Knowledge is power, and that power can imply safety and prevention. That’s why we’ve decided to cover the most common causes of motorcycle accidents for those of you who love the thrill of riding across the great state of Michigan.
Knowing the most common causes of motorcycle accidents can help you identify and hopefully avoid situations that increase your risk of ending up in a motorbike related crash.Do You Have a Case?
Last year, according to Michigan Traffic Facts, 2,723 motorcycle accidents took place on the Great Lake State’s roadways. In these crashes, 122 motorcyclists died and another 2,176 were injured.
Further, motorcycles were involved in 0.9% of all Michigan traffic accidents in 2019.
Most motorcycle accidents (approximately 75%) involve at least one passenger vehicle. And, because a motorcycle offers little impact protection, motorcyclists tend to suffer more serious injuries than car or truck drivers.
In addition, the highest number of motorcycle accidents (485) occurred in Wayne County, followed by Oakland County (207).
To stay safe, let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
We’ve put together this list of 12 causes that include accidents with other cars and non-vehicle related causes as well.
In the majority of motorcycle accidents that involve a passenger vehicle, the driver does not see the motorcycle in time to prevent the crash. As a result, the driver violates the right of way of the motorcyclist, who has insufficient time to react.
While this might not be the biker’s fault, avoiding riding too close to other cars as well as steering clear of vehicle blindspots can help prevent visibility caused accidents.
These are among the deadliest accidents for motorcyclists, often resulting in serious injury or death. Unfortunately, head on collisions are one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
For the best accident prevention, bikers must always utilize caution and take on the responsibility of watching out for other drivers. Cars commonly change lanes, oncoming traffic attempts to pass slow moving vehicles, and oftentimes drivers fail to see motorcyclists.
Left turns are a common cause of all motor vehicle accidents, but they are especially dangerous for motorcyclists. These collisions typically occur when the motorcycle is going straight through an intersection or attempting to pass the car.
Due to the fact that truck and car drivers are not seeing motorcyclists, it can be helpful to always approach an intersection, even if you have the right of way, with a sense of caution.
Motorcycle Accident Fact: Most motorcycle accidents that involve one or more passenger vehicles take place at intersections.
Lane splitting, which most commonly occurs in traffic jams or in large cities, is when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars.
Lane splitting is dangerous because the motorcyclist must ride close to the adjacent automobiles with limited room to maneuver. The fact that lane splitting is among one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents speaks to its danger and why it is prohibited in the state of Michigan.
To learn more, visit our post about lane splitting accidents.
Speeding is a major cause of all traffic accidents. However, a motorcyclist has virtually no protection when struck by a car traveling at a high speed. The faster the car (and the motorcycle) are going, the greater the chance that the motorcyclist will be severely injured. In addition, a motorcyclist who is speeding has less control and less ability to stop quickly to avoid a car or road obstacle.
The best prevention is to be aware of others and to limit your own speed to the specified speed limits.
According to Michigan State Police reports, approximately one-third of last year’s fatal motorcycle accidents involved a driver or motorcyclist who was under the influence of alcohol. In addition to putting themselves and others at risk, drunk drivers (and motorcyclists) may incur significant legal consequences. These include jail time, hefty fines and loss of driving privileges. A drunk driver who causes an accident where another person dies may also be charged with manslaughter.
If a motorcyclist veers off the road and hits a fixed object such as a tree, the injuries are likely to be severe. And, if the motorcyclist is thrown from the bike as a result of the crash, the consequences could be fatal.
This can happen if a motorcyclist cannot avoid a fixed object on the road, such as a tire or a dead animal. Keeping both arms on the handles of your bike, operating your motorcycle with adequate light for visibility, and watching for objects or even deer can help prevent loss of control.
Hitting a deer can cause serious damage to a vehicle and its driver. This is especially true for motorcyclists, who don’t have the protection an automobile provides. In addition, deer often dart onto roadways quickly, leaving little time for drivers or motorcyclists to avoid them.
While often unavoidable, knowing the times that deer are most mobile such as dawn and dusk are important to decreasing the risk of a motorcycle accident. Deer also tend to move around more when they’re in rut and during hunting seasons associated with fall and early winter.
Because motorcycles are relatively small and less stable than automobiles, even a minor hazard can cause a biker to lose control. Potholes, small animals, slick roads, uneven surfaces, wet leaves, puddles and fallen objects or debris can result in a serious accident.
Being familiar with the roadways for your rides is a good way to help ensure safety, especially when it comes to knowing about potholes, slopes, and hazardous puddle or ice formation.
Rain and snow can cause wet pavement or icy roads. A biker who hits a patch of ice is more likely to take a spill or swerve off the road or into oncoming traffic. And, without the protection an automobile affords, motorcyclists are liable to be severely hurt or killed if a crash occurs.
Riders should take extra precautions to look up weather forecasts and avoid riding in inclement conditions whenever possible. Saving your motorcycling for the three seasons of the year that are most enjoyable is a great way to prevent winter related motorcycle injuries.
While the majority of motorcycles on the road are not high-performance, these bikes are involved in a disproportionate number of accidents. Some of these motorcycles are capable of traveling at very high speeds, up to 150 mph or more. Needless to say, a motorcyclist riding at that speed will likely be unable to avoid an oncoming vehicle or fixed object. It is also easier to lose control of a bike that is traveling over 100 mph.
While only a small percentage of accidents are attributed to equipment failure, a motorcyclist can sustain serious or fatal injuries as a result of a defective part. The most common examples are defective tires, brake failures, jammed throttles, faulty wiring, malfunctioning turn signals or brake lights and engine defects. If the defective equipment causes an accident where a motorcyclist is severely hurt or killed, the product manufacturer may be liable. In other situations, a repair shop or technician may be at fault. Sometimes more than one party may be responsible. Therefore, you should consult an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to receive the compensation you deserve.
Hopefully this overview for common causes of motorcycle accidents gives you an idea of what to look out for while you’re riding. But, should you or a loved ever experience severe injuries from a motorcycle accident, contact us to make sure you get the compensation you deserve!
Many of our lawyers and staff members ride motorcycles. We understand first-hand the joy and the challenges that bikers experience. And, we take these cases personally because we know how devastating a motorcycle accident can be.
Our entire legal team is well-versed in the complexities of motorcycle accident law.
Motorcycle law is complicated, but finding the right motorcycle accident attorney is simple.Do You Have a Case?
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free, remote no-obligation consultation from the safety of your home.
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