How Cars and Trucks Commonly Cause Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles may be fun to ride, but they can also be dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 4,976 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2015, which was up 8.3 percent from the previous year. Motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to die in an accident than those in a car or other vehicle.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
You might think that one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is that someone hits the motorcycle from behind. It can be easy to misjudge the amount of distance needed to stop since motorcycles don’t take up the same space we’re used to as other vehicles on the road. However, the most common cause of motorcycle accidents is a head-on collision. These types of collisions are responsible for nearly 80 percent of accidents involving motorcycles.
Lane splitting is another common cause of motorcycle accidents. Lane splitting refers to a motorcyclist riding or stopping between two lanes of traffic. They are very close to other vehicles, and it can be very easy for them to hit other vehicles or to be hit by them.
Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include the cyclist hitting a fixed object such as a tree or telephone pole, poor road conditions like potholes that can cause the cyclist to lose control, and dangerous behaviors like speeding or swerving through traffic.
Whatever the cause, a motorcycle accident can cause serious, life-changing injuries or could even be fatal.
How Cars and Trucks Play a Role
The South Florida University Center for Urban Transportation Research says that motor vehicles are responsible for about 60 percent of motorcycle accidents. A lot of these accidents are caused by drivers failing to yield the right of way, such as when making a left turn or when pulling out in front of a motorcycle without having enough time to do so.
People driving cars and trucks contribute to head-on collisions with motorcycles by not paying enough attention while driving. They cross the center line and run right into the motorcycle. Drivers may not even realize they are crossing the center line because many drivers often subconsciously use the side of passing traffic to determine their own space. When a motorcycle is in the opposing lane, the driver may subconsciously feel that there is more space in the lane and may veer outside of it.
Distracted driving also causes a lot of accidents. Drivers who are texting or talking on the phone are not always able to gauge distance between themselves and the motorcycle, and they may not have enough response time. They may not even notice the motorcycle and drive right into it when they make a turn or pull out into the road.
Avoiding or Reducing Accidents
As a motorcycle rider, you can’t control all the causes of potential accidents, but you can control your own behavior. You can make sure you always ride in the center of your lane and not near the edges. You should never ride between lanes, even if you are stopped at a light. It’s too easy for a car or truck to run into you.
As a motorcycle rider, you should always wear a helmet and protective clothing, and you should always go the speed limit. Your own reckless behavior can contribute to accidents that can kill not only you but also drivers in other vehicles.
As a car or truck driver, you can help to reduce motorcycle accidents by always paying close attention when you are driving. Always leave plenty of room between you and a motorcycle, and make sure you have plenty of room before you make a turn or pull out in front of a motorcycle. Follow the speed limit, use your turn signals, and keep your vehicle well-maintained. Basically, do everything you should be doing to avoid accidents, but be extra careful around motorcycles.
Motorcycles don’t have to be dangerous. If motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers could follow traffic safety rules, there would be far fewer accidents and far fewer serious injuries and deaths.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need a personal injury lawyer. You can call the Tenge Law Firm if you are in Texas, or you can call My AZ Lawyers if you are in Arizona. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, including the medical care you have received and may continue to need and the pain and suffering you have experienced. A good accident lawyer will work hard to maximize your settlement so you get what you need to protect your future. Call My AZ Lawyers in Arizona to talk with a qualified Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney if you have been injured or have lost someone you love to a motorcycle accident.
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