What Percentage Of Motorcycle Accidents Occur At Intersections?

What Percentage of Motorcycle Accidents Occur at Intersections? 

When looking at statistics for motorcycle accidents, it’s easy to see that a large percentage of crashes occur at intersections. For example, a study by the Highway Loss Data Institute in 2009 revealed that 42 percent of fatal motorcycle collisions involved a car turning left in front of the motorcyclist. The other four percent of fatal collisions involved motorcycles that were traveling straight, passing, or overtaking. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most of these collisions occurred at non-interstate intersections. This means that if you ride on the road often, it’s essential to pay attention to these types of intersections and how to safely negotiate them. 

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Driver failure to see the motorcyclist 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a large percentage of motorcycle accidents occur at intersections, often because motorists fail to see motorcyclists. This is especially true when motorists are making a left turn and fail to yield to the motorcycle. In addition to not seeing the motorcycle, drivers may mistakenly assume that a motorcyclist does not require the whole lane. This causes collisions and may result in fatalities. 

Failure to yield is another contributing factor in motorcycle crashes. According to the NHTSA, nearly 35 percent of motorcycle accidents occur when a driver failed to yield to a motorcycle. Motorcycles are also much smaller than passenger vehicles, making them harder to see in a motorist’s blind spot. Distracted or impaired drivers are also at a greater risk of failing to see motorcyclists. Other factors contributing to motorcycle accidents include speeding, lane weaving, and other driving behaviors. 


Across the country, intersections are one of the most common locations for motorcycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), intersections are responsible for 35 percent of all fatal crashes involving motorcycles. Many of these crashes are caused by motorists who fail to yield to motorcycles or drivers who are distracted and fail to notice that a motorcycle is slowing down for a red light. 

While motorcycle accidents can occur anywhere, many of them occur in urban settings and at intersections. Studies show that intersections are the most dangerous for motorcycles, especially when left turns are involved. Motorcyclists have no room to move when a driver turns left, so they are often hit directly. 

Standing water 

A high percentage of motorcycle accidents occur at intersections, where motorists often fail to see the motorcyclist, fail to yield to the motorcycle or fail to slow down or yield for a turn. In addition, intersections are frequently impacted by potholes, standing water, and loose asphalt, all of which present a hazard to motorcyclists. 

If you see standing water, pull over and get to the shelter immediately. Attempting to drive through standing water can result in damage to your vehicle and your life. Motorcycle tires lose traction in wet conditions and may hydroplane. In addition, ice and snow can pose unique dangers. 

Loose asphalt 

Loose asphalt can cause motorcycle accidents because it is difficult for the vehicle to control. When a driver fails to anticipate a turn or misjudges the tightness of a turn, he or she can lose control of the motorcycle and wipe out. This is particularly common on twisting roads or those with elevation changes. The crash can lead to further injuries to the motorcyclist. Moreover, multiple cars may not react in time to avoid hitting the motorcyclist. 

Besides loose asphalt, other factors that can cause motorcycle accidents to include potholes, standing water, and debris. It is also important to give motorcycle drivers extra room to swerve. A driver should not be following too closely because this can cause an accident. Moreover, a motorcycle driver should be aware of his or her blind spots and use his or her turn signals when changing lanes. 

What Percentage Of Motorcycle Accidents Occur At Intersections? | Montag Law Office