Almost every motorcycle accident involves a fatality or serious injuries. The majority of these accidents involve inattentive driving, which means a driver’s lack of attention. Motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to accidents caused by distracted driving because they are less visible than cars and other vehicles. Distracted driving includes texting while driving, watching TV, playing video games, talking on a cell phone, and other similar activities.
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Texting and driving are illegal in most states. It is a serious offense. Drivers are subject to stiff penalties, including fines, and could be held legally responsible for motorcyclist injuries or property damage if they text and cause an accident.
While it is hard to pinpoint exactly how many motorcycle accidents involve texting, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that texting and driving account for 10% of fatal traffic crashes. In addition, many states and municipalities have passed laws making texting while driving illegal. Texting while driving is the leading cause of motorcycle accidents in Ontario. A study conducted by the University of South Florida’s Center Urban Transportation Research analyzed ten years of motorcycle crash data. The results found that texting while driving increases the risk of a crash by 23 percent.
Distracted drivers can also create blind spots, which make it difficult for other drivers to see motorcycles. This is especially dangerous when making left turns. Drivers making a left turn at a solid green light must determine how much space is available to safely make the turn. Texting while driving puts the driver in a mental state that makes it more difficult to make a safe decision. It can also cause drivers to fail to yield the right-of-way.
Texting while driving also causes an 18 percent decrease in brake reaction time. This means that drivers are unable to react quickly when they notice an approaching motorcycle. Drivers are also more likely to brake too hard when they text while driving, which could result in accidents.
Drivers who are texting and driving are more likely to get into an accident, especially if they are trying to pass another vehicle. Texting while driving also increases the likelihood of a rear-end crash. Motorcyclists do not have seat belts or steel cages to protect them in a collision, which can make them more vulnerable. Motorcyclists are also more likely to be injured in a collision than drivers in a passenger vehicle.
Using a smartphone while driving is also dangerous. Research has shown that reading text messages while driving is as dangerous as driving blind for five seconds. The driver’s brain must process information from the text message, which can slow the reaction time of the driver’s brakes.
The use of smartphones has become more widespread in the U.S. and around the world. As a result, there are now many drivers who have a smartphone. This makes it even easier for motorcycles to be missed, and drivers are even more likely to ignore them. This has led to more motorcycle accidents.
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