Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The causes of motorcycle accidents differ little from the causes of other motor-vehicle accidents. But because motorcycles provide their riders so little protection, the consequences of a motorcycle crash can be far more severe than of any other accident.
Among the common factors that cause or contribute to motorcycle accidents are:
- Driver inattention.
- Excessive speed.
- Bad road conditions.
- Intoxicated or impaired drivers.
- Driver inexperience.
- Bad weather.
- Bad luck.
Special Problems for Motorcycle Riders
In addition to these common causes, motorcycle accident lawyers see many cases that are unique to these vehicles. Several characteristics of motorcycles make them particularly vulnerable to motorcycle crashes.
One such characteristic is size. Motorcycles are smaller and less conspicuous than automobiles. As a result, drivers of other vehicles may not see them as they glance in their rear-view mirrors, change lanes on a highway, or prepare to make a turn.
Motorcycles’ smaller size also makes it harder for other drivers to judge their speed as they approach. Just a few seconds of miscalculation can cause a driver to turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle and result in a motorcycle accident. In 2006, 51% of motorcycle accident fatalities that involved two vehicles were at intersections.
These are other characteristics that California motorcycle accident lawyers recognize that make motorcycles more susceptible to accidents:
- Road imperfections that may only jostle a car or truck can send a motorcycle out of control. Road hazards that may cause motorcycle accidents include potholes, flying gravel that can hit a motorcycle rider, puddles and grooved pavement.
- Motorcycle turn signals usually do not cancel themselves once a turn is completed. Other drivers may think a motorcycle will turn when it will not, leading to a motorcycle accident.
- When roads are dry, motorcycles can stop more quickly than other vehicles. Because of this, motorcycle accidents can occur when cars follow a motorcycle too closely and rear-end it when it brakes quickly.
- Motorcycles are prone to becoming unstable and shaking. Balance problems can develop between the front and back portions of the bike. A motorcycle accident can occur when the bike wobbles because of uneven tire pressure, improperly aligned tires or faulty steering columns. Whether these conditions are triggered by faulty motorcycle design, improper repairs or poor maintenance, they can result in motorcycle accidents.