If you own a motorcycle or are a regular motorcycle rider in West Virginia, you want to do what you can to stay safe on the roadways. However, we know that motorcycle accidents do happen across the state. During the latest reporting year, we know that there were many motorcyclist fatalities and injuries in the state. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tells us that there were 5,172 fatalities due to motorcycle crashes across the country in the latest reporting year.
Today, we want to look at some of the top causes of motorcycle crashes so you can get a better idea of how to avoid them.
- Speeding and reckless operation of a motorcycle are the main causes of all motorcycle crashes.
- Alcohol and drug impairment are a major problem for cyclists and their passengers.
- Crashes with other vehicles are the case three-fourths of the time, usually passenger vehicles.
- Single-vehicle crashes account for one-fourth of all motorcycle accidents. In single-vehicle crashes, we often see driver error (over braking, running wide on a curve, etc.).
- Vehicle failure is rare but is still a problem. A punctured tire or other failure can cause a rider to lose control.
- Roadway defects pose a larger problem for motorcyclists than passenger vehicle drivers. This can include potholes, pavement ridges, etc.
- Right-of-way violations of passenger vehicles can lead to serious collisions with motorcycles. This can include a vehicle turning left in front of a motorcyclist driving straight.
- Failure to see a motorcyclist by a passenger vehicle operator is a common problem. Drivers often change lanes or turn into a motorcyclist’s path. Motorcyclists can reduce this problem by using their headlamps during daylight hours and wearing high visibility clothing.
- Deliberate hostile actions of a passenger vehicle driver out of spite or road rage can lead to accidents.
- Bad weather is responsible for around 2% of all motorcycle crashes.
- Glare or obstructed views are a problem on the roadway for motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers.
- Improperly trained motorcyclists are a problem. It is wise to take a motorcycle driving class and safety course before hitting the road.
- Distracted driving, whether by the motorcyclist or a passenger vehicle driver, is dangerous for everyone on the roadway.
- Collision avoidance problems are a contributing factor to crashes. Many riders over-brake or under-brake or do not properly counter-steer. This goes back to proper training.
- Having no eye protection can lead to major accidents. Unprotected eyes can lead to debris or bug flying into the cyclist’s face.
Nearly all motorcycle accidents result in an injury or a fatality. There is simply not much protection for a cyclist against the force of a vehicle or the roadway slamming into them. Even motorcyclists who wear helmets still often suffer major injuries. It is not uncommon for us to see the following in the aftermath of a crash:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations or amputations
- Severe road rash
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Severe disfigurement
- Temporary or permanent disability
Victims of motorcycle crashes are often left with major medical expenses and other hidden costs associated with their injuries – lost income if they are unable to work, emotional and psychological trauma, and more. We can help. Speak with our team of West Virginia motorcycle accident lawyers today.