top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

Avoiding Dangers: What Is the Most Common Motorcycle Accident?

People love riding motorcycles because it's exciting and gives a sense of freedom. However, this fun comes with a higher chance of accidents and serious injuries. In fact, motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to be fatally injured in a crash than drivers of passenger vehicles.

With a smaller visual profile, motorcyclists are more challenging to spot, making them particularly vulnerable on the road. The most common motorcycle crashes involve collisions with other vehicles, often caused by driver inattention or carelessness.

These crashes can result in traumatic brain injuries, among other severe and lasting consequences. As the number of motorcycle riders increases, so does the importance of prioritizing safety measures and legal protection.

It is essential for those affected by these accidents to seek the support of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to navigate the complexities of a personal injury lawsuit and seek fair compensation for their losses.

The Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

The Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents happen for various reasons, with some causes being more prevalent than others. Understanding these common factors can help riders and other road users take necessary precautions to prevent crashes and the severe injuries that often accompany them.

Although motorcycles have advantages, such as agile turning, reliable braking systems, and unobstructed views, accidents can still happen. Moreover, the causes of fatal motorcycle accidents can range from driver inexperience to weather conditions, but certain crashes are more frequent.

In many instances, motorcycle crashes involve collisions with other motor vehicles, with the majority resulting from the negligence or inattention of other drivers.

Despite the inherent risks associated with riding, drivers can take certain steps to reduce the likelihood of a motorcycle crash, such as wearing appropriate safety gear, including helmets, and staying vigilant on the road.

However, even the most cautious riders may find themselves involved in a motorcycle crash, which can lead to severe injuries or fatalities.

1. Motorcycle Accidents Resulting from Speeding

Speeding is a significant factor in motorcycle crashes, with nearly 32% of motorcyclist fatalities attributed to excessive speed. Also, this percentage is notably higher compared to only 18% for passenger car drivers.

The appeal of speed is one of the primary reasons people choose to ride motorcycles, but it is also a major cause of severe injuries and fatalities in crashes.

High-performance motorcycles, which make up a small portion of the total number of bikes on the road, are disproportionately involved in accidents. These lightweight motorbikes can reach speeds exceeding 160 mph, making them difficult to control and increasing the likelihood of a crash.

As a result, the death rate for riders of sports motorcycles is two to four times higher than that of bikers on conventional motorcycles, such as cruisers and touring bikes.

It is crucial for riders to operate their bikes at safe speeds and adhere to speed limits to reduce the risk of fatal motorcycle accidents.

Riders can satisfy their excitement for fast driving by finding roads with turns and elevation changes, which offer an exciting ride without compromising safety.

Additionally, riders can drive on special speed parks that provide a closed course for safely reaching high speeds without endangering others on public roads.

2. Head-on Collision Motorcycle Crashes

Head-on collisions that involve a motorbike and another vehicle account for a significant percentage of fatalities in motorcycle crashes. Over 75% of such accidents involve a head-on crash between two vehicles, with the motorcyclist often suffering fatal or severe injuries.

The high speeds at which both the car and motorcycle are traveling further increase the risk of devastating outcomes in these situations.

To minimize the chances of a head-on collision, motorcyclists can follow the National Safety Council's "Four Rs" guidelines:

  1. Read the road ahead, constantly scanning for potential hazards and maintaining a proactive and defensive approach,

  2. Drive to the right, stay in the right-hand lane when possible, or keep to the outside lane on two-lane roads to reduce the likelihood of head-on collisions,

  3. Reduce speed when noticing irresponsible behavior from other drivers or sensing potential danger, as even a slight reduction in speed can greatly impact the outcome of a potential collision, and

  4. Ride off the road, on the shoulder or grass to the right when necessary to avoid an oncoming vehicle and avert a head-on collision.

By sticking to these guidelines, motorcycle riders can significantly reduce the risk of getting in a head-on collision, protecting themselves from the potentially severe consequences.

Taking motorcycle safety precautions and being aware of the dangers on the road can contribute to a safer and more enjoyable riding experience.

3. Left-turn Accidents

Left-turn incidents are a significant cause of road accidents, with 42% of fatal motorcycle collisions involving another vehicle. These events happen when a car turns left in front of the motorcycle, often leading to severe consequences for the motorcyclist.

Vulnerability of Motorcyclists in Left-turn Accidents

The size of motorcycles and the lack of protection make left-turn accidents particularly dangerous for riders. In these situations, the turning car typically strikes the rider when it is:

  1. Traveling straight through an intersection,

  2. Passing the car, or

  3. Attempting to overtake the vehicle.

Proactive Measures for Motorcyclists to Prevent Left-turn Accidents

Motorcycle riders can take precautions to avoid left-turn accidents by wearing appropriate safety gear and practicing safe riding techniques. Observing potential turning indicators can also help bikers expect and react to left-turning vehicles. Common indicators include:

  1. A gap in traffic near a driveway, intersection, or parking lot with a waiting vehicle,

  2. If a car stopped at an intersection, waiting to turn, or

  3. When a driver seemingly checks both directions before making a move.

Riders can significantly reduce the risk of getting into left-turn motorcycle accidents by slowing down and preparing themselves to take responsible action when they notice these indicators.

Ultimately, awareness and preparedness are vital factors in ensuring a safer riding experience for all motorcyclists. Awareness of surrounding traffic and expecting potential left-turn scenarios can help motorcyclists avoid dangerous situations and reduce the risk of accidents.

4. Lane-switching Motorcycle Crashes

Lane-switching accidents are general threats that can happen when a car merges into a lane occupied by a motorcycle.

These incidents often occur on multi-lane roads when the car driver is not paying enough attention or fails to see the motorcycle rider. Motorcycles can be easily obscured in a driver's blind spots, increasing the risk of collisions.

To avoid motorcycle accidents caused by lane-switching, motorcyclists should maintain their visibility to other drivers. One way to achieve this is by ensuring they can see the car's mirrors in front of them, which means the driver can likely see them as well.

If a motorcyclist suspects they are in a blind spot, they should either speed up or slow down to move out of the potentially dangerous area. Motorcyclists should also be observant of signs indicating that a car may change lanes, such as:

  1. Activating the turn signals,

  2. Wheels starting to turn,

  3. The driver checking their mirrors, or

  4. They turn their head to check the blind spots.

Being proactive, observant, and practicing defensive driving can help riders avoid lane-switching motorcycle accidents. While lane splitting may sometimes be necessary, motorcyclists should exercise caution and avoid this practice whenever possible to ensure their and the safety of those around them.

5. Motorcycle Accidents from Intoxication

Driving under the influence plays a significant role in motorcycle accidents, with intoxicated riders contributing to a high percentage of fatalities.

According to the NHTSA, alcohol is a factor in approximately 40% of motorcycle accident fatalities. The social nature of motorcycle riding, which often involves visiting restaurants or bars, contributes to the prevalence of alcohol-related incidents.

Intoxication can impair a motorcyclist's ability to react quickly and safely in various road situations, making it more likely that a crash will happen.

Riders should avoid consuming alcohol or drugs before riding their motorcycles to prevent intoxication-related accidents.

Moreover, riders should consider alternative transportation options when under the influence of alcohol, such as rideshare services from Uber or Lyft, to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

Motorcyclists should also be vigilant about spotting signs of intoxicated drivers, including tailgating, moving too close to other vehicles, speeding, or drifting into other lanes.

By staying alert and practicing defensive driving, riders can minimize the risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident caused by intoxicated drivers.

6. Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accidents

Lane splitting is where motorcyclists go between slow-moving lanes or stopped vehicles, often during congestion or at traffic lights.

This maneuver is a common cause of motorcycle accidents due to various factors, such as the close proximity of the vehicles, limited space for the motorcycle to maneuver, and the lack of uncertainty by car drivers that a motorcycle will be passing through.

If a motorcycle accident happens while lane splitting, determining fault depends on the specific state's laws regarding the practice.

Sharing lanes with other motorcycles can also be dangerous, especially when a rider needs to swerve to avoid an obstacle. To ensure safety, motorcyclists should avoid sharing lanes during group rides or when facing other riders on the road.

Furthermore, to reduce the risk of lane-splitting accidents, motorcyclists should familiarize themselves with the laws in their state and avoid the practice if it is illegal. Riders should always exercise caution and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, regardless of whether lane splitting is allowed or not.

Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries due to the limited protection offered to riders. The consequences of such crashes can range from temporary impairment to permanent disability or even fatalities. Common motorcycle accident injuries include:

Traumatic Brain Injuries

These injuries result from head impacts and can lead to lifelong disabilities, altering an individual's career prospects and quality of life. Effects may vary from dizziness and fatigue to personality changes and hearing issues.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Damaging the spinal cord can cause paralysis or loss of nerve function below the motorcycle injury site, affecting the trunk, arms, legs, and pelvic organs.

Broken Bones and Fractures

Motorcyclists may suffer fractures to any bone in the body, with lower extremity injuries, such as the pelvis, femur, fibula, and tibia fractures being particularly common.

Road Rash Injuries

These painful injuries happen when a rider is thrown from their motorcycle and their skin is scraped away by the asphalt, leading to bleeding and potential infections.

Internal Injuries

Motorcycle accidents can cause internal bleeding and damage to vital organs, with a wide range of potential issues depending on the severity and location of the trauma.

Neck and Spine Injuries

The impact of larger vehicles or the collision with a highway structure, such as a railing, can cause neck and spine injuries, including skull fractures and brain damage.

Additionally, various factors, such as the size and speed of the involved vehicles, can influence the severity of motorcycle accident injuries.

Damages Involved in Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims

Motorcycle accidents can lead to various damages, impacting victims both physically and financially. Therefore, the classification of damages includes two main categories: economic and non-economic. Contact Schuerger Shunnarah to fin out the average motorcycle accident settlement In Texas.

Economic Damages

These damages include financial losses and expenses that form directly from a motorcycle accident. Some common examples include:

  • Medical expenses: Medical bills can involve ambulance transport, emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, diagnostic imaging, and physical therapy.

  • Lost earnings: Motorcycle accident victims may lose income due to their inability to work during recovery.

  • Loss of future earning capacity: Long-term or permanent injuries may reduce a victim's potential to earn income in the future.

  • Property damage: Repair or replace a damaged motorcycle and other personal property costs.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to intangible consequences of a motorcycle accident that do not have a direct financial value but still significantly impact the victim's life. Examples include:

  • Pain and suffering: This covers both physical and mental pain, such as chronic discomfort or recurring nightmares after the accident.

  • Reduced quality of life: Victims may experience a reduced quality of life due to permanent injuries or disabilities.

  • Loss of consortium: The victim might be unable to maintain intimate relations with their partner or spouse following the accident.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, motorcycle accident victims may receive punitive damages. These damages serve as a supplementary form of punishment for at-fault parties who acted with gross negligence or malicious intent.

Punitive damages go beyond the breach of the duty of care and require the plaintiff to demonstrate that the responsible driver's actions exceeded simple negligence.

Understanding the various types of damages involved in a motorcycle accident claim is crucial to ensure that victims receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

As the extent of damages can take time to fully materialize, it is essential for victims to consult with legal professionals before accepting any compensation offers or speaking with insurance representatives.

The Importance of Legal Representation from a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Looking for help from Houston motorcycle accident lawyers can be crucial for people who have suffered injuries due to the negligence of another driver.

Experienced legal professionals can help victims recover compensation for their losses, including property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Overcoming Challenges and Negotiating Settlements:

Motorcycle accidents often involve complex factors and challenges, such as helmet usage and varying degrees of negligence. Moreover, a skilled attorney can navigate these difficulties to build a strong case on behalf of the victim.

By managing communications with insurance companies and other lawyers, the attorney ensures to protect their client's legal rights while minimizing the risk of errors or miscommunication.

Focusing on the recovery process is essential for motorcycle accident victims. Therefore, by entrusting their case to a competent attorney, they can concentrate on healing from their injuries.

What Can an Attorney Do?

What Can an Attorney Do?

The attorney can file an accident claim and initiate settlement negotiations on behalf of the client. Insurance companies and other parties involved in the case must present settlement offers through the attorney, who will then advise their client on the best course of action.

Furthermore, in many instances, involved parties can reach a settlement without filing a lawsuit. If the parties involved cannot achieve a fair agreement, the attorney will be ready to fight for their client in court. Expert legal representation is vital for a successful personal injury case, as it ensures that the victim is not taken advantage of during the process.

Ultimately, securing the services of a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible can help victims receive the justice and compensation they deserve. With skilled legal guidance, they can navigate the complex legal landscape and make informed decisions about their case.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the most common accidents and being aware of the risks associated with crashes can help prevent them and reduce the likelihood of motorcycle injuries. Schuerger Shunnarah can also answer questions like, "At what speed do most motorcycle accidents happen?"

However, these accidents happen, and when they do, it is crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. These professionals can guide victims through the process of filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit and help them navigate the complexities of motor vehicle accidents.

Lastly, for expert legal representation, victims should contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to assist them in receiving the justice they deserve.


bottom of page