The Factors that Most Often Lead to Bike Wrecks
It’s a documented fact that riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than traveling in a passenger vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that every year, there are nearly 100,000 motorcycle accidents on roadways across the United States. Furthermore, even though motorcycles only account for 3% of the traffic on American streets and highways, they are involved in 14% of all traffic fatalities.
What Are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
There are a number of factors that cause or contribute to the high rate of motorcycle accidents:
- Substance abuse—Statistics show that nearly one in every three fatal motorcycle accidents involves a person operating a bike while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
- Lane splitting—This practice, where a motorcyclist rides between lanes, typically to pass slower moving cars, can be dangerous, particularly if another motorist suddenly changes lanes without seeing the motorcycle. The practice, however, is legal in many states.
- Failure to obey traffic laws or signs—Speeding, failing to signal for a turn, failing to stop at a light or sign—these violations of the law are often involved in motor vehicle accidents
- Failure to notice—Even though there have been many national and public service campaigns to try to get motorists to be more attentive to the presence of bikers on the roads, the most common response from another motorist after hitting a motorcycle is “I didn’t see them!” The situation has become worse, as more and more drivers are distracted by mobile devices.
- Mechanical breakdown—A part may be poorly designed or manufactured or a biker may fail to properly maintain the bike.
- Roadway hazards—Uneven pavement, potholes, gravel or water on the road, broken or defective roadway signs and poorly constructed turns can all increase the risk of a motorcycle accident