Motorcycle accidents aren't more frequent than other types of accidents, but they are more likely to result in serious injury or death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to experience a deadly accident on the road than people in cars. If you're a motorcyclist, one of the best ways to avoid an accident is to learn about the most frequent causes of motorcycle accidents and how to avoid them.
Cars Making a Left-Hand Turn
One of the most dangerous situations for a motorcyclist occurs when cars are making left-hand turns. Typically, cars making a left-hand turn will crash into a motorcyclist going straight through an intersection. These types of accidents are also common between two cars, but the smaller size of a motorcycle makes it less visible to turning cars.
Many times, the vehicle making the left-hand turn will be at fault for the accident. However, if you're speeding, in the wrong lane, or run a red light, you may be partially at fault for the accident.
Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars. Many motorcyclists do this during traffic jams as a way to maneuver through traffic to get to their destination faster. Lane splitting is a common cause of accidents due to the fact that you're in such close proximity to cars, the reduced driving space, and the fact that cars don't expect that another vehicle will be passing them in slow or stopped traffic.
If an accident occurs when you're driving between lanes, whether the motorcyclist is at fault depends on whether lane splitting is permissible in that state, the views of the police officer and judge, and the actions of both the driver of the car and the motorcyclist prior to the accident. In Florida, lane splitting is illegal, and if an accident occurs, the motorcyclist will most likely be at fault for the accident.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Dangerous road conditions such as slippery roads, uneven payment, and debris on the roadway are common causes of motorcycle accidents. Since motorcycles are smaller than cars and trucks, they have less stability on the roadway and are more likely to be affected by less-than-ideal road conditions. If you're driving on a road with hazardous road conditions, it's important to drive slowly and carefully and to be aware of your surroundings.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Accidents are more likely to occur when motorcyclists are driving aggressively, over the speed limit, or when tailgating the car in front of them. Additionally, when you try to reach high speeds on your motorcycle, you're much more likely to lose control of your bike and cause an accident. As tempting as it may be to go as fast as possible, especially on an open road, it's important to follow the speed limit and to not drive faster than your bike can handle.
A rear-end accident is serious when it involves two cars, but when a motorcycle rear-ends an automobile, the results can be fatal. Sudden stops can cause a motorcycle to go end-over-end, resulting in you being thrown off of your bike. To avoid this type of accident, it's important that you are aware of your surroundings and keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles.
This type of accident occurs more frequently in busy urban areas, and you should be cautious of cars parked on the side of the road. Although many drivers look for oncoming cars before getting into their car, they're often unaware of motorcyclists coming their way and may accidentally open their door into your path.
Although motorcyclists are more at risk for fatal or serious accidents, taking the proper safety precautions can help to reduce the risk of these accidents occurring. By wearing the proper gear, anticipating road hazards, avoiding lane splitting, and resisting the temptation to speed, you'll be able to increase your safety while driving on the road.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of someone else, don't delay. Contact the Dellutri Law Group today for a free, no-obligation consultation! Call us at (800) 391-4337 or request a Free Consultation online. Our team of dedicated attorneys and staff are here to help!