Motorcycles are an emblem of freedom, a break in monotony, and of course an easy way to get around. However, you may have heard that they are also inherently dangerous. These two-wheeled vehicles face unique dangers on the road and present particular vulnerabilities to those driving them. Motorcycle accidents are more likely to be severe or even fatal. In fact, motorcyclists are on average, 27 times more likely than occupants of a passenger car to die in a car crash and over five times more prone to injury. And of all motorcycle crashes, more than 80 percent result in injury or death to the motorcyclist. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the causes, situations, and conditions for motorcycle accidents of which to be aware as you hit the open road.
- Left-hand turns. One of the most threatening situations for a motorcyclist happens when cars are making left-hand turns. These types of collisions account for 42 percent of all car-related accidents. Motorcycles are most vulnerable when they are either going straight through an intersection, passing the car, or trying to overtake the car as it’s turning. In these instances, the motorcycle’s inferior size makes them especially susceptible to a serious accident.
- Unsafe lane changes and lane splitting. With legalized lane-splitting, this is especially threatening to motorcyclists in California. However, unsafe lane changes are particularly dangerous as well. Since motorcycles are so much smaller than other vehicles on the road, their chances of being seen in the case that a driver doesn’t check their blind spot is significantly greater.
- Speeding. Though this is a major cause for accidents among all types of vehicles, speeding is particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. That’s because speeding inhibits a vehicle’s ability to see other cars and reduces their reaction time. And not only does speeding increase one’s chances of causing an accident, it will also increase a collision’s severity and consequences.
- Driving under the influence. Driving while imparied by alcohol or drugs is, of course, illegal and extremely dangerous in any situation. However, it is especially dangerous to motorcyclists who are more likely to suffer injury in even the slightest accident.
- Sudden stops. Rear-end accidents are not particularly severe in most cases involving passenger vehicles. However, when a motorcycle is hit by a car from behind, the motorcyclist can be severely injured. These accidents are most likely in the case that another vehicle is following too closely or there is an abrupt stop.
- Dangerous road conditions. If the road has suffered crumbling pavement, potholes, debris, or is missing any necessary signals and signs, a motorcyclist might more-easily lose control and crash. Inclement weather can also pose significant threat with slippery or unpredictable roads.
- Collisions with fixed objects. Motorcycles colliding with objects makes up about 25 percent of accident deaths. That’s because, no matter the severity of the crash, a motorcyclist is especially vulnerable to injury as they are not enclosed within their vehicle.
If you or a loved one can’t get enough of the feeling of freedom you get from a motorcycle, consider the activity’s inherent danger. As a motorcyclist, you are far more susceptible to being injured or even killed in your travels than if you were to drive a four wheeled car. And if there has been an accident, do not hesitate to reach out to us at Peach and Weathers. We are here to address the legal implications of your case with compassion and understanding. Call on us today for expert legal counsel and advocacy.