Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Generally, there are seven common types of motorcycle accidents. Even the most experienced rider can find themselves in a situation where a split-second means the difference between getting to your destination safely and ending up in a dangerous situation.
To avoid these everyday situations that can lead to an accident, motorcycle safety courses can provide beginners and seasoned riding experts with much-needed tips and tools. You can find more information on motorcycle safety courses from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation or the Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition.
What are the Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents?
In general, there are seven types of accidents that are commonly associated with motorcycles. Understanding each type of accident can help you recognize how to avoid the common types of motorcycle accidents in the first place. Above all else, always remember to put on all the gear, all the time (ATGATT). This way, if you can’t avoid them, you’ll at least have a better chance of protecting yourself from severe injuries.
Left-Turning Vehicles Can Cause Motorcycle Accidents
This is the most common accident involving motorcycles. As a car pulls out into traffic to make a left turn, the small stature of motorcycles can cause a driver not to recognize a motorcycle as easily as a larger vehicle. Typically, this accident will occur as the motorcycle is:
- Going straight on the street through an intersection
- Trying to pass a vehicle
- Trying to overtake another car
Switching Lanes Motorcycle Accidents
When a vehicle merges into a different lane, a motorcycle’s low-profile can make it nearly impossible to see in the driver’s blind spots. As the second-most common type of motorcycle accident, the NHTSA and other organizations have run national safety campaigns to remind drivers to check their blind spots for motorcycles when switching lanes.
Head-On Collision Motorcycle Accidents
Seat belts in cars help keep people from going through the windshield in a head-on collision. Motorcycles don’t have safety belts. So, when a motorcycle comes to an abrupt stop as it collides with another vehicle head-on, there are only two things that will happen, and neither of them is good; the motorcyclist will either be pinned or go flying through the air. These two outcomes are why this type of accident is the most deadly of all motorcycle accidents.
Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accidents
When a motorcycle drives between lanes, this is known as lane-splitting. It is common to see motorcycles do this when cars are stopped at a light or in congested highway traffic. In Florida, lane splitting is illegal. Therefore, if a motorcycle accident results from a lane-splitting maneuver, the motorcyclist will almost always be found to be at fault. It is a dangerous practice for both motorcyclists and cars for several reasons, including:
- The motorcycle and cars are too close together; therefore, they cannot maintain a safe distance to allow for accident-preventing reaction time.
- Car drivers are often not looking for motorcycles and do not expect anyone to be riding in between the lanes.
Intoxicated Drivers Causing Motorcycle Accidents
Impaired riding is one of the most surefire ways to find yourself injured in an accident. The vast majority of motorcycle fatalities happen on the weekends and involve blood-alcohol levels above the legal limit. While Tampa is known for its beautiful beaches and thriving nightlife, you can enjoy it more by not endangering yourself and others around you by drunk riding.
Turning Corners and How They Cause Motorcycle Accidents
Despite the inherently excellent handling capabilities of motorcycles, turning corners can make it difficult for a rider to maintain control or take corrective action mid-turn. Hazards in the road can increase your chances of wiping out. The most common dangers for motorcycles as they turn corners are:
- Pedestrians and cyclists on the road
- Sand, gravel, leaves, or puddles of water
- Misjudging the corner and turning too hard
High-Speed Motorcycle Accidents
According to the NHTSA, 32% of all fatal motorcycle accidents in 2017 had speeding listed as a significant contributing factor to the accident. One of the most exciting things about riding a motorcycle is feeling almost as though you are flying down the road. The wind rushing past you can bring a sense of peace and be invigorating.
However, far too often, riders let this feeling get a little out of hand and end up pushing the envelope by pressing the speed limit. If speed violations contributed to your motorcycle accident, it could significantly affect your case and insurance claims.
Single Vehicle vs. Multiple Vehicle Motorcycle Accidents
When you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, it will either be a single-vehicle accident or a multiple-vehicle accident. Each circumstance will have different investigation methods, and your case will proceed in different ways. To help you better understand the differences, you should first know what each type of accident involves.
Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Accident
In a single-vehicle accident, your motorcycle is the only vehicle involved. This means another car did not play a part in the accident. However, the term can also be used when the accident involves your passenger, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist. Single-vehicle motorcycle accidents typically occur for the following reasons:
- Bad weather or poor visibility
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The inexperience of the driver
- Defects in the road or on the motorcycle
According to NHTSA, there were 1,905 single-vehicle motorcycle fatalities in 2017. Of those, alcohol-impairment resulted in 811 deaths or 43%. Additionally, 61% of fatalities occurred at night on the weekend.
Multiple-Vehicle Motorcycle Accident
Multiple-vehicle accidents involved more than one vehicle. Although, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is damage to more than one vehicle. Even if your motorcycle was the only vehicle that received damage, if another driver contributed to the chain of events leading up to the crash, it is still considered a multiple-vehicle collision.
For example, if a car turns left in front of you and you swerve to avoid hitting it, hit a traffic signal pole, multiple vehicles played a role in the accident. The most common causes of multiple-vehicle motorcycle accidents include:
- Inattentive and distracted driving
- Construction zones
- Road defects
- Other drivers not checking blind spots
- Intoxicated drivers
- Environmental factors
The same NHTSA report revealed that in 2017 there were 2,980 multiple-vehicle motorcycle fatalities, with 546 deaths or about 18% being the result of alcohol-impairment.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, don’t wait to contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Waiting too long may have a negative impact on your claim and reduce the compensation to which you would have otherwise have been entitled. Call us at (813) 774-3341 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation phone consultation today.