Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them

By David Hammond

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, motorcycle accidents killed 6,218 riders in a recent year. Many of these accidents result from the actions of negligent drivers, and motorcyclists’ unique vulnerability in accidents often makes the results catastrophic. Here are some tips to help you avoid a crash and ensure you’re protected if one occurs.

Distracted Driving 

Distracted drivers are one of the biggest dangers for motorcyclists. When drivers are more focused on their phones, food, or other distractions than on the act of driving, they put everyone on the road at risk. This is especially true for motorcyclists, who are smaller, easier to overlook, and far less protected than those in passenger vehicles.

Always be alert and aware of your surroundings to protect yourself from distracted drivers. Keep an eye out for drivers who seem to be looking down or not paying attention to the road. If you see someone driving erratically or drifting between lanes, give them plenty of space and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.

Speeding & Reckless Driving 

Speeding and reckless driving are two more significant contributors to motorcycle accidents. When drivers are going too fast or weaving in and out of traffic, they have less time to react to unexpected hazards on the road. This can be extremely dangerous for motorcyclists, who are more vulnerable in crashes.

To stay safe, it’s important to always obey posted speed limits and ride defensively. Avoid tailgating or trying to squeeze between cars in traffic. Instead, give yourself ample space to maneuver and be prepared to brake or swerve if needed.

Left-Turn Accidents 

Left-turn accidents are among the most common types of motorcycle crash. These accidents happen when a car or truck makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle, either because the driver didn’t see the bike or misjudged its speed and distance. 

To avoid left-turn accidents, it’s essential to always be extra cautious when approaching intersections. It’s also a good idea to wear bright, reflective gear and always keep your headlight on to make yourself as visible as possible.

Inadequate Protective Gear 

Wearing the right protective gear is one of the most important things you can do to stay safe on a motorcycle. A DOT-approved helmet is an absolute must, as it can dramatically reduce your risk of a severe head injury in a crash. Jackets, pants, gloves, and boots designed specifically for motorcycling can also help protect you from road rash, broken bones, and other injuries. Always wear protective gear, even if you’re going on a short ride around town.

Lack of Visibility

Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles on the road, making them harder for drivers to see. This is especially true at night, in bad weather, or when a bike is in a driver’s blind spot. 

To make yourself more visible, always wear bright, reflective gear and keep your headlight on. You can also use reflective tape or decals on your bike to make it more noticeable. Stay out of the driver’s blind spots and be extra cautious when passing or merging into traffic.

Contact a Syracuse & Central New York Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today

Motorcycle accidents are a serious problem, but there are steps you can take to mitigate your risk and stay safe on the road. By understanding the most common causes of motorcycle accidents and taking proactive steps to avoid them, you can help protect yourself and others. Always wear protective gear, stay alert and visible, and ride defensively.

If you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident in Syracuse, NY, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC. We have years of experience fighting for the rights of motorcycle accident victims and their families, and we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.