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Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Posted on in Personal Injury

It’s no secret riding motorcycles is one of the most dangerous forms of transportation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclist deaths occurred 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles, based on 2014 crash data. Here are some of the most common reasons bikers get into so many accidents.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is what happens when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving cars. While in many states, this is illegal,in other states it is a widely recognized as a standard practice. However,accidents can occur because the bike is in such close proximity to cars,which are larger and can cause more damage. Likewise, being in between two cars reduces the space motorcyclists have in which to maneuver. So,if a car starts to change lanes without realizing a bike is next to it,the rider has less room in which to avoid the oncoming car. This is mostly the result of the fact that car driver’s don’t anticipate any vehicle or motorcycle will be passing them in slowed traffic.

Speeding

Speeding on a motorcycle can cause huge problems for the biker, particularly if they experience a sudden obstacle in the road and have no way to maneuver around it. For example, blind corners should always be taken more slowly because bikers can never see if there is a patch of oil, sand, or other debris in the road that could make their bike overturn. NHTSA statistics in 2015 showed 33% of all bikers involved in fatal crashes were speeding.

Alcohol Use

Alcohol consumption by both bikers and car drivers increases the risk of accidents for both. According to NHTSA, in 2015, 27% of motorcycle riderswho were involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of0.08% or higher, which is the legal limit in most states. The biggest problem caused by alcohol is that it impairs judgment. While people may never consider riding a bike sober, it starts to look like a better and better idea as the night goes on. Bike riding is fun. Drinking is fun. Why wouldn’t the two mix? Well, many drunk bikers make the poor decision to forgo the helmet when riding a motorcycle, which can be deadly if they fall off the bike. Also, they tend to travel faster than they should. Speeding on a motorcycle seems like a much better idea when your judgment is impaired because alcohol gives people a false sense of confidence.

Collisions with Fixed Objects

Collisions with stationary objects are much more dangerous on a bike than it would be in a car. For example, if a biker crashed into an open car door, he or she might go flying feet forwards and land in ways that could lead to brakes, sprains, bruises, and possibly brain or spinal damage.Whereas, if an automobile crashed into an open car door, the open door would no longer be attached to the rest of the vehicle.

Road Hazards

Unlike cars, which can easily avoid something like a pothole or roadkill,a motorcycle can’t run over it without risking a crash. Bikes are smaller, less stable, and more lightweight than a car, meaning they don’thave the same shock-absorption potential cars do.

High-Performance Motorcycles

While few bikers have high-performance bikes, those that do have a higher risk of encountering an accident. Super sport motorcycles are racing bikes but are modified for highway use. They are usually lightweight and have higher horsepower. Some of them can go almost 200 MPH, which can be ridiculously dangerous, as drivers are almost incapable or responding to accidents or obstacles in time to avoid them when going that quickly. Likewise,sport motorcycles are similar to supers port bikes, but they have a lowerpower to weight ratio. Both types of vehicles, however, are popular with drivers under the age of 34, and individuals this young tend to take more risks than older riders.

If you’ve been injured on your bike as the result of someone else’snegligence, don’t hesitate to call us. Medical care can be extremely expensive. If another person’s mistake caused your injury, you shouldn’t have to pay for it. Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC hasmore than 30 years of experience to offer your case. Our experienced Greenwich personal injury lawyers are dedicated to representing people who have sustained severe and catastrophic personal injuries. We are also led by renowned attorney John Q. Kelly,who has earned a reputation for being tenacious, zealous, and meticulous in his legal representation. Attorney Kelly has acquired extensive experience working with the nuances of physical, circumstantial, and forensic evidence,and has handled many complex and challenging cases. Let us see what we can do for you. Contact us at 203-661-6000 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.

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