Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle riders face unique dangers on the road. At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, we can help determine whether your accident resulted from another driver’s negligence or oversight. We understand the underlying causes of motorcycle accidents in order to help riders in the Daytona, FL, area obtain the compensation that they deserve. To schedule a consultation, contact our law firm today.
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Know When and What to Look Out For
Motorcyclists face a significant risk of injury or death in the event of a vehicle collision, as the bike and its rider will typically sustain the brunt of the damage. As a result, it is important that motorcyclists remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Being familiar with the most common causes of motorcycle accidents can help you avoid them. These common causes include:
Motorcycles have a much smaller profile than cars and trucks. Furthermore, most drivers simply do not take extra care to look for riders. Consequently, motorcyclists are commonly involved in vehicle collisions because an inattentive driver failed to notice them.
Drivers Failing to Yield
Motorcyclists face significant danger when a driver fails to yield, as there are other hazards all around them. When a motorist fails to yield to a motorcyclist, it can result in severe injury or even death.
Drivers Failing to Signal
Many motorists find it difficult to properly judge the speed of motorcycles, or pay motorcyclists little attention because they feel safe within the confines of their automobile. A failure to signal can result in a car turning into your path from the other direction or transitioning into your lane without warning.
Drivers Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Accidents related to alcohol or drugs result in thousands of deaths each year. If a motorist collided with you, ran you off the road, or caused you to crash in some other manner because he or she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, we can help you pursue financial compensation.
Drivers Who Follow Too Closely
A motorist who follows too closely can easily cause a rear-end collision. When two cars are involved, rear-end collisions often result in little more than a scratch or two. When the person being struck is a motorcyclist, a rear-end collision can be incredibly dangerous.
Unfortunately, many motorists seem to have an irrational dislike of motorcyclists and bicyclists. If you were involved in a vehicle collision or auto accident because a fellow motorist acted with a gross disregard to your personal safety, we we will do everything possible to see that you are justly compensated.
Accidents with Cars Making Left Hand Turns
Left hand turns account for 42 percent of motorcycle accidents involving a car. In such instances, drivers of larger vehicles do not see the motorcyclist approaching and strike the rider on the side. This frequently happens at intersections when the motorcyclists is going straight and the car driver is turning. It can also happen while a motorcyclist is passing a car that suddenly turns. While the driver is more often found at fault, the court may find that a motorcyclist is partially or fully to blame if they were speeding or in the wrong lane.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
When a motorcyclist rides between lanes of stopped or slowed vehicles, it is known as lane splitting. While legal in some states, it is illegal in Florida. Lane splitting is illegal largely because it is so dangerous. Motorcyclists are easily struck by cars changing lanes, or even when cars move within the same lane. In most cases, motorcyclists splitting lanes in Florida will be found at-fault for related accidents, unless they can show that the driver contributed to the accident in some way, such as using a cell phone while driving.
Motorcycle Crashes with Fixed Objects
Crashes with trees, medians, parked cars, and other fixed objects account for about a quarter of all motorcycle accident deaths. In comparison, other vehicular deaths due to striking a fixed object is about 18 percent. The obvious reason for the higher mortality rate among motorcycle riders is that their vehicle is less protective and makes them more vulnerable to bodily harm.
Crashes with trees, medians, parked cars, and other fixed objects account for about a quarter of all motorcycle accident deaths.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Motorcyclists are more often affected by hazardous road conditions, such as debris in the road or inclement weather, compared to other vehicle types. The smaller wheels and greater instability of a motorcycle mean that hazards like roadkill or wet asphalt are more dangerous than they are for cars or trucks. Some conditions and obstacles that are hazardous to motorcycles, but not other vehicles, include:
- Bumpy or uneven roads
- Railway tracks
- Painted surfaces (especially when wet)
- Oil on the road
- Expansion joints
While a motorcyclist can do their best to avoid these obstacles, there may not always be enough time or space to do so.
High Performance Motorcycles
Sport motorcycles represent a relatively small proportion of motorcycles on the road, but these bikes make up a disproportionately high number of accidents. This is because these fast vehicles are much lighter and much less stable than conventional motorcycles. While this makes them faster, it also makes them much more dangerous. Additionally, the drivers of sport bikes tend to be younger than riders of cruisers and other larger and heavier motorcycles. The combination of a fast, light bike driven at high speeds by a younger driver is the reason for the high incidence of serious and deadly sport motorcycle accidents.
Bad weather is much more dangerous for a motorcyclist than a driver. Not only do sleet, ice, snow, and rain make it difficult to steer a bike on the road, the motorcyclist is unprotected and is literally hit by falling precipitation. Wind can also have a huge negative effect on a bike, causing it to go faster, slower, or push it to the side.
Motorcycle drivers should avoid riding in inclement weather if at all possible. If you must ride in harsh elements, take extra care and wear the proper equipment.
Seek the Compensation You Deserve
At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, our familiarity with these common causes of motorcycle accidents helps us to best serve our clients. We understand motorcycle law and will work diligently to see that your rights are protected.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, we can investigate your claim, help determine the cause of your accident, and establish liability. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, reach out to our firm online or call our Daytona Beach office at (386) 258-7313 or Palm Coast office at (386) 439-7760.