Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Last updated on: September 12, 2022

Motorcycle ownership increased dramatically in 2020 when about 780,000 new motorcycles were purchased. This was 67% more than were sold in 2019! With so many new motorcycle owners on the road, it is no surprise that many are unaware of how many things can cause motorcycle accidents. 

Without the protective shell of a car around them, a biker can suffer severe injuries in an accident, and they often end up flying from the bike. They suffer injuries either as a result of vehicle impact or skidding on the roadway. 

Several things might cause a motorcycle accident, but you can often attribute it to the fault of one of the people involved in the accident. Even when the accident was caused by something out of your control, like the weather, how you responded to the condition can still affect whether you will be compensated. 


Speeding affects a vehicle’s stopping distance and can worsen the victim’s injuries if a crash occurs. Unfortunately, it is very common for speeding to be a contributing factor to traffic accidents. 

If you were speeding when a car crashed into you, you could be considered contributorily negligent. However, this does not necessarily bar you from recovery entirely. Talk with a lawyer to learn how speeding might affect your motorcycle injury case. 

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is an umbrella term that includes distracted driving and drunk driving. Someone who is driving while texting or drunk has a slower reaction time than an attentive, sober driver. If someone was driving recklessly when they crashed into you, you could probably be compensated for your injuries. 

However, if you consumed drugs or alcohol before getting on your motorcycle, you could be at fault for the accident and unable to be compensated. Several substances—including some prescription medications—can affect your balance, coordination, throttle control, ability to shift gears, and judgment. 

Additionally, you must avoid reckless driving by following all traffic laws. For example, leave plenty of space between yourself and other vehicles, and let your turn signal blink a few times before you begin to change lanes. 

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is when motorcyclists ride between lanes to weave through traffic. Not only is this dangerous because car drivers have trouble seeing motorcyclists, but it is also illegal in every state except California. 

While some motorcyclists think lane splitting is efficient, saving them time navigating through traffic, it can easily lead to an accident. If you were in an accident because you engaged in lane splitting, you might have difficulty recovering for your injuries. 

Changing Traffic Conditions

While it is difficult to account for different traffic conditions, drivers are still expected to adjust accordingly. When they fail to do so, they can cause an accident.

Such traffic conditions include stopped traffic, inclement weather, and construction zones. Sometimes stationary objects on the road can cause a motorcycle rider to adjust to avoid an accident but hit another driver instead. When it is impossible to prevent an accident due to weather or suddenly stopping vehicles, you can still try to mitigate the damage as much as possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycles are much smaller than cars, so other drivers often do not see them or give them enough space on the road. A prevalent example of this is when a vehicle making a left-hand turn fails to yield to a motorcyclist coming from the opposite direction. The car driver often says they “just didn’t see it.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests preventing accidents by increasing your visibility to other drivers on the road. You can wear bright clothing or clothing with reflective material and always keep your headlights on—even during the day. Pump your brakes to flash your brake light before slowing down. 

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact Zinda Law Group Today

The injuries you suffer in a motorcycle accident need immediate treatment, but you must also consider your long-term treatment. Many riders will see the effects of their injuries for years into the future, and it could affect not just their home life but their work life. Those issues can be evaluated by your attorney and paid for by the person responsible.  

Filing a case for reimbursement of expenses is difficult enough when you are new to the lawsuit process. It is even more challenging when you are also trying to recover physically and emotionally from the accident. If you need help negotiating with the insurance company, consider speaking with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.

If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation with one of our personal injury lawyers.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.