Top 10 Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Motorcycle riding offers an undeniable sense of freedom and adventure, but it also comes with significant risks. Motorcyclists in Nevada are particularly vulnerable on the road due to their lack of protection compared to car occupants. Understanding the top causes of motorcycle accidents can help riders take proactive safety measures. Let’s outline these causes in detail and provide effective tips on how to stay safe on the road.

1. Lack of Visibility

One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is the failure of other drivers to see motorcyclists. Due to their smaller size, motorcycles can easily be hidden in blind spots or overlooked in heavy traffic.

How to Avoid: Wear bright and reflective gear to help drivers see you better. Use your headlights (even during the day) and ride in a lane position that makes you more visible to cars ahead and behind you. 

2. Left-Turn Accidents

Accidents often occur when a vehicle makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. This can happen because the driver either misjudges the motorcycle’s speed or fails to see it altogether.

How to Avoid:  Be alert and slow down at intersections. It’s also best to stay in the right lane where you’re less likely to be in the path of turning vehicles. Don’t be afraid to flash your headlights or honk your horn if you suspect a car might turn in front of you.

3. Speeding

Speeding is a major factor in many motorcycle accidents. High speeds reduce reaction time and make it more difficult to navigate obstacles or sudden changes in traffic conditions.

How to Avoid:  Always adhere to posted speed limits and adjust your speed based on road conditions. Ensure you have enough time and space between you and the other vehicles on the road to react to potential hazards.

4. Alcohol and Drug Use

Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction times, leading to a higher risk of accidents.

How to Avoid:  If you’ve been drinking or using drugs, be responsible and make alternative transportation arrangements such as a taxi or rideshare service. Additionally, if you know that drinking is part of the plan, appoint a sober friend to drive you home. 

5. Road Hazards

Motorcycles are more susceptible to road hazards like potholes, gravel, wet surfaces, and debris than cars. These hazards can cause riders to lose control and crash.

How to Avoid:  Constantly scan the road ahead for potential hazards and reduce your speed when riding on unfamiliar or poor-quality roads. When possible, plan to use routes you know are well-maintained.

6. Lane Splitting

Lane splitting, or riding between lanes of slow-moving or standstill traffic, is dangerous due to the proximity of vehicles and the unpredictability of drivers.

How to Avoid:  Know whether or not lane splitting is legal in your state before attempting it. If you do decide to attempt it, proceed with extreme caution and be prepared for other vehicles to make sudden movements. 

7. Inexperience

Inexperienced riders are more likely to be involved in accidents due to a lack of skills and knowledge about how to properly handle various riding conditions.

How to Avoid:  Enroll in a motorcycle safety course to improve your riding skills and learn defensive driving techniques. Practice driving your motorcycle in a safe, low-traffic setting before venturing onto busy roads. Don’t ride in challenging conditions until you are more experienced.

8. Mechanical Failures

Mechanical issues such as brake failures, tire blowouts, or engine problems can lead to accidents and significant injuries.

How to Avoid:  Perform routine maintenance checks and follow the manufacturer’s service schedule. Inspect your motorcycle before riding, including brakes, lights, and tire pressure. Address any mechanical issues promptly.

9. Inclement Weather

Weather conditions play a crucial role in motorcycle safety. The risk of getting into a motorcycle accident is much greater when rain, fog, snow, ice, wind, extreme heat, and cold temperatures are present. 

How to Avoid:  Adjusting your riding style, using appropriate gear, and maintaining your motorcycle to stay safe in adverse weather. Sometimes the best decision is to avoid riding altogether if the conditions are too hazardous.

10. Distracted Drivers

Distracted driving is one of the top reasons motorcycle accidents occur. Drivers who are not focused pose a significant threat to motorcyclists.

How to Avoid:  Stay visible, practice defensive riding techniques, and advocate for safer roads.  Avoid distractions yourself and remain alert to the behavior of other drivers.

The Right Personal Injury Attorney For When Things Go Wrong

Motorcycle accidents can often be prevented with a better understanding of their common causes and by taking the proper steps to mitigate risks. By following these tips, you can significantly reduce your chances of being involved in a motorcycle crash. Safety should always be your top priority when riding. 

For those instances when an accident is unavoidable, you need a top Nevada injury attorney to represent you. Lloyd Baker Injury Attorneys has you covered. With offices located in both Las Vegas and Phoenix, we are qualified to help clients who are residents of or were injured in the states of Nevada and Arizona receive fair compensation. 

Call our Las Vegas office at 702-444-2222 or our Phoenix office at 602-265-5555 to schedule your FREE case consultation today.