Motorcycle season is upon us, with the weather getting warmer and warmer. That being said, with the bikes out of the garage and on the streets, the risk of an accident is there as well – no matter if it’s the biker’s fault or another driver’s. When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, 14% of them are motorcycles – their number continuously growing over time.
But why do motorcycles accidents actually happen? Who is usually at fault? While the accident may sometimes indeed be the driver’s fault, you’ll be surprised to know that the bikers themselves are not always to blame. Here are some common causes why bike accidents happen.
Perhaps one of the main reasons why accidents happen is because bikes have lower visibility as compared to cars. Bikes are much smaller than regular vehicles, so even if the biker can maintain a regular speed, the car driver may not be able to see the motorcyclist, crashing into them and causing them injuries.
Whether the low visibility is caused by glare or blind spots, even an experienced motorcyclist can’t avoid an accident if the other car cannot see them. Intersections are particularly dangerous, as this is where most of these accidents tend to happen.
Unlike cars that are still on the road even in winter conditions, bikers will usually need to store their bikes in garages until spring. This period of inactivity can cause their reflex to go into hibernation, and it can take around 150 miles until the biker gets their reflexes back.
The problem is that a lot of bikers do not consider this “hibernation”, driving their usual speed right after they got the bike out of the garage. This causes the most motorcycle accidents in spring.
While lane splitting is legal in California and several other states for motorcyclists, it doesn’t apply to cars as well. Some drivers may intentionally try to block the motorcyclist out of spite, which may lead to an accident.
If you were involved in an accident caused by lane splitting, you need to look into some good California motorcycle accident lawyers. They will help you prove your case, especially if you were not at fault.
Speeding is the bane of almost every vehicle – and the lighter the vehicle, the likelier you are to get into an accident. The problem is that some motorcycles, such as speed bikes, are much lighter – which makes it very easy for the bikers to kick the speed up a couple of notches. When the speed reaches dangerously high levels, the biker may not have as much control over their reflexes, eventually causing an accident.
According to the NHRSA, around 39% of motorcycle deaths in 2019 were caused by drunk drivers. In certain instances, drunk car drivers may not notice the motorcycle coming toward them, but motorcyclists themselves also frequently get pulled over for drunk driving. When bikers are drunk, they are likelier to engage in reckless driving.
In some circumstances, the accident may not be the fault of anyone, except for the road. Some situations that a car can easily recover from can turn out to be fatal to a motorcyclist. This can include slippery roads, uneven pavement, loose gravel, and more.
As motorcycles are smaller vehicles, they do not have as much stability as compared to a car. The fact that it is a two-wheeled vehicle does not help either. The motorcyclist will have to train their eye in order to look for these road hazards or to leave their motorcycle in the garage until the weather improves.
More than half of motorcycle accidents are head-on collisions, most of which are fatal to the motorcycle driver. Very often, these accidents occur as a result of illegal lane changes or because of speeding or reckless driving.
This is the most dangerous type of accident for bikers because, unlike drivers who are protected by their car, seat belt, and airbags, motorcyclists do not have this kind of protection. Even if they are wearing a helmet, they are often crushed in the accident or thrown off into the air – something that rarely ends well for the biker.
The Bottom Line
If you are a survivor of a motorcycle accident, you may want to hire a good lawyer to help you in your case. This way, you will be able to obtain insurance and negotiate a fair settlement for what you’ve been put through.