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What Are The Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

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Understanding the common dangers for motorcycle riders can help reduce the number of deaths and injuries each year says Feroleto Law

BUFFALO, NY: Motorcyclists are exposed to far greater risks on the road than other drivers. Because motorcycles lack the size, stability and protection of a vehicle, they offer riders far less crashworthiness. Motorcycle accidents are more likely to result in a fatality or serious injury. Riders must therefore exercise more caution in order to avoid injury or death.

Some Startling Statistics

While motorcycles make up only 3% of the registered vehicles in the U.S., they are involved in a disproportionate 14% of all traffic fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,579 motorcyclists and passengers were killed and 84,000 were injured in 2020. Based on the number of miles traveled, motorcyclists are four times more likely to be injured and 28 times more likely to die in a crash.

The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

There are a variety of factors that cause or contribute to motorcycle accidents, including weather conditions, poorly maintained roads and negligence of other drivers. The most common causes are:

  • Left-hand turns: Because of their smaller size, motorcycles are less visible to other drivers, and they are more likely to be in another driver's blind spot. In 42% of motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle, the vehicle was turning left while the motorcyclist was going straight.
    Speeding: Speeding accounts for a significant percentage of motorcycle accidents. 34% of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were speeding.
    Impaired driving: Most of the fatal accidents involving motorcycles happened where the rider was impaired. 41% of the motorcycle riders who died in 2020 were alcohol-impaired, as compared to 18% of the motorcycle riders who died in a crash involving another vehicle.

What To Do If You Are Injured in a Motorcycle Accident

Even the most cautious and experienced motorcycle riders sometimes cannot avoid an accident, especially when it is due to the negligence of another driver. Attorney John Feroleto explains, "When a motorcyclist is injured in an accident caused by another driver's negligence, they are entitled to recover for their damages." Damages might include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is best to consult an attorney right away if you have been injured or have a family member who was killed in a motorcycle accident.