Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

Many people associate motorcycles with freedom and joy, not danger. As a result, many people assume that motorcycles are low-risk driving platforms. In truth, the risks posed by riding a motorcycle are quite high.

Motorcycle riders are at a higher risk of being involved in a crash than car drivers. This is because riding a motorcycle involves so many activities occurring simultaneously. Riding involves negotiating with other drivers, pedestrians, and traffic while checking for potential dangers on the road ahead.

In addition to these challenges, motorcycles require a much higher level of focus as they have to be operated at peak performance. A compromised focus can lead to motorcyclists making poor decisions when operating their vehicles, which may ultimately result in a fatal motorcycle accident.

Chicago motorcycle accidents are often caused by a combination of factors, such as driver error or external factors such as road design or weather conditions. Knowing these triggers is, therefore, very important if you want to avoid a motorcycle crash.

This article lists some common causes of motorcycle crashes that drivers & riders should be aware of.

Negligent Operation on the Part of the Rider

Motorcycle riders must take extreme care when operating their bikes. The bike’s positioning, the clothing worn by the rider, and the environment in which the rider operates the bike all contribute to the rider’s safety.

If the rider is careless or negligent, this can increase the risk of an accident.

Examples of negligent riding include failing to wear appropriate protective clothing, failing to follow traffic regulations, and operating the bike at unsafe speeds or without a proper license. If you cause an accident while riding negligently, you may be financially liable to the motorcycle accident victims for damages such as medical bills & lost wages. And if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s negligence, you must speak to a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney immediately.

That said, by equipping your motorcycle with the best protective gear, choosing the right type of motorcycle for your needs, and taking the time to learn how to ride, you can greatly reduce the risk of accidents.

Driver Distraction

When a motorcycle rider is focused on their phone or other distractions, they are less likely to be able to perceive and react to the changing conditions around them. This can lead to dangerous situations, such as knocking people down or running off the road, leading to serious injury or even fatal motorcycle accidents.

Common instances where riders may become distracted include waiting at stop lights, changing gears, looking at their phone, or listening to music.

Riding While Intoxicated

Riding while intoxicated is a common cause of many motorcycle accidents and can have serious consequences, including injury or death. The rider’s reaction time, judgment, and ability to control the bike all become compromised. As a result, the rider may swerve into oncoming traffic, drive off the road, or collide with other obstacles.

If you choose to drink on your motorcycle, do so responsibly and don’t put other people at risk. Even if you’re not intoxicated yourself, riding with a passenger who is intoxicated can put anyone riding with them at risk, not just yourself.

Driving in Bad Weather or at Night

Rain, snow, fog, or other weather conditions that make it difficult to see clearly or drive safely are among the top causes of motorcycle accidents.

Heavy rain, for example, can throw off your vision and impair your ability to drive safely. It will make the road surface slippery, making it easier for the bike to lose traction and skid. This is particularly dangerous in low-speed collisions, as the rider may lose control of the bike in a high-impact collision.

Driving at night is also dangerous, regardless of the conditions. It’s especially dangerous in the rain, making following traffic laws and seeing clearly impossible for most drivers.

If the weather makes driving dangerous or unbearable, you may want to consider other options, such as taking a taxi or public transportation.

Poor Road Conditions

A debilitated road can increase the likelihood of a motorcycle collision significantly. For instance, a road riddled with potholes, crevices, or other uneven surfaces, may cause the bike to unexpectedly veer off the road and crash into something or someone.

If you see signs of poor road conditions in a particular area, such as potholes, a lack of pavement markings, or a poor shoulder, avoid using that road.

Not Following Traffic Laws

One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is not following traffic laws.

Drivers and riders alike need to be aware of the rules of the road. This includes following all red lights and stop signs, as well as staying out of the restricted areas (e.g., No Passing Zones).

If you commit a traffic violation while on a motorcycle, you have a much higher chance of causing an accident and may be open to personal and financial liability.

Lack of Maintainance and Repair

Maintenance and repair are important functions of any serious biker. Your motorcycle should stay in good shape with regular preventive maintenance and minor repairs.

If you neglect to take care of your machine, you increase your risk of causing an accident. A lack of maintenance can lead to several issues that will leave the bike in terrible enough shape and unfit to ride safely.


Contact Michael J. Brennan’s Law Firm to Help You With Your Motorcycle Accident Claim

Riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating and terrifying at the same time, especially if you’re not quite used to it. You are exposed to many dangers that can make you lose control and even result in an accident.

However, if all motorcyclists wear helmets, check traffic laws, and stay alert at all times, as highlighted above, most of these accidents and serious injuries can be avoided.

In the event that you do find yourself in a motorcycle accident and need to file a personal injury claim, you should contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney like Michael J. Brennan.

We can help you determine your rights and legal options to get fair compensation for your losses and medical expenses.

Call us at 708-460-9300 for a free case evaluation from a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer today.

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