While it can be both fun and a way to save on transportation costs by riding a motorcycle, it can be incredibly dangerous when negligent drivers cause a motorcycle accident. The motorcycle rider is much more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries or death due to the lack of protection he has from a much bigger passenger vehicle. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 5,172 motorcycle riders were killed in collisions in 2017, and the number of deaths was 28 times greater than those in car accidents in 2016.
What Are the Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
While some of the causes of motorcycle crashes are similar to other types of crashes, others are unique to motorcycles. One of the inherent dangers is that motorcycles are less visible than automobiles, and motorists often do not see them—until it is too late. Common ways that negligent drivers cause collisions often include:
- Unsafe lane changes. When drivers fail to check their blind spots before making a lane change, a collision with a much smaller motorcycle is likely.
- Open car doors. A common type of collision is one where an open passenger vehicle door slams into an oncoming motorcycle. The cause of these preventable accidents is the failure of the vehicle’s driver or passengers to check for oncoming traffic before opening the door.
- Speeding. When a driver is speeding, he has less time to slow down, stop suddenly, or otherwise avoid a collision with a motorcycle. The motorcycle rider is much more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries or death due to the greater force of impact.
- Intoxication. When a driver is intoxicated due to drugs or alcohol consumption, his key driving skills—vision, judgment, reaction time, and ability to judge distances—are reduced. This can make it even more difficult for him to see a nearby motorcycle or to respond quickly to prevent a crash.
- Sudden stops. Drivers have a duty to maintain a safe distance from motorcycles as well as other vehicles in front of them. A rear-end collision is likely when a driver breaches this duty.
- Left-turn accidents. Left-turn accidents with motorcycles are common when a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to the oncoming motorcycle or misjudges its distance and the time he has to execute a left turn safely.
- Defective motorcycle parts. Some accidents are caused by defective motorcycle parts that malfunction. In this type of wreck, the parts and motorcycle manufacturers may be the liable parties.
- Road hazards. Cracks in the road, potholes, and uneven surfaces can be even more dangerous for motorcycle riders to navigate and can cause them to lose control of their motorcycle. Motorcyclists may have a claim against the municipality responsible for maintaining the road.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, the value of your claim may be higher due to the seriousness of your injuries. Let our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys file your claim and negotiate your settlement so that you receive what you are entitled to. Call our Norfolk office today to schedule your free consultation to learn more about your legal options.