Risk Factors for Motorcycle Crashes

Whether you are a professional motorcyclist or an amateur, you might have a higher risk of crashing than you might even realize. The NHTSA reveals that the risk of motorbike crashes is largely dependent on the road conditions, the mental state of the rider and overconfidence that makes the cyclist attempt precarious maneuvers. Injuries occasioned through bike crashes are particularly more severe than those from cars due to limited protective devices for absorbing the impact. In the light of these facts, it is important for bike riders to learn about factors that increase the risk for motorcycle crashes as explained below.


Reckless Overtaking


Accidents involving motorbikes and other vehicles account for a lot of deaths. The majority of these accidents occur when a car collides with a motorcycle head-on, especially when overtaking another vehicle. Fewer cases also happen when a vehicle hits a motorbike from the back. It should be noted that head-on collisions between cars and motorcycles often result in the death of the rider.


Vehicles making Left Turns


This is the most dangerous risk factor for motorcycles crashes and contributes to almost half of all the accidents involving motorbikes and cars. It’s not unusual to find drivers failing to notice or blatantly refusing to yield to motorcyclists when making a left turn. Besides, most drivers are not conversant with how motorbikes operate, which might lead to their misjudging a motorcyclist’s speed and the distance between the two automobiles.


Consequently, a driver might turn directly in front of a biker thinking that they have ample time to complete their turn successfully and thus cause an accident. While such disasters also happen between cars, the smaller size of motorcycles makes them less visible to the vehicle driver.


Lane Splitting in Motorcycles


Lane splitting happens when a biker rides between two lanes of slow-moving or motionless vehicles, especially during heavy traffic. A lane splitting crash might occur due to the proximity of the motorcycle to the car and limited space for the motorcycle to maneuver. They also happen because the majority of drivers do not anticipate that a motorbike or a car will be passing them in slow moving or stationary traffic. While lane splitting is permissible in some states, the views of the traffic officer and the actions of both the rider and driver will determine guilt for either party.


Speeding and Intoxication


A significant number of motorbike accidents occur when the riders are intoxicated or riding at high speeds. This fact is not surprising as intoxicated or speedy driving also accounts for multiple accidents involving other automobiles. However, riders are more likely to sustain severe injuries or even lose their lives because they don’t have as much protection as the drivers. It is, therefore, important for both riders and drivers to avoid alcohol before operating their automobiles in addition to adhering to the recommended speed limits.


Road Hazards


Motorcyclists face higher risk on the road than car drivers due to the smaller sizes and reduced stability of their vehicles. The safety of motorcycles is further reduced by the presence of potholes, poor conditions of the pavement and uneven height lines among other road irregularities. Animals can also pose a danger for the biker, especially when riding near parks.


Most motorcycle accidents often result from collisions with cars and other vehicles. So, it’s important to know the advantages of defensive driving. A huge percentage of these accidents happen due to the biker’s or driver’s negligence, faulty roads and dangerous maneuvers. Although they are not as frequent as those of other vehicles, motorcycle accidents tend to result in severe injuries and sometimes more deaths because riders do not have access to the same protective features as the drivers.