What Are the Biggest Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

A motorcycle lane splitting and about to cause an accident.

Motorcycle riders are approximately 27 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than passenger car occupants, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motorcycles lack the protection that automobiles have, and riders are much more vulnerable to severe injuries in a crash.

Although motorcycle accidents happen for many reasons, some types of accidents occur more frequently than others. Negligent automobile drivers who fail to look out for motorcycles or yield to motorcyclists on the road cause many crashes.

Following a motorcycle accident in northeast Indiana, turn to Truitt Law Offices for help in seeking compensation for your injuries. For more than 40 years, our law firm has been fighting to protect the rights and interests of accident victims. Our Fort Wayne motorcycle accident attorneys focus on helping clients pursue full compensation from at-fault drivers and their insurers.

Contact our firm for a free case review. We will review the details of your motorcycle accident and discuss the steps available to you to pursue a financial recovery for your injuries.

Lane Switching Accidents

These accidents typically occur when a motorcycle is located in an automobile driver’s blind spot, and the driver fails to check the blind spot before attempting to change lanes. A motorcyclist may be sideswiped or forced off the road if another vehicle unexpectedly merges into the lane occupied by the motorcycle.

Motorcycle riders can avoid lane switching accidents by speeding up or slowing down if they find themselves in a driver’s blind spot. If a rider cannot see a driver’s face in the vehicle’s side-view mirror, that means the motorcycle is probably in the driver’s blind spot.

Riders should try to look for signs that a vehicle may be changing lanes, including blinking turn signals, turning of the wheel, or the driver turning their head or looking into their mirrors.

Accidents Caused by Left-Turning Cars

Motorcycle accidents caused by cars turning left represent one of the most dangerous types of crashes for motorcyclists. These accidents occur most frequently at intersections. An automobile driver waiting to turn left may overlook an approaching motorcycle or misjudge its speed and turn in front of the motorcycle. Left-turn accidents also can occur when cars turn left into parking lots or driveways.

Motorcycle riders should take precautions to avoid being hit by a left-turning car by entering intersections cautiously and looking for signs that a driver may be about to turn, such as cars stopped in the middle of an intersection.

You can protect yourself by slowing down and preparing to brake or take evasive action if a driver turns in front of you unexpectedly. If possible, make eye contact with the driver of a vehicle so that the driver can acknowledge that you are approaching.

Head-On Collision Accidents

Head-on collisions typically account for the greatest share of fatalities for motorcycle riders in accidents. A head-on collision can violently throw the biker off the motorcycle onto the road. Head-on collisions typically occur because a motorist negligently drifts into lanes of oncoming traffic due to fatigue, intoxication, or distraction.

Motorcycle riders can protect themselves by riding in the right-most lane to give themselves as much room as possible to avoid a head-on collision if a car drifts or veer into the motorcycle rider’s lane.

Lane Splitting Accidents

Lane splitting involves a motorcycle riding in between columns of vehicles, usually in heavy or gridlock traffic. Motorists may not be looking for a rider in that location, making the situation dangerous.

Indiana law makes lane splitting illegal, so motorcycle riders should avoid the practice of lane splitting.

Corner-Turning Accidents

A motorcycle rider may lose control of a bike while rounding a corner. A rider may not see ice, gravel, or leaves, or other loose debris that can cause tires to lose traction in time to avoid the hazard. A rider may take a corner at too fast a speed.

In addition to potentially losing control of a bike in a corner-turning accident, a rider also faces the risk of being hit by oncoming traffic that may not see the rider before entering the corner.

Riders can take steps to avoid corner-turning accidents by taking all corners at safe speeds and entering the corner wide to allow as much of a view of the corner as possible. Riders should pay special attention to road signs that alert motorists to hazards in certain corners.

Accidents Caused by Intoxication

Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents are caused by alcohol or drug intoxication.

Intoxicated automobile drivers may have impaired judgment and fail to see an approaching motorcyclist or misjudge its speed.

A motorcycle rider under the influence of alcohol or drugs may have a harder time controlling their bike and cause an accident involving other riders sharing the road.

Intoxicated drivers pose a hazard to themselves and everyone else on the road. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to claim compensation for your medical bills and other losses related to the accident.

High-Speed Motorcycle Accidents

Some motorcycle accidents result from riders operating their bikes at unsafe speeds. Some sportbikes can reach speeds of more than 160 mph with blistering acceleration performance. These bikes can pose a danger to riders who don’t have the experience and skill to handle a high-performance motorcycle.

When Do You Need Legal Help After a Motorcycle Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a Fort Wayne motorcycle accident, you should contact an attorney to discuss your legal options. If you have a personal injury claim, an attorney can deal with the insurance companies and negotiate on your behalf for a just settlement that covers your losses.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can investigate the accident to gather evidence to prove your claim, especially if the other driver or the insurance company tries to argue that you were at fault. A skilled attorney will seek a settlement that provides fair compensation for your injuries. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, our personal injury attorneys at Truitt Law Offices will be ready to seek compensation in court.

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, turn to the Fort Wayne personal injury attorneys of Truitt Law Offices. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to speak to one of our knowledgeable attorneys about your case.

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About the Author

As an attorney who has practiced law in Northeast Indiana for nearly four decades, Richard Truitt has seen many changes in the way personal injury and wrongful death cases are handled. However, at least one aspect of his work has remained the same. “You always have to listen to your clients, and you have…