Top 5 Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists have been dubbed the “thrill seekers” of the road. They are the men and women who can take on the road with two wheels and leave their worries behind them. While we want motorcyclists to feel this way, a bike itself is inherently dangerous. Think about it, there’s no steal (or cage) around the rider. There’s no seat belt. Motorcycles are less visible. All of these factors can make for a very dangerous and deadly situation.
Don’t get us wrong – we support the motorcycle community, but we are also advocates of motorcycle safety. Therefore, it is important to know, understand and try to prevent some of the top causes of motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle accidents caused by weather
With almost 8.5 million riders out on the road, the level of risk is extremely high. So when you first set out on any ride, it’s important to check the weather. No, we’re not saying that you should be a meteorologist, but the weather is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. Take note that a motorcycle is not friends with rain, sleet or ice. If you are out riding and precipitation starts, pull off the road and wait for inclement weather to pass. If you do decide to get back onto a wet road, take your time and slow down!
Age of a motorcycle rider
The second leading factor is age. Please don’t be offended, but it has been recently found that the older population riding motorcyclists are more at risk of an accident. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 56% of riders killed in motorcycle accidents were age 40 or older. The study also found that someone 42 years old is the average age for individuals killed in motorcycle accidents.
Traffic causes motorcycle accidents
Traffic comes in at a halting third! This shouldn’t be surprising as a motorcycle can suffer catastrophic damage when hit by a car, truck or semi-truck. A 2012 statistic found that rush hour traffic is the worst time for motorcyclists to be riding. This time accounts for 23% of all motorcycle accidents and 25% of all injuries.
Speed is a factor in motorcycle accidents
Slow down!! Motorcyclists and speed don’t mix. This may be where the term “thrill seeker” comes from, but to us it screams DEADLY! In 2012, 34% of motorcycle fatalities were due to speeding.
Reckless riders and motorcycle accidents
Reckless riding and alcohol seem to go hand-in-hand for riders. Unfortunately, this combination is nothing but trouble. According to the NHTSA, 27% of riders involved in fatal accidents had a BAC of over 0.08 while operating their bike. This is the highest rate of intoxication from all other motorists on the road. The reckless driving portion is drinking and operating a motorcycle and/or reaching speeds of 100 mph or more.
Motorcycle accidents because of inexperience
Lastly, if you are not properly licensed or experienced, you can surely bet that an accident is in your future. The number of riders who are not properly licensed and inexperienced is alarming; accounting for nearly one-quarter of all motorcyclists involved in accidents.
These causes are real. They are frightening. But most of all, they are preventable if you ride responsibly. At Kaine Law, we are proud supporters of the motorcycle community, but we want you and your passengers to remain safe on our Georgia roads.