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How Car & Truck Drivers Cause Motorcycle Crashes

Although motorcycles account for only 3% of vehicles registered on the roads, they account for more than 13% of all traffic accidents resulting in death. 

According to the National Road Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 5,000 fatal incidents occur annually on motorcycles and more than 100 000 injuries on motorcycles.

The probability of death of motorcyclists as a result of an accident is 27 times higher than that of car passengers. 

It is mainly based on the obvious fact that motorcycle drivers have no protection to cover them if they get into an accident in a collision with other vehicles or in the presence of a vehicle.

Motorcycles in accidents involving a vehicle

There are more accidents in the presence of a motor vehicle than drivers of other motor vehicles on motorcycles. 

In fact, in 34% of motorcycle accidents only motorcyclists participate, compared to 19% of car accidents in which only car drivers participate.

The main reason for road traffic accidents in the presence of a motorcycle is that the cyclist does not reduce the speed during rotation. 

Of all the accidents in which motorcyclists are seriously injured or killed, 50% are accidents in which only motorcycles and no other vehicles are involved. In 2018, the governor of the Road Safety Association said that more people were killed in the collision of motorcycles with stationary facilities than with any other vehicles during the year.

Motorcycle in collisions with other vehicles

When motorcycles fall into accidents with other vehicles (cars and trucks), there are several common causes of these accidents. Some of them are called by drivers of vehicles, others by motorcyclists:

Strip dangerous change. Many accidents on motorcycles occur due to the fact that drivers do not check their mirrors correctly and will not give signals when changing the motion zone.

  • Acceleration. 

According to NHTSA, 33% of fatal accidents on motorcycles occurred due to exceeding the speed of drivers, compared with only 19% of accidents with the participation of passenger cars, 15% of accidents with the participation of light trucks and 7% of accidents with the participation of large trucks. 

Driving at extreme speeds reduces the ability to see danger and avoid accidents. Exceeding the speed limit also leads to a stronger impact in the event of a collision and, therefore, more serious injuries.

  • Drive in a state of alcoholic intoxication. 

Twenty-five percent of motorcycle deaths fall to drivers in a state of alcoholic intoxication; this is the highest percentage of deaths among all types of vehicles.

Strip separation. The "division" of lanes (movement between two lanes) is a significant risk of accidents, especially for inexperienced motorcyclists.

Sudden stop. The bikes below are very close to the vehicles and when they suddenly stop, hitting them from behind is a frequent cause of motorcycle accidents.

  • Inexperience on the road. 

About half of all motorcycle accidents involve drivers with less than 5 months of driver experience. Surprisingly, 27% of motorcyclists who have died in the accident do not have real rights.

  • Refusal to give way. 

One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is that drivers of passenger cars do not allow motorcyclists.

  • Road conditions. 

In general, it is believed that bad road conditions are the main cause of motorcycle accidents, but statistics show that this is not a significant factor.

  • Mechanical malfunctions. 

Mechanical malfunctions can be the cause of some accidents on motorcycles, but these mechanical malfunctions are often considered not to be the fault of the manufacturer, but the inability of the motorcyclist to properly service the motorcycle.

Who is usually to blame for motorcycle collisions with other vehicles?

Many people may be surprised by this fact that in motorcycle accidents involving motorcycles and cars, the driver of a passenger car often causes more accidents than motorcycle drivers.

In a study conducted at the city Transport Research Center at the University of South Florida, the researchers concluded that "mainly drivers of cars and trucks are guilty, often do not cause less [motorcycles]." There are several factors that lead to this:

  • Motorists do not expect to see the bikes. 

Especially because riding motorcycles in many parts of the country is seasonal, motorists often do not expect to see motorcycles on the road. They often ignore them when they do not expect them.

  • Motorists often do not know about motorcycles. 

Motorists will not only expect to see motorcycles on the road, but also motorists who are not familiar with motorcycles also know about them on the road and therefore will be less likely to see them. 

During a survey conducted by the Florida Department of Transportation, subjects were asked how often they see bikes on the road. 

While respondents who entered the motorcycle approval of their driving license, reported that those who travel in the same area who do not approve of motorcycles with their rights, saw motorcycles only occasionally.

  • The bikes have small profiles. 

The greatest difficulty to observe motorcycles occurs in cases of approaching motorcycles, front vehicles, because the bikes are much smaller in size compared to other vehicles.

  • Motorists lower the speed and distance of motorcycles. 

Since motorcycles are very small in size, drivers tend to underestimate the speed at which the motorcycles move, and in fact it shows how far the motorcycles are, so drivers are much more likely to drive in front of the motorcycle than with a truck that moves at the same speed.

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