There are often multiple factors that go into motor vehicle accidents and motorcycles are no exception. However, some factors are more common in motorcycle accidents, which may entitle victims of serious injury to seek compensation through legal action.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Aggressive driving
- Drug and alcohol use
- Failure to follow the rules of the road
- Inclement weather
These factors can impact the safety of motorcyclists along with the drivers of larger vehicles, but most often pose the largest threat to the former.
Cars and Trucks
Cars, trucks, SUVs, and other passenger vehicles are much larger and heavier than motorcycles. Accidents involving a motorcycle and a larger vehicle are often fatal. Motorcyclists are 35x more likely to suffer a fatal injury in an accident. This risk is increased by 40% when a helmet is not in use.
Accidents between a motorcycle and a larger vehicle are the most deadly for motorcyclists. They are also most often caused by the larger vehicle. In fact, more than 40% of these accidents occur when a larger vehicle makes a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle, effectively cutting it off.
Many drivers claim they could not see the motorcycle they cut off. This makes visibility a top priority for riders. Having a daytime running headlamp and making sure all signals and lights are in working order can help to prevent these accidents, though visibility alone cannot prevent injury.
Motorcycle helmets are not required in Missouri or Illinois, but failure to wear one is folly. Studies have found that helmet use reduces the risk of serious or fatal injury by nearly 70%. When used with other safety gear, such as leathers, boots, and gloves, helmets can help to prevent the worst of injuries during both single and multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Both motorcyclists and the drivers of larger vehicles can benefit from slowing down, paying attention, and working to prevent accidents.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident, please call Brown & Brown at 314-333-3333 or 618-888-8888 to schedule a free consultation at our St. Louis or Illinois office right away.