However, with so many motorcycles on the road all through the year, this also means the chances of an accident are greater. While it's often not the motorcyclist's fault, certain situations are more likely to cause accidents. Here are the most common.
Drivers Taking Left Turns
This is the single most common cause of motorcyclist accidents, cyclist accidents, pedestrian accidents, and collisions with other cars and trucks. Taking a left turn at an intersection is a "moment of opportunity" that requires drivers to act fast if they want to wait further to make a turn. This need for a snap decision often causes drivers to take the turn before realizing that the way is not clear and that others who have the right of way are on the road.
Legally, anyone crossing the street or traveling down the road in a straight line has the right of way over a person taking a left turn. This means that a collision with anyone taking a left turn is typically the fault of the person taking the turn due to carelessness or impulsiveness.
This is one of the occasions where the motorcyclist is clearly at fault. Lane splitting is the motorcyclist's practice of taking advantage of the vehicle's smaller size. Rather than staying behind another vehicle in a traffic jam or other situation, motorcyclists are small enough that they can squeeze between lanes, passing other cars that are too big to take advantage of these smaller gaps. This is not only illegal but puts motorcyclists in a vulnerable situation with moving vehicles.
As with cars, speeding is a not uncommon traffic violation among motorcyclists. However, when drivers in a car get into an accident or lose control while speeding, they have seat belts, roll cages, and airbags to protect them. Unfortunately, motorcyclists don't enjoy these same protections. Thus injuries are not only more likely, but they are also more severe. The most significant cause of accidents here is that higher speeds equate to less time to react safely should the unexpected occur, such as a jaywalker crossing the street.
Drivers are legally required to check their blind spots when they change lanes. However, the smaller size of a motorcycle can sometimes mean a driver fails to notice a motorcyclist legally occupying the lane. Even though the motorcyclist has the right of way, a driver who doesn't realize that motorcyclist is there can cause an injury by accidentally—but illegally—changing lanes and impacting the motorcyclist.
If you are a motorcyclist that has been in a traffic accident and suffered injuries due to the negligence of the other driver, you're probably entitled to financial compensation. Talk to a motorcycle accident attorney and get more information on how you can get compensated for your injuries.