What is the Primary Cause of Motorcycle Crashes? Top 7

Motorcycle crashes are a leading cause of death for bikers worldwide, so motorcycle riders must understand the risk they face when riding a bike.

Motorcycles are a fun way to travel around the country, but the real trick to staying safe while riding is to be aware of what’s happening around you. Motorcyclists are more likely to be involved in a motorcycle crash when they aren’t using their heads.

The primary cause of motorcycle crashes

Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone when you ride a motorcycle. The probability of being in an accident is present, especially if you’re careless, aggressive, or distracted. To be more specific, here is a list of common reasons that result in motorcycle accidents:

7. Vehicles Making a Left Turn

A car making a left turn and not seeing an approaching motorcycle rider is dangerous; this accounts for 42% of all motorcycle-related accidents. Typically, the car would hit the motorcycle when attempting to go through an intersection, pass a vehicle, or overtake one. This type of accident is common, and in most cases, the car making a left turn is at fault. 

6. Road Hazards

Motorcycles are more vulnerable to certain hazards than cars. Due to another accident, they cannot deal with large potholes, loose gravel, slush, oil slicks, and flying debris. A vehicle can weather these unexpected road dangers, but a motorcycle will eventually slip, slide, and crash.

 5. Head-on collision

Collisions with other vehicles account for 56% of motorcycle accidents. Of that number, 78% is a head-on collision. What’s sad is that these incidents are fatal to the motorcycle rider. This type of accident happens at high speed, which means the motorcycle rider gets thrown off the bike, pinned, or crushed to death. 

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4. Motorcycle Lane Splitting

Lane splitting means a motorcycle riding between two car lanes in a traffic jam. Lane splitting is dangerous because of the proximity between vehicles. The worst part? In a traffic jam, cars are not expecting a motorcycle to pass them. Some unknowing driver or passenger could open the door just as a motorcycle passes through, causing the rider to crash. 

3. Drunk riding, reckless driving, and speeding. 

This cause is actually in car accidents, but it also happens on motorcycles. When it does, the consequence is often serious injury or death. 

2. Corner Turning Motorcycle Accidents

Sometimes, a u-turn can be tricky to pull off. The maneuver requires skill and mastery, and if you lose your balance, it will not be easy to recover. Add approaching traffic into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. 

1. The number one reason for motorcycle accidents is the failure of other drivers to see a motorcycle on the road. The size of the bike and the limited visibility can cause even the most experienced driver not to see an approaching motorcycle.  

How to stay safe while riding a motorcycle

1. Wear proper and complete riding gear.

Safety should be a motorcycle rider’s primary concern. As such, no matter the weather, and no matter how short or long a ride is, wearing the proper riding gear should be on top of the list. 

2. Ride at your own pace

A motorcycle rider’s skill level and experience should dictate how fast they should go. New riders should ride at a speed they can control, and older and more experienced riders should know better. In a group ride, it’s tempting to ride the group’s pace, but if it’s something you’re not comfortable with, a fun ride could quickly turn sideways. 

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3. Inspection and maintenance 

Every motorcycle rider should perform a pre-ride and post-ride inspection. They should stick to their maintenance schedule to ensure that the motorcycle in tip-top shape. Doing so can prevent potential hazards. 

4. Use your head

Be constantly aware of your surroundings and your position with the vehicles around you, and be ready to react. While turning, keep your head and eyes in the direction you’re trying to go. Also, develop a habit of riding defensively. More importantly, use your head all the time. Check before you swerve, and look before you turn. 

5. Eyes on the road

Keep your focus on the road and avoid being distracted. When going around a curve, it’s better to err on the side of caution, slow down, and look. Be vigilant for the possibility of a vehicle surprising you, gravel or sand on the pavement, or a sudden pothole. 

6. Check your mood

Riding with a wrong state of body, mind, or emotion can be dangerous. So, avoid riding angry, dizzy, or distracted. Try to be calm first. If you’re not feeling well, don’t ride. 

7. Be mindful of the weather

A perfect riding condition is always ideal. Riding on wet or icy roads doubles the risk of riding a motorcycle. When it’s cold, rainy, or snowing, be careful and consider using heated gear. Better yet, postpone your ride until the weather clears. 

8. Obey traffic rules and be visible

This sounds elementary, but it’s essential nonetheless. Obeying traffic rules also means using signals to indicate your intention. More importantly, follow the posted speed limits. As for being visible, be aware of a vehicle’s blind spot and stay away from it. Drive with your headlights on, use your passing light, wear reflective clothing, and be smart about using your turn signals. 

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9. Keep a safe distance

Avoid tailgating. It’s recommended that you have a four-second gap between you and the vehicle in front of you. Four seconds may be short, but it will allow you to stop without hitting the car in front of you in case of an emergency. 

10. Always have a First Aid Kit with you

You never know when an emergency might occur, so part of being prepared is to always have an emergency kit with you. The kit should include disinfecting wipes, bandages, hand sanitizer, gauze, adhesive tape, and band-aids. 

Conclusion

The benefits of motorcycling are enormous, but riding a motorcycle comes with risks. Motorcycle riders should be prepared and aware of the risks, and the best way to do so is to learn the correct way to ride a motorcycle.

As a rider, you should be conscious of your skills and practice improving them. It’s always good to ride defensively and practice defensive riding in a controlled environment under the guidance of a coach.  

Riding with a group of skilled riders can be a lot of fun. However, it’s crucial to remember that riding a motorcycle is a skill, and you have to practice and get better.

As I have shown, riding a motorcycle is a lot more than just putting on a helmet and getting on a bike.

I wish you all the best, and I hope to help you learn more about riding a motorcycle.