As the popularity of motorcycle riding has increased in the state, so have the number of accidents and injuries involving riders. Motorcycle accidents in Missouri are unfortunately common, and the injuries that result can be severe. While road design and weather conditions may play a role in some crashes, it is often the carelessness or inattention of other drivers that puts motorcyclists most at risk.
What is the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there are more than 2,200 Missouri motorcycle accidents each year. The number of motorcycle crashes has more than doubled since the late 1990s.
While a variety of factors, such as driver inexperience and weather conditions, may play a part in accidents, there are certain types of crashes that are more common than others. RideApart, a leading information resource for motorcycle enthusiasts, says that motorcycles have some advantages for avoiding accidents, such as reliable braking systems, turning agility, and unobstructed views. Still, some accidents are unavoidable. There are common motorcycle accident scenarios that riders should be aware of. These include:
- Intersection Accidents: Drivers who disregard traffic signals and right of way rules make intersections a dangerous place, both for themselves as well as motorcyclists. A common intersection accident involves a motorist making a left turn who fails to yield to an oncoming motorcyclist who is going straight through the intersection.
- Blind Spot Accidents: Motorcycles riding in a lane beside another vehicle may disappear in the blind spots. A driver who fails to look over his or her shoulder before changing lanes may cause an accident by colliding with a motorcycle in a blind spot.
- Distracted Driver Crashes: Distracted drivers cause accidents by failing to be aware of the vehicles, traffic signals and changing traffic conditions around them. The use of cell phones has increased the problem of distracted driving, despite increased public awareness and tougher laws.
- Failure to Yield Accidents: In the rush to get from one destination to the next, drivers may ignore situations in which they are required to yield to other motorists.
- Drunk Driving Accidents: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol plays a contributing factor in roughly 40 percent of all motorcycle accident fatalities.
- Excessive Speed Accidents: Speeding is a significant contributing factor to motorcycle accidents and injuries, accounting for more than 30 percent of all motorcycle fatalities.
- Failure to See a Motorcyclist Approaching: Drivers may be scanning the road for larger objects and may overlook oncoming motorcycles, which have a narrower profile than other vehicles. It is important for motorcyclists to wear bright colors and make themselves as visible as possible to prevent accidents.
- Driving Too Fast for Road or Weather Conditions: According to RideApart, wind and rain can both present hazards for motorcyclists, as can potholes, patches or gravel, and uneven road surfaces.
- Taking Curves Too Fast: RideApart states that taking curves too fast is a common mistake by novice riders. It increases the risk of being injured in an accident. Whether you are riding alone or riding as part of a group, slow down for curves, and give other riders plenty of space.
- Sharing Lanes: Sharing lanes is dangerous, particularly if the other motorcyclist has to swerve to avoid an obstacle. When on a group ride or when you encounter other bikers on the road, avoid this temptation to share a lane to ensure your own and other riders safety.
Involved in a Car Accident? Reach Out to Us for Help
If you or someone you care about is involved in a motorcycle accident, contact our experienced St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyers right away. At Sansone & Lauber, we are motorcycle riders and attorney Ben Sansone has had the experience of dealing with motorcycle accident injuries.
We understand the difficulty that a motorcycle accident can cause. Motorcycle accident injuries may cause significant medical bills, lost wages and even permanent disabilities. Our car injury attorneys provide the aggressive legal representation you need to hold responsible drivers accountable so that you can get the compensation you need to recover. Reach out to us for help today.