3 Main Causes of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents


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Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation these days in light of the high price of gas and overly congested roads. But while motorcycles are certainly convenient and cost-efficient, it isn’t exactly the safest motor vehicle.

Unlike sedans or SUVs, motorcycles do not provide the protection of an enclosed vehicle. Further, they are less stable and less visible than cars, so the risk of death or serious injury is higher in motorcycles than other motor vehicles. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), fatal motorcycle accidents are 37 times higher than that of car crashes.

Aside from its build, there are also other factors that contribute to fatal motorcycle accidents and some of these are the following:

Excessive Speeding

Motorcycles have high performance capabilities thus, most of its riders are prone to speed, accelerate quickly, or engage in lane-splitting. Speeding is a major factor in all motor vehicle accidents but excessive speed in motorcycles can be downright fatal. Speeding often causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle or render him unable to avoid an obstruction that can lead to a crash. As motorcyclists do not have the benefit of seatbelts or airbags, they can get easily thrown from the vehicle if the motorcycle skids or crashes against an object while speeding. According to the IIHS, as much as 46 percent of the 2,169 motorcycle drivers who were killed in single-vehicle crashes were speeding in 2008.

Driving Under the Influence

Statistics show that alcohol figures heavily in single vehicle motorcycle accidents – it was revealed that 58 percent of motorcycle drivers killed at night were legally drunk and had BACs at or above 0.08 percent limit. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is especially fatal in motorcycles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that even a blood alcohol content as low as 0.05 percent can already significantly decrease the riders' reaction times and increase the likelihood of lane departure which can lead to a collision or off-road accidents.

Failure to Wear Helmets

As motorcycles lack the protection of walls, a seatbelt, or even airbags, often the only thing standing between a rider and sure death is a motorcycle helmet. Serious head injury is the leading cause of death for motorcyclists so helmet use is important. The use of helmets while riding a motorcycle can prevent brain injuries by as much as 67 percent.

Most fatal motorcycle accidents are single vehicle crashes and can be attributed to driver error/behavior such as speeding and DUI or the rider’s failure to wear a helmet. However, in the event that a loved one is injured or taken from you in a fatal motorcycle accident due to the fault or negligence of another, you may file a complaint for personal injury or wrongful death. Motorcycles can be dangerous but sometimes, the people on the road are the greatest road hazard.

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