Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes

The causes of motorcycle accidents are varied. They range from the lack of stability inherent in a two-wheel vehicle to the speed these motorcycles are capable of reaching. Motorcyclists suffer many injuries due to the lack of structural protection unlike drivers of other motor vehicles. Yet, with all these problems, motorcycles also provide some of the best tools needed to avoid accidents. For example, they possess powerful brakes, maneuverability, and superb tires. The biker is able to see around him in a way that is envied by motorists with an obstructed view of the road. Bikers also have the ability to outwit the causes of motorcycle accidents with their skills and knowledge of how to avoid dangerous situations. Let’s look at the top causes of motorcycle accidents and what to do if they occur.

Hitting Soft Dirt or Gravel

This is a common cause of motorcycle accidents. Let’s say you are traveling along and take a curve beyond which you encounter soft dirt, gravel or leaves. Many motorcyclists will wipe out once the front tire hits it. The key here is not to hit it. One of the best ways to do this is to reduce speed, particularly going around a curve. Enter the curve wide and at a slower speed so that you have a better visual appreciation of the road. You can go faster on your way out of the curve. If you are comfortable doing this, brake until you hit the apex of the curve. Then use the throttle. This will be helpful in avoiding obstacles such as soft gravel and the like.

A Passenger Vehicle in Front Makes a Left Turn

This represents the most common cause of motorcycle accidents. The motor vehicle driver usually does not see the biker or thinks they are going slower than they are. One of the best ways to avoid an accident is by being alert for the possibility a car will turn in front of you. If you see any of the warning signs such as turned tires, hold up in traffic, or a vehicle with blinkers on waiting to turn, get ready. Have your hand on the brakes. Look around to see how you can avoid the driver without hitting someone else or being hit by them. Slow down as much as possible.

A Vehicle Changes Their Lane

Sometimes, a vehicle will change from one lane to another in front of your bike. The problem is you are riding in the spot they covet. One of the best ways to avoid this is to not be there if possible. You can also be prepared for this eventuality by keeping your eyes on traffic and not being distracted by other things. If you see traffic slowing ahead, you probably will see vehicles changing lanes. Keep your eyes on the car in front of you for warning signs they may turn. If so, move away.

Taking a Corner Too Fast

Sometimes, bikers will go too fast around a corner and find themselves in trouble. One of the best ways to avoid this is to watch the road. The best thing you can do is to go against the lean and press onward.

Rear-Ended by Another Vehicle

This occurs when the driver behind you hits you if you’re stopped. While this sort of accident does not usually cause serious injuries to an automobile driver, it can end up being fatal for a motorcyclist. If there are a few cars in front of you and others heading your way, it might be a good move to get in front of the vehicle ahead of you. This places the vehicle between you and approaching vehicles, buffering the collision somewhat. If no other vehicles are in front, get over to the side. Try flashing your signal or brake lights to warn drivers behind you. Be even more careful at pedestrian crosswalks, when the weather is bad, or a driver behind you appears to be weaving.

Car Doors

One of the worse case scenarios is when a car driver parked on the roadway suddenly flings their door open. This is a difficult situation to avoid once the door opens but not so hard if you take precautions. The first thing you can do is to avoid moving in a lane with parked vehicles to the side. This is asking for trouble. If it does happen, slow down as much as you can before colliding with the door. The slower you are going, the smaller the risk of catastrophic injuries.

Watch the following video by Ed Smith to learn what to look for in a motorcycle accident attorney:

Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney. If you can’t avoid an accident, you can benefit from the legal insight an experienced lawyer can provide. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also reach out to me online.

I’ve helped many motorcyclists in the 37 years I have been practicing personal injury law. I’ve also assisted others with car accidents and wrongful deaths as well as traumatic brain injuries.

I’ve been offered membership in the following organizations:

Learn more about my practice on the following pages:

Ed Smith: Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

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