Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Apr 22, 2014 — by Chris Olsen
Tags: Motorcycle Accidents Auto Accidents

San Diego Motorcycle Accident AttorneysIt’s a given that an accident on a motorcycle is more dangerous than one in a car; a motorcyclist has less protection than a person in a car and a two-wheeled motorcycle is inherently less stable than a car. So it’s important that drivers - on a bike or in a car - understand the common causes of motorcycle accidents to better avoid them.

San Diego motorcycle accident attorneys like personal injury lawyer Chris Olsen understand the unique challenges motorcycle riders face. He has successfully litigated a wide range of cases and secured more than $100 million in damages for his clients. Having pursued compensation as both a motorcycle accident attorney and car accident attorney, he is experienced in all perspectives when it comes to roadway accidents.

Common Causes of Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are deadly. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are over 30 times more likely than occupants in a passenger car to die in a traffic crash, according to 2011 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Some common causes of motorcycle accidents:

  • Car Turns Left in Front of Motorcycle. This may be the most common motorcycle accident. Perhaps the car’s driver looks too quickly and doesn’t see the motorcyclist, or misjudges the motorcyclist’s speed.
  • Road Hazards. Gravel, a pothole, or some other object marring the road surface may cause a motorcyclist to lose control. Though most motorcyclists keep a keen eye on the roadway, hazards can take motorcyclists by surprise when they are just beyond a curve in the road or when driving at night.
  • A Car Enters a Motorcyclist’s Lane. Because a motorcycle is relatively small, the driver of a car may not see a motorcyclist. The driver may not have looked carefully, or the motorcyclist may have been hidden in the driver’s blind spot.
  • Lane Splitting. Lane splitting, in certain circumstances, is legal in California but it can still lead to accidents, particularly when car drivers are not expecting another vehicle in their lane.
  • Weather. Rain is a known hazard, but in normally sunny San Diego it takes on greater significance. Without regular rains to wash the roadways, oil collects on the pavement. When rain finally arrives, the collected oil is released and mingles with the rainfall, boosting the slip factor. 
  • Alcohol. In 2011, 42 percent of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes had BAC levels of 0.08 g/dL or higher, according to NHTSA data.
  • Speed. At high speeds, motorcyclists can easily lose control of their vehicles. In 2007, speed was a factor in 36 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes, according to NHTSA data. This compares with 24 percent for passenger car drivers.
  • Inexperience. Young and inexperienced motorcycle drivers, like new car drivers, are often involved in accidents.

Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you have been in a motorcycle accident, an attorney can help you determine who was at fault by assessing your case and reviewing information obtained at the crash site. You will want an attorney who understands the variables in your case and how to seek compensation within the legal system or from insurance companies.

To learn how personal injury lawyer Chris Olsen can help you with your personal injury case, contact the Olsen Law Offices and schedule a free consultation.

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