How Many Motorcycle Accidents Are Caused by Driver Error Compared to Auto Accidents?
The roads are full of cars, trucks, and motorcycles that commute to work, travel on vacation, and transport goods across the country. Unfortunately, all of these drivers on the road pose a risk to each other and the rest of us. This makes it even more critical for motorists to drive safely and follow traffic laws.
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Driver Error – The #1 Cause of Motorcycle Accidents
Driving on the highway is dangerous for anyone, including motorcyclists and passengers in other vehicles. Drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving all contribute to accidents that injure and even kill people. Fortunately, many of these behaviors can be avoided with simple precautions.
Weather Conditions – Another common factor that leads to motorcycle accidents is bad weather. Rain or snow affects visibility and can cause a motorcyclist to lose control of their bike and crash. Fog can also be a problem when riders are out on the road.
Collisions with Fixed Objects on the Road – When a motorcyclist strikes an item on the road like a telephone pole or tree, it can lead to severe injuries and fatalities. This type of crash happens in about 25% of motorcycle crashes and 18% of car accidents.
Intersections – Another cause of motorcycle accidents is when a driver fails to yield the right of way. This can happen when they turn left in front of a motorcycle, or when they run red lights or stop signs.
The risk of getting into an intersection accident is very high, and it can be particularly fatal to riders. The size of a motorcycle is smaller than a car or truck, so it can be difficult for drivers to see a motorcycle in an intersection.
Moreover, drivers often misjudge the speed of motorcyclists and make unsafe decisions that can result in a serious or fatal accident. This includes driving too fast or too slow, lane splitting, and running red lights and stop signs.
Head-On Crashes – These types of collisions can be especially deadly for motorcyclists since they don’t have the protection and stability that cars do. When this happens, the rider can be thrown or crushed.
Injury and Fatality Rates – The number of people who die in motorcycle accidents is significantly higher than that of passenger vehicle occupants. This is because motorcycles don’t have seat belts, air bags, and other protection that can save a passenger in a car from an impact.
The most common reason that a motorcyclist is killed in a collision with a car or truck is because they don’t wear a helmet. Helmets can prevent a significant number of injuries, and it’s important for all riders to wear them.
Speeding and Alcohol Use – These two issues play a big role in motorcycle wrecks as well. About half of all motorcycle wrecks involve some form of speeding or alcohol use.
While both types of accidents can result in serious injuries, there are several differences between the injury patterns that are commonly found among those who ride motorcycles versus those who drive cars or trucks. A motorcycle crash can leave the rider with a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury that can have life-changing consequences.