Motorcycles can be a lot of fun to drive. They’re fast, nimble, and sleek, not to mention fuel-efficient in these days of high gas prices.
However, it’s no secret that motorcycle accidents can cause very serious injuries or even death. Many things can cause motorcycle accidents, and knowing what they are and what precautions you can take can help keep you and your loved ones safe.
What causes motorcycle accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 84,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2019 alone, while 5,014 were killed.
A number of factors can contribute to motorcycle accidents, but the NHTSA reports that over 55% of motorcycle accidents that resulted in fatalities involved collisions with motor vehicles.
The top 10 causes of motorcycle accidents are:
- Unsafe lane changes: A driver making an unsafe lane change by failing to look, not seeing a motorcyclist hidden in a blind spot, or failing to use a signal can put motorcyclists in harm’s way.
- Car doors: A driver or passenger opening the door of a vehicle into a motorcyclist’s lane can lead to an accident.
- Speeding: Speeding by any party can cause and worsen motorcycle accidents.
- Intoxicants: When motorcyclists or other drivers operate their vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the risk that an accident will occur increases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25% of motorcyclists killed in fatal accidents had blood alcohol content levels of .08% or more (which is the legal limit for driving throughout the United States).
- Lane splitting: Driving between two lanes, also known as “lane splitting,” can put motorcyclists in drivers’ blind spot. (It is also illegal in Alabama, North Carolina, and Virginia).
- Tailgating: Following another vehicle too closely, also known as tailgating, can cause serious injury when a vehicle makes a sudden stop or turn.
- New and distracted drivers: Drivers and motorcyclists who are new to the road often make more mistakes than others. Similarly, distracted drivers put themselves and others at risk.
- Improper left turns: Making an improper turn, especially at intersections, is incredibly dangerous.
- Bad roads: Poor road conditions, such as uneven pavement, potholes, rain, and ice, can increase the risk for motorcyclists.
- Defective equipment and mechanical problems: Sometimes motorcycles have defective or broken parts, resulting in life-threatening issues like brake failure.
You might be entitled to compensation
If you or your loved one suffered an injury while riding a motorcycle, you might be entitled to compensation.
If another driver’s negligence or recklessness, a city’s failure to maintain roads, or a company’s failure to produce safe equipment resulted in a motorcycle accident, they could be held liable. In instances like these, you may seek damages for past and future medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
Filing a personal injury claim
The first things you should do if you are involved in an accident are to contact the police and seek medical treatment. Only then should you consider whether to file a claim against the person who caused the accident.
Before you proceed, it’s important to collect as much information as possible about the events before, during, and after an accident. If you can identify the party who is at fault, you can file a personal injury claim against them.
Why you should consult a personal injury lawyer
A personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for an injury you or your loved one suffered while riding a motorcycle. Because fact-gathering can be tricky and your damages may be significant, it’s essential to get the best help and advice you can while going through this process.
Hunter & Everage is here to help you determine the best way to pursue a motorcycle accident claim and help you recover any compensation that you’re entitled to under the law. Reach out to our law offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, Montgomery, Alabama, or Richmond, Virginia, today.