For many people, motorcycles offer fun and freedom on the open road. To others, these bikes are dangerous. Both frames of mind are valid. Motorcycles can be fun when ridden properly by a skilled rider, but since they offer little protection in the event of a crash, they can become deadly in an instant.
Because motorcycles have two wheels instead of four, they offer less stability, which can cause fatal accidents. In a crash, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than occupants of passenger vehicles to die. In 2016, 5,286 people were killed in motorcycle accidents.
There are many ways in which a motorcycle can be involved in a crash and cause injuries and even death to the rider. Read on to discover the most common causes of an accident.
Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Head-on crashes are common. In fact, they account for more than 50 percent of motorcycle fatalities. These crashes often involve a car and a motorcycle. With the front of the motorcycle bearing the brunt of the impact, the rider is likely to be killed in such a crash.
Half of all motorcycle crashes involve speed or alcohol. Motorcycles can go very fast—sometimes in excess of 150 mph— and many riders do not know how to control their bike at such speeds. Alcohol use is a problem for all motorists, but alcohol use combined with a motorcycle can be especially dangerous. These crashes can cause serious injuries.
Left-hand turn crashes are also common. These often occur when a motorcycle is passing a vehicle or traveling straight through an intersection. These accidents are due to the motorcycle’s small size. They are much smaller than passenger vehicles and therefore harder to see.
Crashes involving road hazards are also common. A motorcycle can easily lose control when riding over a pothole, on slippery roads, or roads covered in sticks and debris. Animals in the road and roadkill can also cause crashes.
About 25 percent of motorcycle crashes involve hitting fixed objects. This may include cars, poles, or buildings. Such crashes can eject the riders, especially at high speeds. This can lead to head trauma, brain injuries, and back and neck injuries. Helmet use can help, but may not prevent all injuries.
Lane splitting can also lead to accidents. This practice, which is legal only in California, is when the motorcyclist drives between two lanes of roadway. This is often done in traffic, when cars are at a standstill. Because the motorcycle is sandwiched in between two lanes of vehicles, and drivers often do not expect a motorcycle to come whizzing by them in traffic, crashes tend to happen.
Get Hurt? Get Gary!
When everything is going well, riding a motorcycle can be fun. But when a crash happens, it can be disastrous. Don’t let a motorcycle crash ruin your life.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, count on a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer from the Falkowitz Law Firm to build your claim. We can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages. For a free consultation, call 844-GET-GARY today.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.