One of the most dangerous things about motorcycles is that they offer very little protection to riders in the event of an accident. This lack of protection means that motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries or even death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 4,976 motorcyclists killed in accidents in 2015 alone.
Many different factors can contribute to a motorcycle accident, but some of the most common include:
Going too fast for conditions is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. Motorcycles are less stable and more difficult to control at high speeds, so it’s important to always ride at a safe speed for the current conditions.
- Alcohol Use
Drinking and riding is a dangerous combination. Alcohol impairs judgment, reaction time, and motor skills, which are essential for safe motorcycle operations. According to the NHTSA, alcohol was a factor in 29% of all fatal motorcycle accidents in 2015.
- Lane Splitting
Lane splitting is when a motorcycle rider drives between two lanes of traffic, usually at high speeds. This dangerous maneuver puts riders at risk of being hit by a car or losing control of their bike.
- Road Hazards
Potholes, debris, and other road hazards can be especially dangerous for motorcyclists. Even something as small as a pebble can cause a rider to lose control and crash.
- Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a dangerous behavior that has become more and more common in recent years, thanks to the proliferation of cell phones and other electronic devices. Distracted drivers are more likely to hit motorcyclists because they’re not paying attention to the road.
Inexperience is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents, especially among younger riders. Lack of experience can lead to mistakes like speeding or lane splitting, which can be dangerous or even fatal.
- Poor Weather Conditions
Riding in poor weather conditions can be very dangerous for motorcyclists. Wet roads and low visibility can make it difficult to see and be seen, leading to accidents.
- Car Doors
Opening a car door into the path of an oncoming motorcycle is a common cause of accidents, especially in urban areas. This type of accident is often referred to as “dooring.”
- Left-Turn Accidents
Left-turn accidents are one of the most common types of motorcycle accidents. They often occur when a car turns left in front of an oncoming motorcycle, either because the driver didn’t see the motorcycle or misjudged its speed.
- Head-On Collisions
Head-on collisions are another type of accident that can be especially dangerous for motorcyclists. These accidents often occur when a driver drifts into oncoming traffic or crosses the center line.
While many factors can contribute to a motorcycle accident, some of the most common include speeding, alcohol use, lane splitting, road hazards, distracted driving, inexperience, and poor weather conditions. If you’re a motorcyclist, it’s important to be aware of these risks and take steps to avoid them.
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