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What Are the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

March 19, 2024

By Thomas McCutcheon

You have the wind in your hair and the road ahead as a motorcyclist. However, motorcyclists are usually at a greater risk of getting seriously injured.

motorcycle accident

After a motorcycle accident, you might find yourself with injuries that need significant medical intervention to treat and out of work. Your bills and expenses start to pile up as you work to recover from an accident that is not your fault.

A motorcycle accident attorney in Athens is the best option for injury victims as they pursue compensation for their losses. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident, contact an attorney today and get the justice that you deserve.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents 

A motorcycle accident can happen at any moment. Motorcyclists share the road with passengers and other vehicles that are massive compared to them. Drivers should avoid contact with motorcyclists to avoid accidents.

The following are several reasons that motorcycle accidents happen.

Driving Under the Influence

An impaired driver almost always bears liability for negligent driving. Drivers operating their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol remain far too common of a problem.

Every state prohibits driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at or above 0.08 percent. There are stricter limits for commercial drivers and public service drivers, such as school bus drivers.

Further, in most states, there are zero-tolerance laws for underage drivers, which means they cannot drive with hardly any alcohol in their systems.

Unfortunately, many people continue to drive after having too much to drink. This is especially true in rural areas where there might be less law enforcement presence and fewer rideshare, taxi, or public transportation resources. These drivers can cause serious and deadly accidents.

Nearly a decade of research has found that 2,608 people have died after getting into an accident with an impaired driver across the state. Nationwide, more than 10,000 people lose their lives in drunk driving accidents annually.

Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a problem. It is easier to drive distracted than you might think. Distracted driving includes any activity that might take your attention off driving. The most common example might be texting and driving. However, there are many forms of distracted driving.

Other examples of distracted driving can include:

  • Changing the music.
  • Eating.
  • Holding conversations with passengers.
  • Finishing your makeup.

Any time a driver takes their hands off the wheel or daydreams while behind, it is distracted driving. Drivers must avoid crashes. Focusing on the road can save a motorcyclist’s life.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving can include anything that disregards the safety of others. An example of reckless driving is speeding. Whether driving faster than the posted speed limit or not, considering the road conditions, speeding costs the lives of thousands of people every year.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 12,330 people died in speeding-related accidents.

Improper Lane Changes

Some accidents happen because a driver makes a bad lane change. Failing to take the time to ensure that a motorcyclist is not in the lane or approaching it can cause a serious accident.

Bad Weather Conditions

Drivers should adjust their driving for the weather. For example, if there is rain, the roads are slick. In that instance, drivers should slow down. Driving at the posted speed limit might constitute negligence if the weather makes that speed dangerous. Drivers cannot come to a stop and crash into a motorcyclist.

Car Doors

Not all accidents are life-threatening, but they can cause property damage. A driver carelessly opening their car door too close to a motorcycle can damage the motorcycle.

Sudden Stops

A sudden stop can seem innocent, but slamming on the brakes can lead to a serious accident. Stopping too quickly can leave the motorcyclist following a driver with significant damage to their vehicle and bodily injury. Drivers should drive carefully so that they can always come to a stop safely.

Blind Spot Collisions

A blind spot in traffic obstructs the driver’s vision in a specific road area. Blind spot accidents are one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. If a driver does not check their blind spot before making a lane change or at any point while driving, they might be liable for injuries the accident causes.

Drivers Failing to Look

Drivers must look for oncoming traffic before they move into traffic. A passenger vehicle driver must pay careful attention to where they are in traffic. Failing to look closely can mean that a driver does not see a motorcycle approaching and causes an accident.

Drivers Failing to Signal

Drivers Failing to Signal

Failing to use a traffic signal can mean an accident happens. Turn signals promote safety by indicating when a driver changes lanes or makes a turn. Indicator lights can help motorcyclists make safe choices while on the road. Making a quick lane change without a signal can cause a deadly accident when a motorcycle meets a vehicle.

Unsafe Turns

Making turns too wide or taking a turn at an increased speed can cause an accident. It is unsafe to make reckless turns because drivers cannot make quick stops when the situation calls for it or find themselves in a dangerous situation.

Dangerous Road Conditions

A city or other government entity might be responsible for causing an accident if there are dangerous road conditions. Suing one of these organizations can get complex quickly. An attorney can aid in understanding your rights and is beneficial if you get into an accident because a governmental entity made a mistake.

Left Turn Accidents

Obstructed views or inadequate checking of blind spots likely cause drivers to be involved in motorcycle left-turn accidents. Left turn accidents also lead to misjudgment of speed. Drivers might think they have more space to move while turning left.

Reduced Visibility

Because of their size difference, drivers tend to forget or fail to consider motorcycles as they travel on the state’s highways. Their smaller size makes motorcycles less visible than cars and other larger vehicles. In addition to not seeing the bikes, some drivers misjudge a motorcyclist’s distance from them and how fast the bike travels.

Motorcycle Accidents are Common

Motorcycle accidents happen every day across the United States.

Consider the following statistics according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Fourteen percent of all traffic crashes across the country involve a motorcyclist. 
  • Nationwide, 5,932 motorcyclists lost their lives. 
  • The national number of fatal motorcycle accidents increased by eight percent. 
Common Motorcycle Accidents

These accidents can be scary, and the aftermath can often be overwhelming. Many motorcyclists deal with life-changing injuries, medical treatment, missed work, pain, physical limitations, and much more. The stress of adding a legal claim can seem overwhelming.

Fortunately an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in your area is ready to help. They can protect your rights after a motorcycle accident so you get everything you deserve and can remain focused on your physical recovery.

Take action today by scheduling a free case evaluation with a motorcycle accident attorney. Know you are not alone when seeking compensation for your losses.

What Makes Motorcycles More Vulnerable to Serious Accidents? 

Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to serious property damage and severe bodily injury than other vehicles. Motorcycle accidents are more dangerous than crashes with typical passenger vehicles because of the lack of safety features.

For example, motorcycles do not have seatbelts or airbags like cars. The lack of structure and protection exposes motorcyclists to serious injuries and fatalities.

Reduced stability causes traffic accidents with motorcyclists. Because motorcycles only have two wheels, they are far less stable than four-wheeled cars. Having only two wheels can pose severe hazards, including an inability to appropriately respond to inclement weather.

Exposure to the elements also makes motorcycle accidents more dangerous than other crashes. Motorcyclists have protective gear and clothing that they can wear to help keep them safe.

Despite having clothing and gear, it does not always protect a rider from exposure to the elements. Exposure and contact with the road can cause road rash, one of the most common injuries in motorcycle accidents.

How Long Do I Have To Sue After A Motorcycle Accident? 

If negotiations do not settle your case, you will proceed to trial to resolve it. Injured motorcyclists do not have an unlimited amount of time to sue for damages. Every injury victim must comply with the statute of limitations.

After A Motorcycle Accident

The statute of limitations is a deadline to file a lawsuit for damages after an accident. A motorcycle accident victim must start an action for damages within the statute of limitations for their state. This deadline varies from state to state, but the most common time frame is two years from the date of the accident and injury. 

Time is of the essence after a motorcycle crash. Contact an attorney immediately after an accident to protect your rights after a motorcycle crash.

How Can A Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help Me? 

If you have a legal claim, you need an attorney to help guide you to get the best result. An experienced attorney can support you in various ways. If you have a legal claim, you need an attorney to guide you to get the best result.

A knowledgeable attorney increases the likelihood of a successful outcome and helps you navigate the complexities of the legal process with confidence. Some of the most important ways an attorney can help an injury victim include the following.

Settlement Negotiations

Most cases get resolved during the settlement negotiation phase. Negotiating with an insurance adjuster can be difficult. The insurance company wants to protect its bottom line, which means not paying injured people like you the claims they deserve.

Having an attorney will reduce the likelihood that the insurance company will avoid paying your claim.



The investigation stage of your case is a vital part of getting a successful outcome. After a crash, many accident victims may be unsure about the types of evidence to gather. After a crash, many accident victims may be unsure about the types of evidence to gather.

Your attorney will guide you in understanding what to look for as you seek compensation.

An attorney can help collect witness statements, pictures of your injuries and property damage, medical records and bills, and other relevant evidence to help build your case.

Trial Preparation

Preparing properly for the trial is critical to your case. You will find yourself in a courtroom if your case does not settle. Being prepared is the key to achieving a favorable outcome at trial.

Your attorney will advocate for you in presenting your story to a judge or jury in a compelling way to secure the compensation you deserve for your losses.

Represent You At Trial

Going to trial can feel overwhelming and cause some fear, especially if you have not been inside a courtroom or involved in a case before. You do not need to worry about what to say or do.

An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can guide you in overcoming any challenges that might arise during trial. If you choose to testify about your case, your attorney will help you survive the defense team’s cross-examination.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Athens
Thomas W. McCutcheon Jr. | Joel R. Hamner, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Athens

Contact A Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

Getting your life back after a motorcycle crash can be a long road with various challenges. Finding the right legal team is the best first step after an accident to get you the recovery you are entitled to under the law.

There is no need to delay. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident, call an experienced attorney for your initial consultation. 

These meetings are free, so you have nothing to lose by learning about your legal options. You also pay no legal fees unless your motorcycle accident lawyer successfully obtains compensation for you.

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