Top 10 Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Riding Motorcycle POV

Riding a motorcycle on the scenic roads on Cape Cod and the Islands, provides drivers with a sense of freedom and adventure. However, some of these rides end in serious accidents. Motorcyclists face several hazards that can leave them facing injuries, vehicle damage, and other losses.

Review the top causes of motorcycle accidents in our area with the Snow Law Firm. Our motorcycle accident lawyer can help you if you’ve been injured and discuss your legal options in the aftermath of a wreck. Call (508) 477-7100.

Unexpected Car Doors

Narrow roads and distracted drivers often lead to this kind of accident. Drivers sometimes open their doors without looking when parked along the side of the road. Motorcycle drivers may run into the door, especially if they’re driving on the right side of the lane.

Lane Changes

Motorcycles are relatively small vehicles, as anyone who rides a motorcycle knows. Drivers often fail to notice motorcyclists when checking their mirrors before changing lanes, especially when in a hurry.

You may end up in a motorcycle crash if another driver comes over into your lane without giving you enough space. These accidents sometimes push motorcyclists completely off the road or into oncoming traffic.

Excessive Speed

Speeding represents one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Drivers speed for a number of reasons, including impatience or because they feel like they will be late to work. Speeding makes it harder for drivers to control their vehicles or stop in a timely fashion.

Both motorcyclists and other motorists cause collisions when they speed.

Driving While Impaired

Massachusetts considers it illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. Drivers who step behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs endanger themselves and everyone around them. These drivers often operate their vehicles in a reckless way, unable to correctly assess the danger inherent in a situation.

Driving under the influence (DUI) does not only affect motorists. Around 40% of motorcyclists who lost their lives in single-vehicle crashes in 2017 showed an elevated blood alcohol content (BAC) level in post-mortem testing.

Lane Splitting

Motorcyclists engage in lane splitting when they drive down the middle of two lanes of traffic. Some motorcyclists believe that the smaller size of their vehicle allows them to perform this maneuver safely, but it often ends in a collision.

Defects in the Motorcycle

Motorcyclists count on their vehicles to operate correctly. However, sometimes motorcycles ship out from the manufacturer with severe defects, such as busted brakes or a loose steering column. Assess your bike each time you decide to go for a ride to reduce the odds of this kind of accident.

Drivers Making a Left Turn

Sometimes, a driver turning left is all it takes to cause a collision with a motorcyclist. Drivers often turn left in front of motorcyclists or into the path of the motorcycle. We often see this kind of accident when drivers fail to pay attention or misjudge the distance to the motorcycle.

Hazards in the Road

Sometimes, other drivers play no role in causing a motorcycle accident. Drivers often end up laying down their bikes if they drive over a damaged section of the road. Inexperienced drivers sometimes lose control when they face:

  • Debris in the road
  • Potholes
  • Broken pavement
  • Confusing road signs

Losing control after driving over cracked pavement may cause a driver to lay down their bike, resulting in injuries and damage to the vehicle.

Drivers Stopping Suddenly

Sometimes, drivers slam on the brakes to come to a sudden stop. Unexpected braking frequently leads to rear-end accidents, as other drivers may not respond quickly to changing traffic conditions. We often see these kinds of accidents at stop signs or red lights.

Inexperienced Drivers

Driver inexperience remains one of the primary causes of motorcycle accidents. Some motorcyclists even operate their bikes without a license or proper training, leading to accidents that result in injuries or fatalities.

Drivers with more experience learn how to avoid many of the hazards faced by motorcyclists in Mashpee. Taking a motorcycle training class helps drivers gain the knowledge that makes them safer drivers.

Ways To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

After reviewing the causes of motorcycle accidents, the professionals recommend that you analyze steps you can take to avoid a collision. Keep these tips in mind as you focus on preventing an injury or death.

Take a Motorcycle Safety Course

Motorcycle safety courses provide you with specialized training on the safe operation of your bike. These courses cover traffic laws and provide instruction on the steps to handle emergencies. Consider signing up for one of these courses before you go riding.

Pick Your Course Carefully

Are you a beginner motorcyclist? If so, consider avoiding areas with a lot of traffic congestion for your first few rides. Leave your bike at home if you need to go for a drive during busy parts of the day, like rush hour in the morning or evening.

Obey All Traffic Laws

Massachusetts has laws against lane splitting and driving under the influence. The state also expects drivers to:

  • Obey the speed limit
  • Pass legally
  • Stay off sidewalks

Obeying traffic laws helps you avoid motorcycle accidents by increasing the safety of your driving.

Follow Safety Practices

Finally, the motorcycle professionals recommend wearing appropriate safety gear each time you take out your bike. Put on a helmet to protect your head and neck and consider a heavy jacket to protect you if you lay down your bike.

Avoid driving in poor weather, especially heavy rains. Water on the road makes it harder to control your bike, potentially leading to an accident.

Injuries Associated With Motorcycle Accidents

Understanding the risks associated with motorcycle accidents often gives drivers a reason to operate their bikes with increased care and concern. Motorcycles provide drivers with limited protection in the event of a crash.

Even a motorcyclist wearing full safety gear may sustain severe injuries in a collision. Let’s review some of the common injuries associated with motorcycle accidents.

Head and Brain Injuries

Wearing a helmet each time you climb on your bike provides you with some protection for your head and brain. However, a collision with another vehicle or an impact with the road may still represent a threat to your health and well-being.

Motorcyclists often experience concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Head injuries may lead to dizziness, nausea, a loss of consciousness, and other more severe symptoms, like seizures. Seek immediate medical care if you sustained a head injury in a motorcycle collision.

Broken Bones

The impact of hitting the road or another vehicle while driving a motorcycle often leads to broken bones. We frequently see breaks in a driver’s arms or legs. However, you may also break bones in your ribs, hips, or back in these collisions.

Road Rash

One of the more common motorcycle injuries, some drivers treat road rash without much concern, comparing it to a few scratches. However, road rash often leaves drivers with open wounds and may even expose bone in some situations.

Medical treatment allows many drivers to recover from this serious injury. Drivers may require skin grafts to handle the damage associated with severe road rash.

Spinal Cord or Back Injuries

Many people think of paralysis when they hear the term “spinal cord injury.” It’s true that this kind of injury may lead to paraplegia or quadriplegia. Sometimes, drivers deal with minor forms of a spinal cord injury, such as a:

  • Slipped disc
  • Herniated disc
  • Bruised spine

These relatively minor conditions still require a significant amount of medical care and a prolonged period of healing.

Internal Injuries

Finally, some motorcycle accidents lead to internal injuries and organ damage. Common internal injuries include:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Punctured organs
  • Torn arteries

Internal injuries represent a significant cause for concern because they may be missed at the scene of a collision. In some cases, motorcyclists display no outward signs of an internal injury until they begin feeling like something is off.

You can address an internal injury by seeking medical care right away. Healthcare professionals perform numerous assessments after a collision to make sure drivers have no significant injuries. Securing medical care right away may also help you secure compensation for your medical expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are over 160,000 registered motorcycles in Massachusetts.   In 2016, there were 2,017 motorcycle accidents resulting in 1,635 injuries and 42 deaths. Roughly 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in serious injury or death each year.

In 2017, 53 motorcyclists died in motorcycle accidents In Massachusetts.

The most common cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure of other motorists to recognize motorcycles on the roadway; the single most dangerous situation for motorcyclists, accounting for 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and car, occurs when a car makes a left hand turn in front you.  Motorcycles are also obstructed by other vehicles on the roadway …. hence the slogan “Motorcycles are Everywhere.”

Learn More About Your Options After a Motorcycle Accident

Reviewing the causes of motorcycle accidents can help you understand what happened if you got hit in Mashpee, MA. Our team at the Snow Law Firm provides comprehensive assistance to drivers hurt in a collision.

Steven T. Snow’s work as a motorcycle accident attorney allows him to build a personal injury claim for you. Your claim may allow you to secure damages to cover your medical expenses, lost wages at work, vehicle repairs, and more.

We focus on handling all aspects of your legal needs after a collision. Call (508) 477-7100 when you’re ready to begin your case.


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