Motorcycles are the preferred or primary source of transportation for many people. They are a fuel-efficient way to get from one place to another, parking is easy, and they are just simply a fun way to get around. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders are more vulnerable to injury-involved accidents than automobile drivers because there is nothing between the rider and the other vehicles. Regardless of how careful you are while riding, you are still at risk of a collision with larger vehicles. In the majority of motorcycle accidents involving other vehicles, the driver of the vehicle is at fault, not the motorcycle ride. In fact, statistics have shown that in more than half of all motorcycle and automobile involved accidents, the motorcycle rider was doing everything they were supposed to in order to stay safe. Research has also shown that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a collision than those in enclosed vehicles. Here are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Texas.
Lane splitting means riding between two lanes and in the majority of states, it is illegal. However, even if it were legal, it’s something motorcyclists shouldn’t do. Although the motorcycle is small and fairly easy to maneuver in and out of traffic, it can be extremely dangerous; all it takes is for one vehicle to shift slightly and the motorcycle rider is at risk of getting hit. Motorcycle accidents as a result of lane splitting generally happen because automobile drivers do not signal or look before turning, automobile drivers do not pay close enough attention to what’s going on around them, especially from behind and motorcyclists don’t have much room to maneuver when there are several automobiles in the vicinity. If you tend to lane split, as a motorcyclist it’s important that you be ready to react, slow down and be watchful.
The most dangerous situation for motorcyclists happens when automobiles are making a left-hand turn. Automobile drivers tend to make errors in judgment when they are turning left. For instance, they may falsely believe that they have the right-of-way or misjudge the distance of oncoming vehicles. Motorcycles are smaller than automobiles, so it makes them less visible to left-turning vehicles, which can lead to injuries and fatalities. In the majority of these types of accidents, the driver of the automobile is generally at fault for the accident, unless the motorcyclist was speeding or in the wrong lane.
Motorcyclists are at a greater risk for dangerous road hazards than other vehicles. Due to the less stable nature and smaller size of motorcycles, slick roads, uneven heights between lanes, potholes, debris in the road and dead animals pose a significantly serious safety hazard to motorcyclists. Road hazards become even more dangerous when riders have to make sudden maneuvers, such as avoiding a dead animal and when there is traffic, the situation puts the motorcyclists at risk of fatal injuries.
In more than half of automobile and motorcycle-related accidents, the automobile strikes the motorcycle from the front. Thankfully, head-on collisions aren’t as common as other types of motorcycle-involved accidents; unfortunately, the majority of head-on collisions between a motorcycle and an automobile are fatal to the motorcyclist. The risk of serious injury and death are much higher in this type of motorcycle accident because the crash often results in the rider being ejected, riders frequently collide with the automobile after they are thrown from the bike and the riders are often thrown into oncoming traffic. Head-on collisions are generally magnified when the vehicles involved are traveling at a high rate of speed.
Driving Under the Influence
Whether it is automobile vs automobile or automobile vs motorcycle accidents, driving under the influence is a common cause of accidents. Single accidents involving only the motorcyclist can lead to extremely serious injuries, even fatalities. It is critical for motorcycle riders to never go for a ride on their motorcycle after drinking or doing illegal drugs. It is equally important for automobile drivers to never operate a motor vehicle while under the influence. Although driving under the influence accidents can occur at any time, it is especially important for motorcyclists to be extra aware of their surroundings at a time when there is a greater risk of encountering a driver under the influence, such as typical closing times for clubs and bars or during special events where alcohol may be served.
Because many of the common types of motorcycle-involved accidents in Texas are caused by other drivers, it’s often impossible to avoid them. Although some motorcycle injuries are minor and may simply be addressed with a basic insurance claim, many motorcycle accidents may result in serious injuries, including spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, and even fatalities. Motorcycle injuries can be life-changing, requiring a lifetime of medical treatments. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident it is important that you contact a personal injury attorney experienced in motorcycle accidents as soon as possible following the accident to learn more information about compensation for your injuries.