Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can result in catastrophic injury and death, but you can prevent many of these tragedies. If you are aware of risk factors for bike accidents, you may be able to avoid them.

6 Ways That Other Motorists Cause Motorcycle Accidents

1. Failing to keep a proper lookout for motorcycles. This factor has several aspects:

  • Motorcycles can be harder to see than a vehicle with four or more wheels. When a car driver is glancing in his mirrors, he may fail to notice motorcycles on the road.
  • A bike can get lost in a car’s blind spot. The motorcycle’s smaller “footprint” can make it even more difficult to see motorcyclists in blind spots.
  • Drivers making left turns may fail to spot oncoming motorcyclists.

2. Speeding. Speeding is one of the most common risk factors for all types of motor vehicle accidents. Crashes at high speeds result in serious, devastating injuries for the motorcyclist.

3. Tailgating. When a car rides up too close behind a motorcycle, the car is at a higher risk of striking the bike in a rear-end collision. Motorcycles can stop in a shorter distance than cars. A car that strikes a motorcycle from behind could cause serious injuries by striking the motorcyclist directly or throwing the motorcyclist from the bike.

4. Slamming on the brakes. If a motorcycle is in the lane behind a car, the car driver should try to avoid hitting the brakes suddenly and without warning. When a bike brakes hard, it can go into a skid, which can cause serious injuries for the motorcyclist.

5. Distracted driving. Motorcycles are already more difficult to see than other vehicles on the road. They become even more difficult to see when a driver is distracted by a cell phone, the in-vehicle information system, or passengers.

6. Impaired driving. When a driver is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, it severely affects her driving skills. She may be less likely to keep a proper lookout. She may be more likely to speed and engage in other forms of reckless driving. Her reaction time may be slower, and she may have diminished ability to process the information about the road and traffic conditions and formulate appropriate responses.

How Can a Motorcyclist Prevent Road Accidents?

With the added risk of injury, motorcyclists should take extra precautions to stay safe on the road. Here are a few tips:

1. Be mindful of weather and road conditions. Motorcyclists are out in the elements and weather affects them more than people who are in cars. If possible, bikers should avoid traveling in hazardous weather.

2. Avoid speeding. For the same reasons that other motorists should not exceed a safe speed, motorcyclists should also take care to travel at a safe speed. Speeding could make already serious injuries even worse in the event of a wreck.

3. Stay in your lane. Avoid splitting lanes. Not only is it illegal in Georgia, but riding between two lanes can be dangerous if negligent car drivers fail to check for motorcyclists when changing lanes.

4. Avoid distractions. Drivers of cars and trucks are not the only ones who fail to keep their total attention fixated on the road. Some bikers engage in other activities while driving, like taking photos or videos, or even texting. Put the phone away before you start riding.

5. Do not ride while impaired. A motorcyclist who is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs will have reduced faculties to operate his bike safely. If you drink, call a cab, rideshare, or a friend to pick you up; do not ride your motorcycle after consuming alcohol.

How Will the Cause of a Motorcycle Accident Affect an Injury Claim?

If a motorcyclist is in an accident with a passenger vehicle, liability for the resulting injuries will depend on the cause of the wreck. Proving fault is essential to recovering compensation.

Unfortunately, injured bikers are often the victim of a bias against motorcyclists, which assumes they drive recklessly. We represent motorcyclists injured in wrecks and help them prove liability for their injuries. Even if a motorcyclist is partially at fault in a crash, he may still get compensation for damages.

For help with your injury claim, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC at 404-474-0804, and we will schedule your free consultation.