auto accidents. Even worse, roughly half of all accidents involving a single motorcycle also involve speeding and alcohol use. Because of a motorcycle’s lack of protection for the rider, motorcycle accidents caused by speeding and alcohol often result in serious injury or death.
Collisions Between Motorcycles and Fixed Objects
Motorcycles crashing into fixed objects account for about 25% of motorcycle deaths. The other statistics show that this rate is much higher than car crash deaths caused by colliding into fixed objects because motorcyclists are less protected. Often, motorcyclists are thrown far from their vehicle with no protection.
Road Hazards Facing Motorcyclists
Motorcyclists are in greater danger when it comes to road hazards because their vehicles are smaller and more unstable than regular-sized cars. For example, slick pavement, potholes, dead animals, uneven roads, and other conditions are extremely dangerous for motorcycle riders to encounter.
High-performance motorcycles can be split into two categories: supersport motorcycles and sport motorcycles.
Supersport motorcycles are designed for racing platforms and later modified for use on highways. These models are considered high-speed due to their lightweight design. They can even go up to 160 mph. However, most supersport motorcycle owners are under 30, and it is proven that younger motorcycle riders are much less cautious and make riskier choices.
Sport motorcycles are similar to supersport motorcycles except, their power to weight ratio is decreased. Even more, most sport motorcycle riders are under the age of 24.
Most motorcycle owners and riders are about 40 years old or older. Because the riders of these high-performance motorcycles tend to be younger, the death rate for supersport motorcycle accidents is four times greater than conventional motorcycle accidents and two times greater in sport motorcycles.
Motorcyclists are at a much greater risk of severe and fatal accidents than drivers for various reasons. Yet, they can better protect themselves and those around them by learning about the risks and applying caution every time they ride. Motorcyclists should always ride with caution. This can include avoiding road hazards, resisting the want to speed, and taking extra precautions, in general.
Injury Assistance Law Firm is a personal injury claims lawyer in Orlando. As an Orlando personal injury lawyer, we know what it takes to win a case against an insurance company, and we can provide you with all the help you need to feel confident in your case. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today.