Motorcycle accidents are unique to car or truck accidents because motorcycles provide little protection for the rider involved in a crash. There is more vulnerability and less protection when driving a motorcycle, and so the injuries can be more severe, and the damages can be much greater. Motorcyclists are approximately 28 times more likely to die in a crash than someone riding in a car or truck and are 5 times as likely to be injured.
1. Motorcycle Accidents at Intersections
It is estimated that 70% of all car versus motorcycle accidents take place at an intersection. In most of these intersection accidents, drivers simply fail to see the motorcycle. This is why it is especially important to watch for cars changing lanes at intersections and don’t try to “beat the light”. It is not worth the potential motorcycle accident.
2. Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Lane Splitting
Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of slow moving cars – most often during rush hours. Lane splitting is illegal in Nevada, but that doesn’t mean motorcyclists still don’t take their chances. Lane splitting is legal in California, so with our transient borders between states, it is especially important to be aware of motorcycles around you that might not know the difference in laws. Lane splitting often causes motorcycle accidents for several reasons: a car could suddenly change lanes; a rider may misjudge the amount of space they have to ride; a door could open or a hand could be stuck out a window.
3. Speeding while Riding a Motorcycle
Motorcycles can provide a sense of unencumbered freedom, but that freedom comes with responsibility. Fourty-five percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involved a driver speeding, which is significantly higher than other vehicles. Excessive speeding is not just exceeding a posted speed limit but can include racing and driving too fast for conditions such as weather, pavement conditions, and work zones.
4. Left-Hand Turn Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and have a higher risk of not being seen. More than half of all motorcycle accidents happen when vehicle drivers turn left in front of a motorcyclist. If you are the one driving a motorcycle, it is imperative you are extremely cautious when you make a left-hand turn.
5. Dangerous Roads can Cause Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles are much more susceptible to dangerous road conditions than other vehicles. A pothole may not affect a truck at all, but could send a motorcycle toppling. Gravel can also be the culprit of major issues by causing the motorcycle to skid or slide. Motorcyclists should be cautious of slick or wet roadways that can cause them to lose control or be thrown from the bike.