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Jason R. Schultz P.C

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Some of the deadliest motor vehicle accidents involve motorcycles. Numerous factors play into the severity of many motorcycle crashes, including the lack of a barrier between the bike and the surrounding environment (which includes motor vehicles, the pavement, etc.) and the biker's reduced visibility. There are some common causes of motorcycle accidents of which riders should be aware so they can take precautionary measures.

What might a motorist do to cause a motorcycle crash?

Blind spots are a problem when it comes to motorcycles and are often responsible for accidents. An accident can happen when another vehicle changes lanes and fails to see the biker who was riding in the car’s blind spot, either cutting it off or making contact with it.

Similar to difficulties with blind spots is the problem of reduced visibility. This can be an issue especially at intersections where a vehicle is turning left. The driver making the turn may not see an oncoming bike and may turn directly into its path.

Road conditions are another cause of motorcycle crashes. Potholes, jutting pieces of concrete, railroad tracks, debris and loose gravel are just some examples. Motorcyclists may attempt to avoid the hazardous condition, which could lead to the bike swerving into another motorist’s path. Riding over these hazards may cause the biker to lose control of the bike.

Inclement weather can be dangerous for all vehicles on the road, but it’s especially a risk for those on motorcycles and is another common cause of motorcycle accidents. Rain, fog, sleet, snow and high winds are conditions in which managing a bike could be challenging.

Distracted driving is a growing issue and one that can be especially dangerous to motorcyclists. Even a low-impact crash can cause devastating injuries to a rider. So when a motorist is engaged in something other than driving (such as texting, eating, talking to a passenger, etc.), there is the risk of striking a bike even in heavy, bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Impaired driving is another common cause of crashes. A motorist may be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or even certain prescription medications that can cause drowsiness or otherwise negatively affect the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.

How might a motorcyclist cause an accident?

It’s important to note that a motorcyclist’s actions behind the wheel can be considered negligent. The motorcyclist may be the primary cause of a crash or may contribute partially to it.

One common cause of an accident in which a motorcyclist acts negligently is when the biker exceeds the speed limit. While this is dangerous under any circumstances, it can be especially risky while trying to maintain control of the bike. Even a bump in the road that might not otherwise cause a problem could lead to a crash if the rider exceeds the speed limit.

Lane splitting -- riding in between lanes of traffic -- is another type of negligence that could cause a crash. Taking advantage of the ability to maneuver the bike in and out of traffic isn’t a good idea because of the serious risk of being struck by another vehicle.

Motorcyclists also can cause an accident if impaired, driving while distracted or if engaged in other careless or reckless behaviors similar to those a motorist may exhibit. Either way, if the motorcyclist is completely or partially at fault, it will affect the rider’s ability to collect damages. In fact, if the motorcyclist is found to be at least 50 percent at fault, he or she cannot collect damages. Even if responsibility is less than 50 percent, any percentage of fault assigned to the biker will reduce the amount of damages recoverable.

To sort out these and other issues as they pertain to your particular case in Peachtree City, contact Jason R. Schultz at (404) 474-0804.

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