WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY CAUSES OF MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),1 an estimated 93,000 motorcyclists suffered injuries in accidents in 2012 alone, which was a 15 percent increase from the previous year. Furthermore, nearly 5,000 motorcyclists did not survive their injuries. Because of the high risk of serious and even fatal injuries in motorcycle accidents, anyone who is going to ride a motorcycle should be aware of the major risks on the road in order to avoid accidents. The following is information regarding the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in the United States today.

Vehicles making a Left-Hand Turn

Cars that are attempting to make a left-hand turn reportedly cause approximately 42 percent of all accidents between a motorcycle and a passenger car or sport utility vehicle. Generally, the turning car collides with a motorcycle that is doing one of the following:

  • Driving straight across an intersection
  • Trying to pass or overtake the car on the left side

Cars that are preparing to turn to the left may not see a motorcycle approaching, since motorcycles are much less visible and noticeable on the roads. If the driver of a car does not see a motorcycle, he or she will often fail to yield to that motorcycle. Additionally, many drivers have difficulty judging the speed of an oncoming motorcycle, so they believe that they have time to turn when in fact they should yield. In order to prevent this type of accident, a motorcyclist should always be especially careful when approaching intersections and should be prepared to stop if a car fails to yield properly. Additionally, a motorcyclist should never try to improperly pass a car in the same lane, as the driver of the car may not be prepared for such a maneuver. 

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