With over 75 years of collective experience dealing with accident cases, our team here at The Law Place has seen almost every type of claim and accident under the sun. Motorcycle accidents can be extremely serious, and unfortunately, they are rarely caused by the driver.
Here, we are going to discuss the most common motorcycle accidents and their causes and how you can do your best to avoid injury on the roads.
If you or somebody you love has already been in an accident through no fault of your own, and you have received injuries, you should call us straight away. We can give you a free case evaluation, some immediate free legal advice, and, if necessary, can begin representing you right away!
Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call now for a free consultation at (941) 444-4444.
How to Avoid the Most Common Motorcycle Accidents
Riding a motorcycle is a passion for many Americans around the country. Unfortunately, it does come with a much higher risk level. This is due to the nature of the motorcycle. You have less protection and are much smaller than the other vehicles on the road. You have no seatbelt or airbags either.
As a rider, there are some basic tips you can follow to ensure your safety.
The first tip, and perhaps the most important, is to always wear the best possible safety gear that you can. This includes helmets, which 100% save lives, no matter what you have heard. Helmets increase your chances of surviving a motorcycle accident death. They also reduce your chance of receiving a life-long, life-changing TBI (traumatic brain injury).
We highly recommend that new drivers take a motorcycle safety course too. This is a small investment of time and money that could save your life one day. You might find you even enjoy it and move on to more advanced classes that teach you more interesting driving techniques like evasive movement and how to spot accidents long before they happen.
The Most Common Motorcycle Accident Causes
Unfortunately, in many incidents, it is impossible to prevent or predict an accident. Most motorcycle accidents occur through the fault of other drivers.
Here are some of the most common types of motorcycle crashes.
- Motorcycle accidents caused by left-turning cars.
- Lane switching motorcycle accidents.
- Head-on collision motorcycle accidents.
- Motorcycle lane splitting accidents.
- Motorcycle accidents caused by intoxication.
- Corner turning motorcycle accidents.
- High-speed motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused By Left Turning Cars
Accounting for over 40% of all the motorcycle accidents on the road involving a car, left turns are the most dangerous situation statistically for a rider. In these scenarios, the turning car will usually impact the rider when they are going through an intersection, passing the car, or trying to overtake.
This is also one of the most common forms of an accident between two cars as well, but the size of the vehicles means that impact with a bike is usually more dangerous and serious.
If a car hits a motorcyclist while making a left turn, it is highly likely that the fault will lie with them. This means that they could be found liable for your damages. The only exceptions to this are when the motorcyclist is found to be breaking the law or driving in a dangerous manner.
How to Avoid a Left Turn Motorcycle Crash
The best chance you will have to avoid a left turn motorcycle crash will rely on you being able to predict and anticipate what the driver of the other vehicle is going to do well in advance. For your best chance of this, you should ride in a safe manner, keeping a good distance from other vehicles where possible, and try to pay attention to any drivers who seem erratic.
There are a couple of actions that might indicate that someone is about to turn in front of you.
- There might be a car waiting to turn at an intersection.
- A gap may open up, and another driver might want to get into that gap.
- Many drivers give away their actions with a quick head turn at the last minute.
If you notice any of these things, it is smart to reduce your speed and create as much space as possible. You should also try and move into the lane furthest away from the car. Both of these actions will give you space and, most importantly, more time to react when something happens.
If you have a large gap in front of you, you should expect that another driver might want to move into it, even if they show no signs that they want to do so. Remember, it has been proven that drivers in cars are much less likely to think about a potential motorcyclist. Instead, they are thinking about other cars, and this can make them surprisingly oblivious to a motorcycle approaching or of the motorcyclists’ actions.
A good practice is to try and get the attention of any drivers you think may not have seen you. Making eye contact with a driver will ensure they know you are there and will prevent them from pulling out on you abruptly. If they have not made eye contact, always assume they have not seen you.
The safest approach is to be as proactive as possible. Try to take note of all vehicles on the road, where they are, what speed they are going, what lanes they are in. This should give you a good chance of predicting what could happen.
Lane Switching Motorcycle Accidents
Another extremely common form of accident scenario is when a car buts into your lane while parallel to you. Motorcycles, notoriously, sit inside blindspots without the driver of the car even being aware of them. This can mean they side-swipe you with speed as they have no idea that you’re there.
How to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents Caused By Lane switching
In order to prevent lane switch motorcycle accidents, it can be valuable to understand how blind spots work. In most cases, if you can’t make eye contact with the driver and you cannot see any of their mirrors, they cannot see you. This is the blind spot.
If you ever find yourself noticing that you are in a blind spot, you should speed up or slow down in order to move out of it as soon as possible. This may not always be possible, so again, you should try to predict what the other driver might do. Some early indications that they have not seen you or that they are about to change lane include:
- Turning their indicator signals on
- Turning their wheel or steering wheel
- Turning their head to look over their shoulder
Head-on Collision Motorcycle Accidents
Loss of life from a motorcycle hitting another vehicle head-on constitutes over 55% of deaths involving a motorcycle. Within that, around 77% of the accidents happen from a car hitting the motorcycle from a head-on position.
With the immediate and abrupt stop of the motorcycle hitting a solid object, the rider can be thrown through the air or crushed in between the vehicles. The speed at which this happens will depend on the severity, but usually, the injuries are serious or even fatal.
Head-on accidents usually happen between two vehicles that are traveling at high speed, which further increases the chances of a fatality occurring.
How to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents Caused By a Head-on Collision
According to the National Safety Council, all riders should follow the “Four Rs” to avoid a potential head-on collision.
The Four R’s are as follows:
- Read the road ahead of you wherever possible.
- Drive to the right where possible.
- Reduce your speed if necessary.
- Ride off the road in an emergency.
To read the road ahead, you should always try and observe any potential hazards and the actions of other drivers on the road. If you are always scanning the road in front of you, you will have more time to act.
Driving to the right means that if it is viable, you should try and stick to the right-hand lane where there is more than one lane. The right-hand lane is safer and will reduce your chances of being struck in a head-on collision as you have more space and more options.
Reducing your speed when you feel in danger will increase your survival rates dramatically – the lower the speed, the lower the forces involved in the impact. Just 10mph may be the difference between whether you survive or lose your life.
Riding off the road is one of the reasons we stick to the right-hand lane. When you see a car coming towards you erratically, moving off the road and into the verge or hard shoulder on the right might allow you to escape the collision altogether.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting Accidents
Lane splitting accidents are another common form of motorcycle accident. Lane splitting is the act of driving between two rows of stationary or traffic-clogged vehicles. This is a common accident because of a range of factors:
- The proximity of the motorcycle and the stationary cars.
- The lower speed the motorcycle has to maneuver at.
- Car drivers often don’t expect a motorcycle to pass them when they are stopped.
It is worth bearing in mind that in the State of Florida, it is illegal to lane split. This means that any accident caused by motorcycle riders’ lane splitting will usually lead to fault and liability falling with the rider.
Avoiding Lane Splitting Accidents
Avoiding lane-splitting accidents is pretty simple in Florida. Just don’t do it. It is illegal in Florida for a reason.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused By Intoxication
Florida has a very high level of DUI accidents, and over 30% of all motorcycle accidents that resulted in a fatality involved a drunk driver with an alcohol concentration higher than 0.08 percent.
Accidents involving drunk drivers are usually much more severe. Countless studies have proven that the reaction time of a drunken driver can be over double that of a sober driver. This means it takes twice as long to stop, twice as long to notice a hazard, and you are much more likely to crash and injure yourself.
How to Avoid a Motorcycle Crash Caused By Intoxication
The best way to avoid crashing while under the influence is to not drive while under the influence. Many motorcyclists are part of social groups. This might include meeting up and driving to restaurants or bars where the temptation to drink is high. If you can’t avoid alcohol, make sure that you stick to the limit. If you find yourself over-indulging, make sure you get a taxi back home instead of driving.
Corner Turning Motorcycle Accidents
With only two points of contact, riding round corners is a bit more difficult than driving a car around corners. While motorcycles can be precise, high-tech machines, it is extremely difficult to correct a turn if you spot a hazard at the wrong time. Things like leaves, water, patches of dirt, or potholes can cause you to lose traction and crash at high speeds. This means corners are one of the causes of motorcycle accidents across Florida.
Corners can also be tighter than they appear. When you hit it too fast, you might lose control. This tends to happen on unknown roads or roads that have a lot of tight turns and elevations.
Wiping out during a turn can lead to impact with another vehicle, pedestrians, or solid objects like trees and can cause severe or fatal injuries.
How to Avoid Fatal Motorcycle Crashes on Corners
In order to avoid these types of crashes, you should always try to ride at a speed that is appropriate to the road and conditions you are facing. You should always be traveling at a speed that allows you to correct any mistakes you make and change course or slow down if you spot a hazard. You should approach corners with caution and enter them slowly.
Being aware of road signs that might indicate hazards is something else you should try and do, especially when riding in unfamiliar locations. Unfamiliarity is one of the biggest causes of motorcycle accidents amongst skilled drivers.
If you find yourself taking a turn much too quickly, make sure you remain calm. Lean into the turn and follow the turn with your eyes. Your hands will automatically correct and follow your gaze. Reduce the throttle if possible, and remember that your bike is capable of handling the turn. Never slam the breaks on, as this will cause you to skid and lose traction, throwing you off your bike.
High-Speed Motorcycle Accidents
One of the main reasons why people buy motorcycles is because they have the ability to go really fast for a low cost. Unfortunately, speed kills, and around 33% of all motorcycle fatalities involve the rider speeding.
High-end sports bikes make up a small percentage of all the motorcycles on the road but a huge percentage of all the accidents. These bikes are designed with speed in mind and have a very low weight. Some sportbikes can travel in excess of 160mph, which is a near-death sentence if anything goes wrong.
You are four times more likely to lose your life when driving a sports motorcycle compared to a regular conventional motorcycle like a cruiser or a touring bike.
Avoiding High-Speed Motorcycle Accidents
If you want to avoid high-speed motorcycle crashes, then you should try and maintain a safe speed while driving. There is a speed limit for a reason, and while motorcycles can be fun to drive fast, if you do so in an area with a low-speed limit, your chances of hurting yourself or someone else is drastically increased.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
When it comes to motorcycle accidents, motorcycle riders tend to end up with more serious injuries compared to passenger vehicle drivers and car accidents. The injuries tend to be more severe as well.
Some of the common injuries we see motorcycle riders gain from a motorcycle accident include:
TBI’s (Traumatic Brain Injuries)
Any impact to the neck or head can lead to a TBI and permanent brain damage, internal bleeding, and a lifelong disability or lengthy recovery time. TBI’s are extremely serious and can ruin your enjoyment of life as well as your ability to work and provide. Wearing a helmet is the most important step you can take in preventing these injuries.
Road rash happens when you are thrown from your bike and exposed skin scrapes on the asphalt, causing a serious burn. The best way to protect yourself as much as possible from road burn is to make sure you are wearing the best possible protective gear and clothing.
Due to the exposed nature of a motorcycle, the impact can cause a lot of damage to the body. This can result in one or many broken bones that can lead to lifelong problems and disabilities.
Contact The Law Place and Speak to a Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney Today
The Law Place is an experienced and capable accident law firm that has seen much success in claiming substantial compensation for our victims. We offer immediate free advice, a free consultation, case evaluation, and most importantly, we are here to take the weight from your shoulders and fight on your behalf.
We will investigate your case to the fullest extent of our ability, determine liability and seek compensation on your behalf.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, and it was through no fault of your own, call The Law Place for a free case evaluation. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call now for a free consultation at (941) 444-4444.