Motorcycles are a great way to get around, and for those that enjoy the thrill, it can make getting from point A to point B much more exciting. But with that excitement comes a much bigger risk for accidents. In fact, motorcycle accidents are extremely common and due to their lack of barriers, most accidents lead to extensive injuries and even death. To avoid getting into an accident while on a motorcycle, it’s important to understand what actually causes these accidents. From driver negligence to hazards on the road, here are the main causes of motorcycle accidents.
Speeding and Alcohol Use
Approximately half of all accidents involving a single motorcycle are caused due to speeding or alcohol use. While these factors play a substantial role in car accidents as well, they are much more severe for motorcyclists since they are afforded no protection by their vehicle.
Motorcyclists often take advantage of their small size by driving in between two lanes of slow moving or stopped traffic, which is known as lane splitting and is a practice that is illegal in most states. This poses a danger to motorcyclists due to their close proximity to other vehicles and the fact that most drivers would not expect someone to be passing them in slowed or stopped traffic.
Cars Making Left-Hand Turns
The most dangerous situation for a motorcyclist occurs when cars are making left hand turns. Cars often strike a motorcycle when the motorcyclist is going straight through the intersection and trying to pass or overtake the turning car. Motorcycles that pass within the same lane are even more likely to be struck since car drivers don’t suspect such a maneuver. These types of accidents are also common between two cars, but the smaller size of a motorcycle makes them difficult to notice, and the chance of injuries is much more likely for a motorcyclist.
Motorcycles are also much more vulnerable to road hazards due to the smaller size and less stable nature of a two-wheeled vehicle. Potholes, slick pavement, uneven asphalt between lanes, unexpected objects like debris or litter, and even weather conditions can all pose a serious safety threat to motorcyclists.