Most Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents
Millions of Americans drive motorcycles every single year. It can be a way of life, or a fun and stress-relieving hobby. Unfortunately, a number of bikers also get into dangerous or even deadly motorcycle accidents while on the road. What factors contribute the most to motorcycle accidents? What are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents? And how can accidents be avoided to maximize safety for everyone who shares the roads together?
Let’s take a look at the most common causes of motorcycle accidents and what you can do to prevent them. Whether you drive a motorcycle or you share the road with those who do, it’s important for everyone to do their part.
Sometimes, it’s not anybody’s fault but the manufacturer. And if they happen to make a faulty motorcycle, it could possibly cause an accident. This could happen when a part of the bike malfunctions. Some examples could be when safety mechanisms aren’t activated, when brakes fail, or when tires are not properly secured. Sometimes, the motorcycle may even be poorly designed, to begin with. This can be avoided by making sure the motorcycle you buy is of high-quality and safe.
Car Doors Opened Suddenly
If a vehicle driver opens a car door without warning in the path of an oncoming motorcyclist, the person riding the bike may collide into the door. This can cause both injury to the motorcyclist and expensive damage to both the motorcycle and the offending vehicle. If you ride a motorcycle, make sure you drive a safe speed and keep an eye out for car doors being opened. And if you drive a car or other vehicle with opening doors, make sure you check to see if any motorcyclists are in the path of you opening your door when you park along the street.
Driving With Excessive Speed
For drivers of all sorts of vehicles and cycles, speeding can be a major, leading cause of accidents. At high speeds, you may lose control of your ride or be unable to stop in time if there is an obstruction or safety hazard on the road ahead. Unexpected turns or merging lanes at top speed can also easily cause an accident. Nothing is worth the rush of speeding. If you think you may be late or need to get somewhere by a certain time, make sure you leave early to avoid the urge to speed. Besides being dangerous, speeding is also illegal and could lead to a ticket or loss of licensure.
Drivers Influenced By Alcohol Or Drugs
Drivers who are under the influence are major causes of accidents and accident-related fatalities every year worldwide. If you cannot stay sober, don’t drive. It is simply not worth your life or someone else’s.
How To Avoid Motorcycle Accidents
Driving on the road with drivers who prefer motorcycles can be a nerve wrecking experience. Choosing to ride a motorcycle comes with safety precautions you’ll want to take too. It is important to know and understand how to avoid accidents and to be a safe driver for both you and others on the road. Sometimes what seems common is not so common knowledge, so let’s break it down what healthy driving habits you can create to avoid unnecessary accidents.
Wear safety gear/bright, reflective colors: This helps you to feel more comfortable and also to let others have an easier time seeing you. The reflection of a bright color might catch someone’s eye that might have not otherwise seen you. Drivers, you will want to make sure you are aware of your surroundings and looking out for colors/indications of a motorists sharing the road with you.
Be weary of left turns: Depth perception plays a huge role in gauging what someone else’s speed is. It is often that a driver will turn left with no enough time for the second driver to not have to decrease their own speed. See the signs and intentions of the other driver’s next move or turn.
Check your speeds: Turning corners. This also goes for looking and knowing what the road conditions are like with making turns. Driving safe speeds will allow for reaction times, and the ability to make a different decision when something comes up.
Be aware when changing lanes: Know your blind spots and how to effectively spend as little time as possible in them. It’s not enough to look in your rearview mirrors, you need to also look behind you, and signal when you change lanes. Can not stress this enough, because if you change lanes into someone, it could be life threatening. An extra minute of making sure it’s safe to make the change makes a huge possibly years difference for the outcome. If you can not take the extra minute, don’t risk it.
Do not drink intoxicated: This goes for any and all driving and accidents. Drinking or doing drugs and deciding to drive is always a bad decision. It may not be each time you hit the roads that an accident will occur. You might have already driven under the influence and feel as though you had a fine experience. It only takes one time, and doing anything mind altering could create an incident that you will wish was avoided.
(For riders) Do not zig zag through traffic: There’s an impulse that because riding a motorcycle gives you flexibility to drive through the cars in multiple lanes, that you are able to do so safely. You might even actually be able to do so safely, but you can not account for the actions of others who do not see you. If you are driving alone on a road, or if you are practicing somewhere isolated and out of danger, you are free to get wild; don’t do it on the road. This is highly dangerous and should be avoided.
The road can create illusions of safety because you are either on a motorcycle and feel as though you can escape harm’s way easily, or you are in a car/truck and feel as though it will protect you from any potentials; but do not bet your life on it. Be safe and take the extra precautions to make sure that you do not put yourself or others in harm’s way. If something happens, know who to look to, seek the professionals at Schenk Podolsky Attorneys At Law who can save you further worry.
The Insurance Research Council estimates that 13% of all motorists, or one out of every eight drivers, are driving with no insurance. If you include the number of drivers who are underinsured, you can begin to appreciate the difficulty of collecting damages for property loss and personal injuries that you have suffered in a motorcycle accident. Statistics from the Arizona Department of Transportation show that in 2015, bikers in Arizona were involved in more than 116,000 crashes, and more than 36,000 of those crashes resulted in injuries. If you are in a motorcycle accident, instead of just being another statistical, you should retain a skilled lawyer to help you recover compensation for your injuries even if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured.
A skeptic will tell you that the odds are against you and that you simply should not ride, but the freedom that your bike represents and the hundreds of miles of open Arizona roads and highways will always make a stronger argument for riding. Your best preparation for riding where (like in Arizona) your odds of encountering an uninsured motorist are high is to review your own insurance to make sure that your own medical costs would be covered if you are involved in an accident. If your policies are confusing and you cannot get a straight answer from your insurance agent or the company’s help lines, you can consult with an attorney who will help you review and understand your policy. Some policies offer a separate insurance rider that increases your coverage when another party is uninsured or underinsured.
Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you recover damages from another party for losses and injuries even if the other party has no insurance. A lack of insurance is not the same thing as an absence of assets. A driver can forego insurance out of forgetfulness or neglect. He might simply assume the risks of having an accident on a belief, mistaken or otherwise, that he can avoid a judgment against him if he has no money to pay the judgment.
As with all motor vehicle accidents, the first order of business after the accident is for you and the other driver to exchange contact information. By doing this, you will quickly determine whether the other driver is insured and what kind of insurance he has. Call an attorney as soon as is possible after the accident. If the other party does not have insurance, he might begin to take steps to hide his assets or to file bankruptcy to defeat any judgments that you might obtain against him. Involving your attorney sooner rather than later will prevent dissipation of any assets that might be used to pay your claims.
A good attorney will also know whether any other parties can be named in a lawsuit. Your motorcycle accident may have been the result, in part, of faulty roads, or by the negligence of a driver who was not involved in the accident but who created some unsafe condition. The sooner your lawyer can investigate the accident, the more likely it will be that he can find the correct parties to name in a lawsuit.
Arizona’s law enforcement authorities are working hard to reduce the number of uninsured and underinsured motorists on the State’s roads, but this problem will not disappear any time soon. The attorneys at Schenk Podolsky represent riders in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler and the Phoenix metropolitan area to recover the maximum possible amount of monetary damages to compensate for injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents. Please see our website or call us to schedule a consultation on how we can assist you.
To learn more about What Topics are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident take a look at our blog post.