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Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents


Although motorcycle accidents are no more or less common than automobile accidents, they are more likely to cause both serious injuries and fatalities. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in 2006 that they are 35 times more likely to cause death than car accidents.

Many car and motorcycle accidents have similar causes and pretenses: intoxicated driving, road rage, road/construction hazards, speeding, and so on. However, a car attempting to make a left-hand turn is one of a motorcyclist’s biggest threats, as this situation produces about 42% of all accidents involving both types of vehicles. Often, impact occurs when the left-turning car strikes a motorcyclist who is passing his/her car or going through the intersection. In such an accident, the driver of the car is usually deemed at-fault unless the motorcyclist was speeding, in a wrong lane, or driving recklessly, in which case the motorcyclist will be at least partially at-fault and their compensation may be reduced accordingly.

Here are some more facts: about 56% of deaths in motorcycle accidents result from head-on collisions with other vehicles and 25% result from collisions with fixed objects in which motorcyclists are likely to be thrown from their bikes and experience “road rash” at high speeds. Of all accidents involving a single motorcycle, about 50% result from alcohol use and/or speeding. Overall, the NHTSA estimates that three of every four motorcycle accidents involve at least one other vehicle.

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are often deadlier than car accidents simply because of the driver’s vulnerability. Knowing and understanding the causes of these accidents is essential to prevent them in the future, and here are a few of the most common:

• Aggressive driving Aggressive driving, as defined by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA), generally consists of traffic violations which endanger the lives of others (as well as their property) and the “road rage” which may accompany such acts. If you encounter a driver with road rage (for whatever reasons), it is best to avoid them to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

• Texting-and-driving This issue is becoming more and more serious, despite our rather-swift efforts to combat it; the Federal Trade Commission claims that it may even increase the risk of an accident by 23 times! These accidents have certainly proven deadly and already taken too many innocent lives, so put your phone away while driving and only refer to it in an absolute emergency. No text is worth the damage it may cause when you’re behind the wheel.

• Sudden stops Rear-end collisions involving two cars are usually not too devastating; when a motorcycle rear-ends a car, however, the results can be deadly. Sudden stops which result in these collisions are among the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, but can be reduced by both sides: motorcycle-drivers should always maintain a safe distance between themselves and the car in front of them, and car-drivers should always be aware of their surroundings and where any motorcycle-drivers may be.

• Single-bike accidents Though newer and younger motorcycle-drivers are prone to single-bike accidents, risks are still present for drivers of all levels of experience; common risks include harsh weather, slippery or gravel-filled roads, and even bald or improperly-inflated tires. Motorcycle-drivers should be well-aware of these factors and plan for them accordingly, especially if difficult road/weather conditions are to be expected.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Chicago motorcycle accident, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you.

Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.

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