An experienced motorcycle rider on an open road with no other drivers around is a low risk and safe activity. However, in the real world motorcycle riders are surrounded by inattentive, distracted, and careless drivers of cars and trucks. Other drivers fail to see the motorcycles riding around them and make critical mistakes. It’s these drivers that make riding a motorcycle dangerous.
According to findings from research conducted by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclist fatalities occurred 26 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes. Of the 4,668 fatal motorcycle crashes in 2013, 51% were the result of a collision with another vehicle. Because of structural and mass differentials between a motorcycle and a car (even a small one), the bike is almost guaranteed to come out the loser in a collision. Bikes outperform cars and trucks when it comes to braking power, maneuverability and speed. But even the best rider can’t avoid the unpredictable nature of careless drivers. Heightened awareness of the common causes of motorcycle collisions can be the rider’s best defense while on the road.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents can be grouped into three major categories: (1) driver-perpetrated incursions, (2) mistakes in operation or judgment by the rider, and (3) accidents resulting from inclement or unforeseen conditions.
The most common cause of motorcycle collision are car or truck driver-perpetrated collisions that occur at intersections. This occurs when the driver of an oncoming vehicle turns left into a rider’s path, having either misjudged the rider’s speed relative to the distance between them, or failed to see the motorcycle outright. According to the 2013 NHTSA report, there were 2,182 two-vehicle fatal collisions involving a motorcycle and another type of vehicle. 42% (922) of these collisions were the result of the other vehicle turning left through an intersection while the motorcycle was coming on straight, passing or overtaking another vehicle. Blame for this type of collision rests in most cases with the driver of the car. A common reason for this blame is the all-pervasive automobile operating psychology that leads car drivers looking out for other cars but failing to keep an eye out for motorcycles sharing the road.
Strategies for preventing this type of accident include specific spotting techniques and adopting a well-practiced braking/evasion protocol as the rider approaches an intersection. These specific techniques are best acquired in rider safety courses offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation or similarly accredited organizations.
Other driver-perpetrated traffic collisions arise when cars change lanes into motorcycles or when cars hit motorcycles from behind. The latter is usually classifiable as a minor incident — a “fender bender” — when it occurs between two automobiles, but can be fatal when a rider is rear-ended by a car. Like most aspects of motorcycle risk management, accident prevention in these scenarios comes down to hyper-awareness on the part of the rider. However, even the most aware rider, can’t avoid some collisions.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of an inattentive driver while riding a motorcycle, it is important to find out what rights you have. A thorough look into your insurance coverage as well as a detailed look at the facts surrounding the collision should be conducted by a motorcycle injury attorney as soon as possible. Without prompt action, important evidence may change or be destroyed.
We are personal injury attorneys who make it a priority to personalized our services to all seriously injured victim in any accident. If you are looking for an attorney who truly cares about your fight, either Jeff Roberts or Michael Jeandron are both very compassionate yet aggressive personal injury attorneys. They will make the time to understand your needs, your personal situation and are well poised in presenting cases in front of a jury. The Roberts Law Firm is located in Newport Beach, California and offers it services in Orange County, The Inland Empire and Los Angeles. Make an appointment today with one of our representative here on LIVE CHAT.