Top 5 causes of motorcycle accidents—and how to prevent them

Remember to stay safe, smart, and secure on the road.

For bikers, riding a motorcycle isn’t just a hobby; it’s a lifestyle. Motorcycle enthusiasts can list thousands of reasons for their passion, including the camaraderie, the sense of adventure, the ease of moving through traffic; the list goes on.

But, while motorcycles can be thrilling, they can also be dangerous—even for trained riders. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, on average, a motorcyclist dies in a crash on Texas roads every day. In addition, for the U.S. as a whole, motorcycles accounted for 4,976 fatalities and 88,000 injuries in 2015.

There are many contributing factors for motorcycle accidents. Listed here are the top five causes:

Failure to control speed. Motorists traveling at high speeds often mistake how fast they’re moving, which can result in a severe accident. In fact, in 2015, one-third of all fatal motorcycle crashes in the U.S. were the result of speeding. In contrast—and just as important to note—slow driving can also cause motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists should strive to keep up with the flow of traffic to avoid possible collisions.

Objects in the roadway. Potholes, uneven pavement, or objects in the road may be minor irritations for car drivers, but they can be a major threat to motorcyclists. They can cause the cyclists to swerve, which can easily result in an accident. In addition, if an object in the road is large enough and hits the cyclist, this can result in serious injury.

Drivers not seeing the motorcycle. Motorcycles are much smaller than cars, which means that they are also more easily hidden by objects on and off the road. These barriers could include other cars, road signs, the surrounding environment, and more. Often with motorcycle accidents that involve larger vehicles, drivers cite that they simply did not see the motorcycle prior to the crash.

Mechanical issues. A defect in a motorcycle’s design or manufacturing can easily cause a dangerous accident. If this ever happens to you with your bike, it could be the basis for a product liability case.

Distracted or drunk driving. Whenever a motorist is engaged in an activity that removes their attention from operating the motorcycle (like texting, talking on the phone, or eating), it’s considered distracted driving. Driving under the influence is estimated to be a factor in roughly one-third of all traffic deaths.

Some of these causes for accidents are out of human control, but others CAN be avoided. Listed here are a few tips on how to keep yourself safe on the road as a motorcyclist:

  • Be aware, be focused, and be alert.
  • Assume no car can see you.
  • Keep your distance from cars.
  • Be mindful of your speed.
  • Maintain your motorcycle with regular mechanic visits.
  • Wear a helmet (this won’t prevent an accident, but it could save your life in the event of a crash).

Following these tips can help to alleviate many of the causes of motorcycle accidents listed above. Remember to stay safe, smart, and secure on the road.

Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident? The experienced personal injury lawyers at Thomas J. Henry are available 24/7 to hear your case. Contact them at 877-978-1740 or for a free consultation.