Motorcycle accidents are particularly dangerous because, unlike occupants in enclosed vehicles, motorcyclists have nothing to shield them from the full impact of a crash. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), these accidents claim thousands of lives year after year across the country. Survivors are often left with catastrophic injuries and unable to work.
At Kreger Brodish, LLP, we are dedicated to helping injury victims throughout North Carolina secure the full and fair compensation they deserve after being injured in accidents they did not cause. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident at little to no fault of your own, our legal team is ready to evaluate your case and make sure you understand your full legal rights and options.
Negligent or reckless driving is a leading cause of auto accidents across the country, including those involving motorcycles. These accidents are entirely preventable by simply driving more carefully. Common forms of driver error that can lead to motorcycle accidents include:
- Speeding – This is easily one of the top causes of accidents in the United States. Of course, we all know that speeding is illegal. Sadly, many drivers continue to engage in this irresponsible behavior.
- Failure to yield – Failure to yield the right-of-way is another all-too-frequent cause of motorcycle accidents. Drivers who fail to check for other vehicles before going through an intersection or merging into an adjacent lane can collide with a motorcyclist and cause a serious accident.
- Tailgating – Drivers who follow too closely behind a motorcyclist may not give themselves enough time to break. In the event of a sudden stop, even a slight tap by a front bumper can cause a motorcyclist to lose control of their vehicle.
Other Human Factors
In addition to external driving errors, the mental state and aptitude of an at-fault driver at the time of an accident may go a long way in explaining its underlying cause. Consider the following:
- Inexperience – In general, the more experience one has driving, the better they will perform on the road. The opposite is often true as well. Young or otherwise inexperienced drivers are more likely to make mistakes and take risks. In turn, this may lead to a higher likelihood of being involved in an accident.
- Impairment – Drugs and alcohol alter judgment and perception. Among other things, reaction times may be slowed or willingness to take risks may increase depending on the substance consumed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 23 percent of passenger car drivers and 27 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents were under the influence of alcohol at the time they crashed.
- Distraction – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “nine people in the United States are killed every day in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.” Incredibly, a driver going 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field in the time it takes to read a text message. In that distance, anything can happen, including an accident while the driver is looking away from the road.
- Fatigue – Driving long hours can be exhausting, and the consequences of driving without taking breaks can be deadly. Drowsy or fatigued drivers may react more slowly or fail to notice potential hazards on the road.
Environmental factors can also play a significant role in motorcycle accidents. Generally speaking, they can be broken down into three categories:
- Weather conditions – Adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow, ice, fog, or highspeed wind, can make it more difficult for riders to see ahead of them or maintain control of their vehicle.
- Road conditions – Things like potholes and loose gravel can also make it difficult for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles. Debris and stray equipment (e.g., traffic cones and roadwork equipment) can present similar hazards.
- Traffic conditions – Heavy traffic also increases the likelihood of a collision. This may be especially true for motorcyclists because they are more likely to be squeezed in when there is heavy traffic. Some motorcyclists may attempt to “lane split” or “lane filter” when they encounter dense traffic. This behavior can also increase the likelihood of an accident.
Sometimes accidents have nothing to do with error, mental state, or environmental conditions. Instead, they are caused by issues with the vehicles involved, including:
- Vehicle Size – According to the NHTSA, 41 percent of all motorcycle crashes are due to drivers failing to spot a nearby motorcyclist. Because of their relatively small size, motorcycles are easier to overlook in traffic. For example, motorcyclists should try to stay out of blind spots, especially when driving near large vehicles whose blind spots tend to be much wider.
- Vehicle maintenance – Poor maintenance can also lead to accidents. For example, failure to install fresh tires once old ones wear out can cause a motorcyclist to lose traction more easily on a wet road. Similarly, failure to keep brakes well maintained may cause an accident in the event the driver needs to make a quick stop.
- Mechanical failure – In some cases, an inherent design or manufacturing defect in a vehicle or equipment can also give rise to an accident. In these cases, injury victims may have a viable products liability
Have Your Case Evaluated by An Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Motorcycle accidents are often among the most catastrophic we see as personal injury attorneys. Because motorcyclists have little to no protection from the full force of an auto accident, they face a higher risk of severe injuries and death.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident at little to no fault of your own, it is wise to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer sooner than later. This is the best way to ensure that you get started on the right foot down the road toward compensation from the at-fault party.
The legal team at Kreger Brodish, LLP, proudly fights for the rights of injury victims throughout North Carolina. We are ready to evaluate your case and handle it from start to finish. Call (888) 820-5885 or visit our website today to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer.