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What Percentage of Motorcycle Accidents are the Riders’ Fault?

Nov 30, 2023 - Car Accident by

A motorcycle driving on the roadway during the day

All motorcycle riders understand that riding comes with risks. Motorcycle crashes have a much greater chance of serious injury, including fatal accidents. A motorcycle rider doesn’t have the same protections that a car or truck gives its passengers.

But accepting risk is not the same thing as accepting blame. Not every crash or injury is the rider’s fault. Drivers of passenger vehicles owe the same duty of care to bikers as they do to other cars. But often, disagreements arise over who bears the ultimate responsibility.

Motorcycle riders complain that car drivers never look out for motorcycles, and that causes crashes. But passenger vehicle drivers claim that motorcycle riders are reckless thrill-seekers who exhibit risky behavior, which causes crashes. So which is it? How many motorcycle accidents are the rider’s fault?

Evidence suggests that most motorcycle accidents—perhaps 60%, or maybe more—are caused by another driver rather than the biker. However, most accidents are caused by inattentive drivers, no matter what kind of machine is in between them and the ground.

If you’ve been the victim of a negligent driver, you need a motorcycle accident lawyer on your side to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

While motorcycles can bring you a lot of joy, the risks of riding are more than getting a few bugs in your teeth. Staying alert and driving defensively are crucial skills that all motorcycle riders must learn and follow.

Other drivers are not always on the lookout for a smaller vehicle, and that glance in the rearview mirror may not have been enough for them to realize there was a motorcycle in their vicinity before they change lanes.

Knowing the common causes of motorcycle accidents can help you anticipate a problem before it turns into serious injuries:

  • Lane changes: A vehicle driver may not see your motorcycle as they change lanes, pushing you out of the lane and into danger.
  • Left turns: A driver turning left may not see a motorcycle, either oncoming or overtaking.
  • Intersections: Even if you have the right-of-way, if another driver doesn’t see an oncoming motorcyclist, they could pull out in front of the rider and cause a head-on motorcycle crash. These collisions are often fatal motorcycle crashes.
  • Distracted driving: When drivers pay more attention to their phones than the road, they put everyone else at risk.
  • Inexperienced riders and drivers: As with everything in life, you get better with experience. That goes for both riders and drivers!
  • Lane splitting: There’s a reason lane splitting is illegal in Texas and many other places. In general, when traffic is moving at two very different speeds (such as a lane splitting motorcycle in traffic jam), there is an increased potential for accidents.

The injuries sustained in many motorcycle accidents can be life-changing. Severe injuries can leave you with traumatic brain damage, paralysis, broken bones and more.

Holding a motorcycle license opens up a new world of possibilities, but it comes with risks. While you can’t control the other drivers, but there are things you can do as a rider to get home safe.

How to Reduce Your Risk as a Motorcycle Rider

Traffic accidents involving motorcycles are much more likely to be fatal accidents. While you may not always be able to avoid a motorcycle crash, you may be able to mitigate the damage and save yourself from severe motorcycle accident injuries with these tips:

  • Dress for the slide, not the ride: You’ve heard it a hundred times, but that’s because it’s so important. Clothing with protective features, like thick leather and reinforced jackets, can protect you from road rash if you meet the pavement.
  • Always use a helmet: For motorcycle riders, one of the best pieces of equipment you can invest in is a helmet. Never buy a used helmet, since a damaged helmet can look safe but may not protect you when you need it.
  • Get a bike that fits: You should feel comfortable with the size and weight of your bike, and you should be able to easily reach the seat and handlebars. A bike that is too big is going to be harder to control.
  • Keep a vigilant eye: You already know that other vehicle drivers may not see you, which means you need to be very aware of the other cars that are about to pull out, or already on the road. In addition, you need to watch for pavement hazards like loose leaves, gravel, or grass clippings that can create slippery conditions.
  • Watch the forecast: It’s a lot harder to pay attention to your surroundings when rain is stinging your eyes at 55mph. Plus, icy roads are much more hazardous for motorcycle riders than cars.
  • Get to know your bike: Gain confidence as a rider on an open road with low traffic. Never take a brand new bike into heavy traffic if you can avoid it.

The safest drivers in the world can still become motorcycle accident victims, especially when an at-fault driver fails to share the road safely. And unfortunately, insurance companies tend to treat motorcycle riders unfairly when it comes to personal injury claims. They argue that riders are thrill seekers who exhibit risky behavior, and therefore the accident is the rider’s fault. If this has happened to you, you should seek advice from a lawyer immediately.

RELATED: If You Are In a Motorcycle Accident, Do You Need a Tyler Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

An Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Make All the Difference

If you or another injured rider have been involved in a motorcycle accident and believe the at-fault party should be held responsible, an experienced lawyer can help you put together a persuasive insurance claim.

Injured riders deserve to seek compensation for the damages they sustained in a motorcycle accident, and families deserve compensation if their loved one was killed. But to get that compensation, you need to show the other driver was at fault for the crash. This can often be difficult for those involved in motorcycle accidents, especially in fatal crashes where the rider is unable to provide testimony. An experienced lawyer can help recreate the accident scene to show the facts and establish liability, by gathering any camera footage, eyewitness testimony, and more.

For motorcycle accidents with fatal injuries or severe head injuries, a lawyer can be invaluable. When a rider cannot testify, it is critically important to gather any evidence that can show liability. These types of injuries can incur a huge amount of medical debt, and a lawyer can help establish a fair insurance claim to relieve the financial burden.

In addition, to better help your claim, you should make sure to seek medical attention right away. Follow the doctor’s treatment plan as closely as you can. Doing so help establish that your injuries were caused by the accident, and can help show that you are acting responsibly. Insurance company bias against motorcycle riders makes it important for you to avoid looking like a thrill-seeker. This can also be important if you case goes to trial, as juries can also be biased against riders. Your lawyer will always give you advice on the best way to demonstrate your case.

Call Roberts and Roberts for a Free Consultation Today

Motorcycle accidents happen all too often, and can be devastating to the riders and families involved. If you’ve been the victim of an accident, you need a lawyer who can show you compassion while tirelessly fighting for fair treatment. Larger vehicles may not treat motorcyclists like equal road users, but you shouldn’t have to suffer for someone else’s bad decisions.

That’s why we offer you a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. We can let you know what your options are, and tell you how we can help. Just contact us now at (903) 597-6000 or fill out our online contact form. There is no charge for the initial review. Remember: The call costs you nothing, but it could mean everything.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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