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What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?


The Road Hazards Motorcyclists Face

Now that the summer season is just about in full-swing, motorcyclists are taking to the roads for the pleasure of riding. While riding a motorcycle is a fun activity and a carefree way to spend your time, motorcyclists are up against more road hazards than regular motorists — and unfortunately, the consequences are a severe injury or death. Read on to learn more about the common causes of motorcycle accidents and how riders can prepare themselves for a safe summer ride ahead.

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to an accident on the road than other drivers. Since they are smaller in size and don’t have anything to protect them, learning about the common ways motorcycle accidents happen can help motorcyclists reduce their risk of getting into an accident. Here are some of the top ways motorcycle accidents occur.

Head-On Collisions

Unfortunately, head-on collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles are not uncommon. Head-on collisions can happen when:

  • A motor vehicle driver is distracted
  • A motor vehicle driver is impaired/intoxicated
  • A motor vehicle driver is drowsy or fatigued
  • A motor vehicle driver is trying to beat a red light
  • A motor vehicle driver is speeding/racing
  • A motor vehicle driver is passing on a two-lane road

Vehicles Making Left-Hand Turns

While this type of accident is also common between two cars, left-hand turns by drivers are one of the top dangers that motorcyclists face. Motorcycle riders are at a disadvantage because the smaller size makes them less visible to a turning driver. A driver turning left can strike a motorcycle when the rider is going straight through an intersection or passing the car making a left-hand turn.


Lane-splitting happens when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving cars — this dangerous maneuver is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents. The following are contributing factors to accidents caused by lane-splitting:

  • Cars and motorcycles being in very close proximity to each other
  • Limited space in which the rider has to maneuver
  • Car drivers not anticipating that a motorcycle will be passing them

Riding While Impaired

Since motorcycles do not offer much protection for riders, riding after alcohol use could cause a grave outcome. Motorcycle riders should take every precaution to ride sober. Riding while impaired can slow down your reaction time, leaving you more likely to be involved in an accident.

Collisions with Fixed Objects

Reiterating the fact that motorcycle riders are not protected by any encasing, colliding with a fixed object on the road can be devastating. A rider who forcefully collides with an object, such as a telephone pole or rail guard, can be thrown far and hard, and sustain life-threatening injuries.

Other hazards on the road that can contribute to a motorcycle crash are:

  • Potholes
  • Animal crossings/dead animals in the road
  • Slick road conditions
  • Uneven heights between lanes
  • Other unexpected objects blocking the road

Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries

After a motorcycle accident, many riders suffer these common types of injuries:

How Motorcyclists Can Stay Safe

The following are some motorcycle safety tips as recommended by the National Safety Council:

  • Wear a helmet at all times
  • Choose a bike that fits you
  • Invest in anti-lock brakes
  • Take a motorcycle safety course
  • Never drink and ride
  • Drive defensively
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing
  • Use a face shield for better visibility while riding
  • Refrain from speeding
  • Use headlights at all times

Learn Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident

At Meyerkord & Kurth, we’ll work tirelessly to help you determine liability and hold a driver accountable for causing your accident. Our experienced team of attorneys is ready to negotiate settlements and argue cases in courts, so you get the maximum settlement that you deserve.

Let us help you recover full compensation. From medical expenses and future costs to lost wages and pain and suffering, contact us today at (800) 391-4318 to learn your legal options and rights after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident.

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