Motorcycle accidents happen every day. In 2016, 5,286 people died in motorcycle crashes, up 5.1 percent from 5,029 in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Some of these accidents are caused by the motorcycle driver, and other roadway users cause other motorcycle accidents. More often than not, when a motorcycle accident occurs, the motorcyclist is injured in Springfield. To help prevent this from happening to you, we've identified the five most common types of motorcycle accidents and how you can avoid them.
If you have been in a motorcycle or auto accident in Missouri, contact the law office of Missouri Legal today. We can assist you with filing your claim against insurance so that you have the best opportunity to get the compensation you need.
Why Motorcycle Accidents Happen
One of the most common reasons that motorcycle accidents occur is due to the failure of other motorists and roadway users to pay attention to motorcycles in traffic. Since a motorcycle is generally much smaller than a car, truck, or SUV, visibility is limited, according to this article. Furthermore, a driver's visibility may be limited because of glare or other vehicles on the road, which makes all the more sense why intersections are usually the place with the most motorcycle collisions. Other common causes of motorcycle accidents in Missouri include:
Cars Turning Left
According to NOLO, Left-hand collisions account for 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and car! This type of accident usually occurs because the car turning left hits the motorcycle as it is going straight through the intersection or trying to pass or overtake the car. These types of accidents are also common in accidents not involving motorcycles. When filing an insurance claim, generally speaking, when a vehicle hits another vehicle while making a left-hand turn he or she will be found at fault for the accident. This is usually one of the most straightforward claims to file if you've been injured in Springfield.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Hazardous road conditions such as loose gravel, uneven roads (dirt or pavement) slick surfaces, and other debris on the roadway, have caused thousands of motorcycle accidents across the United States. Since motorcycles are less stable than a truck or car and are smaller, they have a higher chance of causing an accident in less than ideal road or weather situations. One way that motorcyclists can avoid being injured in Springfield is by paying attention to the weather before heading out, as well as planning a route with the least amount of questionable road conditions available.
When traffic is stopped or slow, usually in the case of traffic jams, motorcyclists will drive between the two lanes of the stopped or slow-moving vehicles; this is called Lane Splitting.
According to this article, lane splitting accidents most often occur due to these factors:
● the proximity of the cars to the motorcycle
● the reduced space the motorcycle has to maneuver, and
● the fact that the cars don't anticipate that any vehicle or motorcycle will be passing them in slowed or stopped traffic.
The article goes onto explain that in order for the motorcycle to be at fault after a lane splitting accident, a few things must be considered. These include:
● Whether or not lane splitting is permitted in that state. ( In Missouri, lane splitting is not illegal, but it is seen as an unsafe maneuver in the eyes of the law).
● The views of the police officer at the scene of the crime and the judge presiding over the case.
● The actions of both the motorcyclist and the driver of the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident.
When it comes to lane splitting in Missouri, as a motorcyclist, you're better off avoiding this maneuver altogether.
Alcohol impairs your driving, whether you're operating a car, truck, or motorcycle. When alcohol is mixed with driving a motorcycle, it becomes a deadly cocktail. In 2013, there were 4,399 motorcycle riders killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those deaths, 28% (1,232) were alcohol-related. As a motorcycle driver, you have the responsibility to stay sober while using roadways. However, you can't always be sure the other roadway users have taken the same precautions as you. One way to avoid being hit by a drunk driver is to try and stay off the roads during the night and especially weekend nights right around the time that bars close down.
Speeding & Reckless Driving
One of the most significant appeals of owning and riding a motorcycle is that it's a "little risky." Anyone with a pulse knows that motorcycles are more dangerous to drive than a car or truck. But this sense of "danger" and freedom is what fuels most people to purchase a motorcycle in the first place. However, some motorcyclists take the need for speed too far and end up causing accidents, usually fatal. When motorcyclists drive too fast, inattentively, aggressively, or tailgating the vehicle in front of them, they are bound to be injured in Springfield sooner or later.
Supersport and Sport Motorcycles
While high-performance motorcycle models, like Supersport and Sport motorcycles, make up only a very small portion of motorcycles on the road, they account for a large number of motorcycle accidents, NOLO states. Sport motorcycles are designed to go fast, and their riders often push this to the limit.
These two types of motorcycles are often owned by people who are 34 and younger; an age group more likely to make reckless mistakes, thus causing more accidents. The death rate among riders of Supersport and Sport motorcycles is double that of conventional motorcycle riders.
Get Help Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident and is injured in Springfield, let the pros at Missouri Legal help. We can help you file a claim that will give you the most compensation for your injuries. We will make sure that your medical expenses and any wages lost due to your injuries are taken care of by the people that should be paying for these costs. For more information about how we can help, or to set up a free consultation to discuss your options, contact Missouri Legal of Springfield, MO today.