What are the 5 Most Common Motorcycle Accidents? - Law Offices of Owen, Patterson and Owen

What are the 5 Most Common Motorcycle Accidents? 

Aug 15, 2023

Motorcycles can be a dangerous hobby. The statistics prove it; when it comes to car vs. motorcycle accidents, motorcycles tend to get into trouble more often. Not that it’s their fault. The most common motorcycle accidents generally occur due to unfavorable road conditions or other drivers missing the motorcyclist in their driving path. 

Understanding the most common motorcycle accidents can help you gain confidence on the road and make you a safer motorcyclist. After all, being proactive about preventing accidents should be everyone’s priority on the road, and knowing all the ways you’re most likely to get hurt can help you prioritize your safety every time you hit the asphalt.  


Most Common Motorcycle Accidents

When it comes to motorcycles, motorcyclists need to work with a number of unfair disadvantages. First and foremost, they’re smaller. Motorcyclists have far fewer safety features by virtue of their size, and the rider on top of them is much more likely to take the brunt of the force in a collision than the driver behind the wheel of a modern car. 

Secondly, motorcycles are rarer. This creates the problem that the average driver doesn’t expect to see a motorcycle on the road, meaning they’re much more likely to oversee motorcycles that do share the road with them. 

Thirdly, motorcycles have different driving mechanics when compared to the average double-axle, four-wheeled automobile. It’s easier for bikes to accelerate on straights and overtake long stretches of traffic relatively safely – but it’s harder for bikes to turn hard corners, deal with unfavorable road conditions, or avoid skidding on even a small patch of loose gravel. That’s why the top of the list of most common motorcycle accidents goes to single-vehicle accidents – ones where the bike, and the bike’s rider, are the only parties involved. 


Single-Vehicle Accidents

Motorcycles can be prone to single-vehicle accidents due to unfavorable road and weather conditions, loss of control/skidding, debris (from loose gravel to leaves), and even manhole covers. 


Car Turning Left in Front of Motorcycle

Next to single-vehicle accidents, the most common hazard for a motorcyclist is a car driver taking a left turn. It’s the left turn, specifically, that’s so dangerous because the motorcyclist may be in the middle of passing the car when they turn. 

This can happen due to reckless driving on either party’s part – on the motorcyclist for overtaking at an intersection, for example, or on the car for signaling late, not checking their blind spots, or failing to use their mirrors adequately. Left-turn collisions can also happen when cars turn left into a road and fail to see an oncoming motorcyclist, due to their size. 


Lane-Changing Collisions

In addition to left-turning cars, lane-changing maneuvers are just as dangerous when motorcycles are involved, and for the same general reason: a lack of visibility and inadequate mirror/blind-spot checking. Here, blind spots are the greatest culprit – and the reason every competent driving instructor drills their students to turn that neck around time and time again, on every turn, every lane change, and every instance of an overtake. 


Speed-Related Accidents

Motorcycles are rarely bought for commutes and day-to-day use across all seasons. The motorcycle tends to be the vehicle of choice for having a good time and for plenty of good reasons. It’s fun to ride a motorcycle. 

But it also invites speeding. Speed-related accidents become a major source of grief for motorcyclists who go the extra mile a few times too often. Speeding is at its worst when it comes to a head-on collision with a car from an opposing lane – there’s almost no instance where a passing motorcyclist comes out ahead. 


Rear-End Collisions

Another common and general complaint on the road is the prevalence of tailgating, and motorcyclists are common victims due to their smaller size. But the problem with approaching another vehicle far too closely is that some vehicles brake better than others – and some drivers brake later than others. When a car bumper-checks another car, the damage is usually minor. But rear-end collisions between a car and a motorcycle can be tragic. 


Important Preventive Measures for Motorcyclists

A high-quality motorcyclist helmet can do a lot to prevent serious head trauma in the event of a motorcycle accident. Other levels of protective gear help, too, but the helmet takes priority. After the helmet, it’s a good idea to protect yourself with gloves, pants, jackets, and boots. A full motorcycle suit can also prevent the worst cases of road rash, or worse damage. 

In addition to financial insurance, taking a little experiential insurance in the form of a few additional riding courses can be a great investment in your skills as a rider, as well as your safety as a motorcyclist. 

Most motorcyclists are fortunate enough to never be in a serious accident. But it never hurts to be prepared. Knowing as much as you can about your legal priorities after an accident can save you a lot of trouble. Some of the most common legal questions we are asked after a motorcycle accident include: 


Who is at fault in a motorcycle accident?

This is a very complicated question to answer, and it depends entirely on the circumstances of the event. Motorcyclists are not automatically at fault in any accident they’re involved in, even if driving a motorcycle is statistically more dangerous. In fact, some research shows that car drivers are disproportionately at fault in motorcycle accidents, often due to inattentiveness, failing to give right of way, and so on. 


Should I gather evidence at the scene of the accident?

The first thing you should do is prioritize your own well-being. If able, call for help – dial 911 and get emergency services underway as soon as possible. From there, be sure to carefully document your trips to the doctor, and the extent of your injuries. If another party was involved, making sure that your injuries are sufficiently documented is important for any potential legal matter. 


Should I talk to the other party’s insurance company?

Generally speaking, no. It’s usually not a good idea to talk to the other party’s insurance company, or anyone representing the other party without first discussing it with a lawyer. If you’re recovered enough to make calls after getting into an accident, consider speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible to set your course of action. 

It’s important for us to highlight that the contents of our blog do not constitute specific legal advice and that legal advice can only be given on a case-by-case basis after a more careful, and comprehensive review of the facts. Don’t let yourself be sold short – you deserve proper compensation and competent legal representation. However, having an overview of some basic information on the priorities after a personal injury can be helpful. 

For our Senior Partner Greg Owen, a motocross aficionado and lifelong motorcyclist, getting the best possible legal representation for motorcyclists is a personal commitment. If you have any other questions or want to know more about your options after a motorcycle accident, contact our legal team at Owen, Patterson & Owen or call 800-676-5295. 

Need expert legal advice?
Don't navigate the complexities alone.

Contact Us Now
Universal Pixel