Why Do Motorcycle Accidents Happen?

a car in front of a wrecked motorcycleThere are a few types of accidents as severe as those involving motorcycles. We’ve seen countless times that motorcycle accidents often result in some of the most catastrophic injuries. You may endure traumatic brain damage, spinal cord injury, amputation, or burn injury.

If you ever sustain an injury in a motorcycle accident, it’s vital to realize why they happen. Recognizing the cause of a motorcycle accident can help you understand liability and pursue justice against the person responsible for your injuries.

Below, we’ll explain why motorcycle accidents happen and what rights you have to take legal action against the responsible person. Here are some of the top causes of motorcycle accidents of which you should be aware:

  • Drunk driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Cars making left turns
  • Cars speeding through intersections
  • Road hazards
  • Blind spots and merging

If you suffer harm in a motorcycle accident, call us at (215) 866-2424 today.

Learn about the causes of motorcycle accidents below.

Drunk Driving

Like many other accidents that occur, drunk driving is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents—both by motorists and motorcyclists. When someone drinks too much, their decision-making abilities suffer. If you’re a motorcyclist near a drunk driver, there’s a significant risk of harm.

Drunk driving accidents in Philadelphia—even those involving motorcyclists—consider multiple parties when determining liability. While the drunk driver is most often the liable party, additional people may hold some responsibility.

  • Drunk drivers are liable for damages because of the decision they make to drink and drive. They know that intoxication can impact their focus, cognitive abilities, and depth perception. They are negligent when they drink and drive.
  • A bar or establishment may hold liability for their contributions to the crash. Philadelphia has dram shop laws. If a bar serves a visibly intoxicated person, and that person causes a motorcycle accident, the bar may hold some liability.
  • A social host holds liability when they offer a minor driver alcohol, and that minor causes a crash. The social host must recognize the dangers of serving alcohol to someone and allowing them to leave the premise.

Distracted Driving

The law describes distracted driving as one of the following actions:

  • Manual distractions: These types of distractions refer to any actions that remove at least one of the driver’s hands from the steering wheel. For instance, if the driver answers his or her cell phone or tunes the radio, this is a manual distraction.
  • Visual distractions: These types of distractions refer to any actions that remove the driver’s view off the road. If a driver looks and reaches for an item, this is a visual distraction.
  • Cognitive distractions: These types of distractions refer to any actions that remove the driver’s focus from driving. For instance, even if the driver doesn’t turn his or her head, having an emotional conversation can cause cognitive distractions.

Cars Making Left Turns

Intersections are a common location where motorcycle accidents occur. Many times, people use yellow lights as a reason to try and beat the red light rather than slowing down as they should. Instead, they speed through, even when they need to turn left.

Drivers need to look for motorcyclists coming through the intersection, especially when the traffic light solely indicates a yellow or red light. You may be riding your motorcycle through the intersection at a reasonable and lawful speed. If another driver tries to beat the light, they can turn right in front of you or hit your side.

When this type of collision occurs, you can suffer severe injuries. The crash may eject you from your motorcycle and onto the street or the vehicle.

Cars Speeding Through Intersections

As a motorcyclist, you should be wary whenever approaching a stop sign or making a left-hand turn. You want to be sure that the cars approaching the intersection are not speeding and that you have ample time to turn or go through the stop sign.

You shouldn’t assume that the other driver will stop at a stop sign or that they’ll slow down when approaching a traffic light. You should drive defensively. If the driver speeds, they are liable when you suffer severe injuries because of a crash they cause.

Road Hazards

Some motorcycle accidents result from road hazards. You should recognize what road hazards exist and how they can cause a motorcycle accident. Even more important is realizing who you can hold liable for the injuries you may sustain.

  • Potholes: It is the city’s job to maintain their roads properly. When they fail to do so, potholes may arise, creating significant dangers on the road. A pothole can cause your motorcycle tire to pop or you to lose control of your motorcycle.
  • Missing traffic signals: Whenever there is a broken or missing traffic signal, it’s easy to see how many people make mistakes. People may fail to stop or speed through the intersection. As a motorcyclist, this type of accident can cause you significant harm.
  • Hidden stop signs: If there’s a large tree blocking a stop sign, it can turn a four-way stop into a perceived two-way. Some people may not look to determine if the stop sign is present, resulting in them traveling through the intersection without a second thought.

City officials, governments, and municipalities, and others are responsible for keeping their roads safe. When they fail in this regard, the agency responsible may hold liability for any accident resulting from the road danger.

In other situations, there is a reasonable expectation of drivers to take precautions when on the road. For instance, if there is a slick surface area on the road, drivers must slow down. However, in any case of negligence, if you suffer an injury in a motorcycle accident due to negligence, you may have legal rights.

Blind Spots and Merging

Drivers must ensure they’re looking for other vehicles around them, especially smaller vehicles, such as motorcycles. One of the most dangerous areas for a motorcyclist is the blind spot of a vehicle. If you’re in this position, you should be aware of the dangers.

Drivers should check their rear and side-view mirrors to identify any vehicles nearby. If a driver doesn’t check his or her mirrors and begins to merge without looking, they can crash into you, causing a sideswipe crash.

Similarly, drivers should take the quick second to turn their heads and check their blind spots. The blind spots are the sections of the vehicle in which a motorcycle or another car becomes challenging to see. They are out of the range of the rear-view mirror, but also not seen in the side view mirrors.

If a driver hits you after he or she fails to check his or her blind spots before merging, you can fall to the ground with the motorcycle skidding or collapsing on top of you.

At The Beasley Firm, our Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyers are committed to your rights as a motorcyclist. Trust that we’ll be your guide through the entire process. We’ll pursue the compensation and justice you deserve with your best interests in mind.

Call our firm today at (215) 866-2424 and speak with a legal professional about what options you may have. We’ll help you prove negligence and liability to pursue the outcome you need to move forward.

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