Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

The Zachar Law Firm is a personal injury and wrongful death litigation firm located in Phoenix, Arizona, serving victims of negligence and misconduct in communities throughout the Phoenix Valley region. The experienced trial attorneys of Zachar Law Firm are recognized for providing effective personal injury representation that is focused on getting maximum compensation for clients.

Motorcycle accidents, like all accidents involving motor vehicles, can be caused by a number of different factors. While an accident can be the fault of the motorcycle driver, many times, other drivers cause accidents involving motorcycles. Because of a motorcycle’s relatively small size, many drivers of passenger cars and trucks do not see motorcyclists. Even if they check their mirrors before changing lanes or turning, the motorcycle may be in the car’s blind spot, and an accident may result. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, talk to an experienced attorney at Christopher J. Zachar in Phoenix, Arizona about your legal options for recovery.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that the most common type of motorcycle crashes are those involving a motorcycle and another vehicle. In 78% of the two-vehicle accidents in 2005, the motorcycle was hit in the front, while in 6% the motorcycle was hit from behind. In 38% of these crashes, a vehicle was making a left turn while the motorcycle was going straight, passing or overtaking the vehicle.1

Speeding and Reckless Driving

Another cause of motorcycle accidents is speeding or reckless driving by either the motorcyclist or driver of an automobile or other vehicle. Motorcyclists who ride “supersport” cycles, which are consumer versions of racing motorcycles and have powerful engines, may try to reach high speeds. Both car drivers and motorcycle riders can be found negligent if they drive aggressively, speed, do not pay attention or drive too close to the vehicle in front of them.

Alcohol Use

Alcohol is a contributing factor in many fatal motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 27% of fatally injured motorcyclists in 2005 had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) at or above 0.08 percent. This is slightly less than the 33% of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers.2

Unsafe Road Conditions

Dangerous road conditions are a cause of many automobile and motorcycle accidents. Conditions such as slick surfaces, ridges in the pavement, fluid spills and debris on the road can be even more dangerous for motorcycles than cars because of their small size and lessened ability to respond to these conditions. The design of a motorcycle, with two wheels rather than four wheels, makes it less stable than cars and trucks. In addition, road barriers such as guardrails that are designed to retain cars can be deadly if a motorcyclist collides with them. Because of their small size and lack of enclosure, crashing into a fixed object can be more hazardous for motorcycles than other motor vehicles. In 2005, 26% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved fixed objects, while 17% of fatal car crashes involved fixed objects.3

Contact a Lawyer

If you or a family member was injured in a motorcycle accident, you may have questions about your legal options. An experienced personal injury attorney at Christopher J. Zachar in Phoenix, Arizona can review your situation and evaluate your options.

1.†See Q & As: Motorcycles – general, dated Sept. 2007, available at www.iihs.org/research/qanda/motorcycles.html.

2.†See Q & As: Motorcycles – general, dated Sept. 2007, available at www.iihs.org/research/qanda/motorcycles.html.

3.†See Q & As: Motorcycles – general, dated Sept. 2007, available at www.iihs.org/research/qanda/motorcycles.html.

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