Motorcycle Accidents – Minimizing Risks

by | Apr 26, 2017 | Vehicle Accidents

Motorcycle Accidents – Minimizing Risks

Motorcycle crashes happen anywhere, for many reasons, but you’re most vulnerable at an intersection, where drivers are making left turns and don’t see you. Errors by other drivers are often to blame, but paying attention, riding safely, and wearing riding gear can lower your risk and liability.

Greatest Danger Zones for Motorcycle Personal Injuries

It’s hard to identify a single location where motorcyclists are most vulnerable, although accidents often occur where cars are making left turns. Even if the driver sees the motorcycle approaching, they may miscalculate its speed and distance. Once the car is into the turn, the bike is moving into the danger zone and a collision occurs. The question turns to where riders are most likely to experience a crash and file a personal injury lawsuit as a result. Car and motorcycle collisions can happen anywhere on any road, but are more likely when a car or truck driver is not looking for the rider, the motorcyclist blends in with the background, or the biker is not wearing high-visibility clothing.

Alcohol and failing to pay attention are among the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. According to a CBC News report in 2014, 50 of 175 accident victims tracked from 2008 to 2014 were driving properly. The obvious hazards such as wet roads play a factor but are not the leading cause of motorcycle accidents. According to the CBC News, 158 of the 175 motorcycle deaths in those years occurred on dry roads.

The age of the motorcyclist factors in differently than what public myth would lead one to believe. Only a small number of riders involved in fatal crashes were under 25 in the time frame studied. The highest rate of fatalities went to the 45-54 age group, and the second highest to the 55-64-year-old group; together these demographics accounted for nearly half of all incidents during that time frame.

Motorcyclists are often not at fault when there is a collision. The Ontario Provincial Police said that in 2015, more than half of the motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions were not violating any safety measures. The OPP reported a record number of safe motorcycle drivers getting into fatal crashes that year. Loss of control, speed, failing to yield, and driver inattention are among the top causes.

Ride Safely and Limit the Risk for Personal Injury Claims

Regardless of their location, motorcycle riders need to be safety-conscious. The Hurt Report (summarized here), a study of motorcycle accidents and their causes, found that half of all people involved had not been riding a motorcycle for more than five months. Inexperience is often a factor, but the Report also cited intersections as the most vulnerable spots for motorcyclists. Other vehicles violating traffic rules or the biker’s right-of-way tend to be to blame. The findings also revealed accidents most often occur during a short trip from an origin point, and the motorcyclist often has under two seconds to act and avoid a collision.

Alcohol, speed, errors by other drivers, and road imperfections such as potholes play a role in the incidence of motorcycle accidents. The risk of personal injury can be avoided by wearing a helmet and protective jackets and pants. Motorcycle training is mandatory in Ontario; the Canada Safety Council has said proper safety training can prevent approximately 46 percent of accident fatalities.

A Motorcycle Personal Injury Lawyer May Be Your Greatest Asset

The Hamilton personal injury lawyers at Mackesy Smye know it’s not always the motorcyclist’s fault when an accident happens. If another driver was to blame, you can count on our law firm to represent you. Call today and a personal injury lawyer will review your case, and advise you of your legal options.


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