Causes of Motorcycle Accidents: Dangers on the Road

Personal Injury

Aftermath of a motorcycle accidentAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were an estimated 88,000 motorcyclists injured in the United States during 2015; 4,976 motorcyclists were killed in traffic collisions. The Indiana Officer’s Standard Crash Report records 3,216 motorcycle collisions in the state of Indiana in 2016, resulting in 2,058 injuries and 101 fatalities.

Motorcycle accidents are no laughing matter, which is why our Indianapolis, IN attorneys take these kinds of cases so seriously. We’d like to take this opportunity to consider the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.


Exceeding the speed limit is a leading cause of collisions among all vehicles, though it’s particularly prevalent among motorcyclists. According to NHTSA statistics, 33 percent of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal collisions were speeding at the time of their accident. By comparison, speeding was linked to 19 percent of fatal passenger car crashes, 15 percent of fatal light-truck collisions, and 7 percent of fatal large truck accidents.

Reckless Driving

Related to speeding in some ways, reckless driving while on the road is another major factor that contributes to catastrophic collisions. This may include weaving in and out of lanes, tailgating, erratic behavior, failure to signal, lane splitting, and other behaviors that could be considered dangerous.

Motorcyclist Inexperience

Operating a motorcycle takes great concentration and a familiarity with your bike and the road. While many fatalities occur among older motorcyclists, there is a danger for inexperienced motorcyclists as well. New motorcyclists may take more risks, or may not know what to do in a dangerous situation just given their relative lack of road time.

Drunk Driving

Driving while drunk is never advisable. Looking at NHTSA statistics, 27 percent of motorcyclists in fatal crashes had alcohol in their systems at the time of their collision. Rather than risk your life and the lives of others, be sure to avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol. Take a cab or stay with a friend until you are sober.

Inattentive Drivers

Driver inattention is more common these days since there are so many distractions present. The biggest danger is the use of cell phones while behind the wheel; texting and driving or taking calls while driving can lead to lapses of attention that make collisions with motorcyclists and others more likely.

Caught in a Blind Spot

Motorcyclists must make sure they are seen by other motorists. There is a risk of getting caught in a driver’s blind spot. When a driver cannot see someone in their mirrors, there is a greater risk of sideswipe collisions, which are very common when collisions involve motorcyclists.

Vehicle Defects

Problems with a motorcycle or the parts of a motorcycle can make accidents and dangerous driving situations more likely. Be sure to get your motorcycle regularly serviced, and to pay attention to possible recall alerts about motorcycle parts. In these instances, the maker of the motorcycle or the defective parts may be legally liable for a collision.

Poor Weather

Bad weather makes safe driving more difficult. Always check the weather before traveling to account for problems with rain, snow, high winds, and fog. When operating a motorcycle in poor weather, be slow and extra cautious.

Bad Road Conditions

Bad road conditions covers everything from debris on the road to poor road design and malfunctioning traffic signals. In many cases, even the safest motorcyclists can be injured in accidents caused by bad road conditions.

Contact Our Team of Injury Accident Lawyers

If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s important that you contact the injury accident attorneys of Golitko & Daly. Our law firm is here to help determine your best course of legal action after suffering an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence.