The open road, the wind at your back — there’s a reason why motorcycles represent freedom for many riders. However, this freedom comes with inherent risks. Motorcycle riders are far more vulnerable than those in enclosed vehicles, making them more likely to be killed or injured in an accident.

In 2022, there were a staggering 6,218 motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents in the U.S., the highest number since tracking began in 1975. Understanding the most common causes of motorcycle crashes is crucial for riders to navigate the roads safely.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, Fieger Law’s experienced Michigan motorcycle crash attorneys can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

Most Common Motorcycle Accident Causes

While rider error can be a factor in a motorcycle crash, many accidents involve negligence by other drivers. Here are some of the most frequent causes:

  • Driver Negligence: Negligence happens when another driver doesn’t follow the rules of the road, such as right-of-way, or when they ignore motorcycle riders around them, leading to collisions. For instance, 43% of fatal crashes involving a motorcycle and car happened because the car’s driver, when turning left, did not check for motorcyclists proceeding straight (with the right of way).
  • Distracted Driving: Driver distraction is a major cause of all motor vehicle crashes, including those involving motorcycles. When drivers take their eyes, hands, or minds off driving to use their phones, eat, adjust vehicle controls like the radio or air conditioning, or engage in other distracting behaviors like chatting with passengers, they increase the risk of striking a motorcycle. Bikes’ smaller profiles also make them easier to overlook during inattentive moments, with tragic consequences.
  • Excessive Speeding: Speeding is a critical factor in many fatal accidents. At higher speeds, other drivers have less time and ability to recognize motorcycles and react safely. Speeding also increases the force of impact in a collision. Motorcycle riders struck by an excessively speeding vehicle have little chance of survival.
  • Impaired Driving: Drunk or drugged drivers put all other road users at risk, but motorcyclists are exceptionally vulnerable. With impaired judgment, control, and reaction times caused by alcohol, motorists may fail to see or respond to a motorcycle in their path.
  • Dooring Accidents: Motorcyclists are also vulnerable to injuries caused by opening car doors. This happens when a stationary car (often one that is street-parked) suddenly opens its door into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, leaving the rider with little time to react. In some cases, drivers may not check their side mirrors properly before opening their doors, or they may misjudge the approaching motorcycle’s speed.

While taking safety precautions is crucial, even the most responsible riders have minimal protection against other motorists’ negligence. If you were seriously injured or suffered tragic losses because of another driver’s actions, consult the motorcycle crash team at Fieger Law to explore your legal options.

Ways to Minimize or Avoid a Crash While Riding Your Motorcycle

While riders can’t control other drivers’ actions or the road conditions, there are steps they can take to improve safety. Always do the following to lower your risk of accident or injury:

  • Wear a DOT-Approved Helmet: Helmets are proven lifesavers with a 37% effectiveness rate in preventing motorcyclist fatalities. They’re also legally required in Michigan unless you are over 21, have $20,000 in first-party medical benefits, and have had a motorcycle endorsement for two years or more.
  • Invest in High-Quality Gear: When riding a sports bike or cruiser, consider investing in high-quality motorcycle-specific clothing, such as a durable jacket, reinforced pants, goatskin gloves with proper grip, and sturdy boots. These can help reduce the severity of injuries in a crash.
  • Ride Defensively: Always assume other drivers don’t see you and try to anticipate their actions. Maintain a safe following distance and avoid weaving in and out of traffic.
  • Stay Alert and Focused: Eliminate distractions such as using phones or listening to music while riding. Keep your attention solely on the road ahead and your surroundings.
  • Ride Within the Speed Limit: Follow the posted speed limit and slow down if you encounter inclement weather. This can include sudden rainstorms during summer rides, unexpected fog, or low visibility situations.
  • Maintain Your Motorcycle Regularly: Regular maintenance ensures your motorcycle is in top condition and operating safely. Before riding, check your motorcycle’s tire pressure, brakes, headlights, signal indicators, and fluid levels.

By practicing defensive riding and exercising increased caution, riders can minimize the accident risks they face on the road. However, riding safely doesn’t guarantee protection from negligent drivers and other hazards.

If you are injured by another person’s carelessness while riding your motorcycle, let Fieger Law fight to secure the full compensation and accountability you deserve.

Protect Your Right to Compensation

If you’re hurt in a motorcycle accident, speak with our qualified attorneys at Fieger Law. We have the resources and tenacity to pursue maximum compensation from all those responsible.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation from lawyers who will fight for the financial recovery you deserve.