Five Biggest Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

By | May 27, 2011

It’s one of the most frightening things imaginable: a person, largely unprotected against the elements on a motorcycle and traveling high speeds, encounters a dangerous accident that harms their limbs, causes internal injuries, or worse. Motorcycle accidents are rightly one of the scariest scenarios we can encounter, but surprisingly few of us put in the care and attention to prevent them from ever happening in the first place.

Of course, it’s not only the motorcyclists themselves who are at blame. In many cases, other liabilities fall upon other drivers, environments, and even companies, depending on the different variables involved in the accident itself. And, of course, the cause of a motorcycle accident, according to the law, will also mean legal ramifications for people who never imagined they’d be involved with a motorcycle accident.

That’s why it’s important to be protected – whether you’re a motorcyclist yourself or you simply want to avoid future liability in case you ever encounter a motorcyclist. So let’s take a look at some of the biggest causes of motorcycle accidents – in no particular order – and see what this could mean for lifestyle changes for you.

1. Driver negligence. It’s pretty simple. Sometimes the drivers of the motorcycle are to blame, and there’s not much they can do to prove that they aren’t. This can be due not only to disobeying a traffic law in which another driver had the right of way, but it could be due simply to incompetence when it comes to operating the motorcycle they were using. You’d be surprised how often this can happen, which is why it’s so important that motorcycle drivers understand the rules of the road, are skilled and properly licensed to operate their motorcycles, and generally place safety above other priorities when on the road.

Driver negligence might sound like bad news to the motorcycle driver, but it’s part of the risk that occurs when you get on the road in a vehicle that you choose. Certainly other drivers aren’t excused from negligence simply because they’re behind the wheels of a car, but motorcyclists need to know how to navigate the road if they expect to collect money from accidents.

2. Negligence of other drivers. This is when someone who was in a motorcycle accident can stand to receive a hefty settlement or court award – when someone else is at fault for an accident. There are a number of ways that other drivers can be at fault for an accident involving a motorcycle, so it’s difficult to get into every possible situation in this article. But suffice it to say, someone else who isn’t following the rules of the road, the state laws governing driving, or is negligent in some other way can be majorly liable for the damages resulting from a motorcycle accident.

There are other areas of liability to be concerned about. For example, if an accident takes place on a piece of private property, then there might be additional legal concerns that need to be weighed as a part of the motorcycle accident case.

3. Vehicle failure. Sometimes, a vehicle can fail you – but remember when we said that these causes of motorcycle accidents weren’t in any particular order? That’s because vehicular failure is responsible for very few motorcycle accidents – some estimates say it’s around 3%. That means that even if you think your motorcycle or the other driver thinks their vehicle failed them, there isn’t necessarily a good chance that they’re actually right.

Other causes that might seem like causes but typically aren’t? These include the weather and roadway defects. It’s easy to blame the conditions of the sky or the road for an accident, but we forget how many people drive safely in the same conditions every day – and we need to remember that these conditions mean there should be special attention paid to the road.

4. Intersections are dangerous territory. A lot of motorcycle accidents take place at road intersections, which means you’ll not only want to be aware of the rules governing intersections, but you’ll actually want to be careful at any intersection. Remember that while you might be paying attention to the rules of the road doesn’t mean that everyone else is – so just remember to be aware of your surroundings and to watch out for bad drivers. Going careful at intersections won’t exactly make you feel like you’re inhibiting your motorcycle freedom because you’re not going to blaze through an intersection anyway – unless you have a death wish.

Making sure that you stick to this rule is very important because it will take out a lot of the risk involved in your life when it comes to driving a motorcycle – beware those intersections!

5. Speeding. Yeah, we know. People love motorcycles because of the feeling of freedom – of little inhibiting their relationship with the road. But unless you really want to get the road up close and personally, it’s a better idea to avoid speeding. If you’re speeding, after all, then you’re the one breaking the rule of the road, and that means that you could be liable for certain accidents that take place. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to recognize that speeding means higher risk – and a higher chance that you’ll have to pay your own costs for any damages. Not to mention the risks speeding on a motorcycle poses to your life.

Keep these causes of motorcycle accidents in mind and you’ll probably become a better, more alert driver.

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