5 Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

motorcycle on roadsideA car accident is bad enough, but victims in motorcycle accidents often sustain major injuries. Those that are lucky enough to survive a bad motorcycle crash are commonly left with permanent or serious injury. The best way to avoid being in a motorcycle accident is to know what you should be watching out for. Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes according to accident reports from the Department of Transportation.

Lane Splitting – Ever been stuck in seriously bad traffic, and then see a motorcyclist driving between the lanes to skip past the jam?  That’s lane splitting and it’s extremely dangerous. Lane splitting leaves the motorcyclist with very little room to maneuver since they are blocked in so closely by the cars, and people don’t usually expect a motorcycle to be riding between the lanes so there is a risk of running into an open car door.

Left Hand Turns – Cars making left hand turns account for 42 percent of all motorcycle accidents. Typically, motorcyclists are struck by left-turning cars when they are:

  • Driving straight through an intersection
  • Passing the car
  • Attempting to overtake the car

Head-On Collisions – Head-on accidents are responsible for 56 percent of motorcycle accident deaths. In accidents between a car and a motorcycle, the car strikes the motorcycle from the front about 78 percent of the time and from behind only 5 percent of the time.

Speeding or Alcohol – About half of all motorcycle crashes involving only the rider are directly attributable to either excessive speed or alcohol abuse.

Fixed Objects – Crashing into fixed objects accounts for the deaths of about 18 percent of drivers, but 25 percent of motorcyclists. This is because on a motorcycle, riders don’t have near as much protection and are often thrown long distances.

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