Dynamics of Motorcycle Accidents

In looking at motorcycle injuries, researchers have discovered that those motorcyclists involved in what’s known as an approach-turn crash were injured more likely than any other type of crash. The researchers also looked at crash types that occurred at T junctions and whether or not the proper right of way was given. Injuries were greatest when the motorcycle collided with a vehicle making a right turn. Injuries were actually worse when a stop or yield sign were placed at the T. Injuries in these situations tended to be great. No one knows yet how to prevent these kinds of injuries other than to request that the motorcyclist be very conspicuous.

Motorcyclists who were involved in accidents had no training. A total of 92 percent were taught by family members or friend or were self-taught. Researchers feel that accidents could be averted if the motorcyclist was properly trained by an expert or underwent classes to learn how to use a motorcyclist.

Motorcyclists who were in accidents often had less than 5 months of experience on the motorcycle in question but the total amount of practice on the road with any motorcycle is about 3 years on average. Those with dirt bike experience are less likely to become involved in an accident. A lack of attention to the driving task is a common problem on the motorcyclist’s part.

Almost half of all motorcycle accidents that become fatal are related to alcohol involvement by one or more driver. Motorcyclists on average are poor at collision avoidance. Too many drivers over brake, skid or under brake, which reduces collision avoidance deceleration. They can’t seem to steer and swerve properly.

In motorcycle accidents, the motorcyclist often has less than two seconds to avoid a collision. In general, they are not good at that. On the good side, passengers on motorcycles do not increase the risk of an accident. Drivers of the other vehicle in the accident are usually aged 20-29 or over the age of 65 years. Most of these drivers are unfamiliar with how motorcycles work.

Large displacement motorcycles are less likely to become involved in a motorcycle accident but, when they do, the injury rate is higher than average. There is no difference between accident rate and the motorcycle color. Motorcycles with windshields and fairings add to the conspicuity of these vehicles and reduce the accident rate. Many motorcyclists involved in motorcycle accidents have no motorcycle license, no license at all or have their license revoked.

Motorcyclists that are café racers or are semi-choppers have a higher than average risk of motorcycle accidents. Ninety eight percent of multiple vehicle injuries caused injury to the motorcyclist. A total of 96 percent of accidents involving single vehicles caused injury to the motorcyclist. Forty five percent of these injuries were more than just minor. Half of all motorcycle injuries were to the lower half of the body.

Crash bars are used on some motorcycles but they are not effective in reducing the incidence of foot and ankle injuries or other leg injuries. Boots help minor injuries but do not prevent serious injuries. Thirteen percent of all injuries involve the groin area.