According to a study from the Center for Urban Transportation Research, other drivers are to blame for 60 percent of motorcycle accidents. In contrast, a study from the Federal Highway Administration concluded that the motorcyclist was the primary cause of 44 percent of motorcycle crashes. The study attributed the high percentage of other-driver-responsibility crashes to the fact that drivers don’t look for motorcycles on the road.
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While many factors play a role in motorcycle accident rates, one of the most common causes is driver negligence and distracted driving. Distracted driving causes motorcycle crashes because it takes the driver’s focus off the road. As a result, motorcycle fatalities are on the rise. In New Jersey alone, more than half of all motorcycle-vehicle collisions occur at intersections.
Distracted driving can occur in many different ways, including visual or manual distractions. Visual distractions include looking at a cell phone, talking on the phone, and anything else going on outside the car. Manual distractions can include eating or reaching for a purse. They can cause the driver to become late or miss an opportunity to avoid an accident.
Alcohol is a major risk factor for motorcycle accidents. It impairs judgment and reduces coordination, which can lead to a wide range of motorcycling problems. Alcohol also reduces the ability to focus on the road, which can lead to problems controlling speed and steering. While alcohol does not cause motorcycling accidents, it does increase the risk.
Studies have shown that alcohol can contribute to dangerous motorcycle accidents at lower levels than you might think. Seven percent of motorcyclist fatalities in 2016 had blood alcohol concentrations that were below the legal limit. Additionally, buzzed driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were more likely to be impaired by alcohol than drivers of passenger cars and light trucks.
In addition to speeding, tailgating is a common cause of motorcycle accidents. The dangers of following too closely range from minor bumps to severe injuries. When a vehicle suddenly brakes, the motorcyclist is at risk of colliding with the rear end of the car. Even when antilock braking systems are in place, a sudden stop can still cause an accident.
If tailgating is the culprit, the driver should be held accountable. Motorcycle accident victims suffer life-changing injuries. Many need financial assistance. Tailgating is the fault of a negligent driver who needs to pay for the damage he or she has caused.
Motorcycle accidents are one of the most common types of road accidents. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to road accidents, and they are often the most injured and killed victims. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to be killed or injured in an accident than car drivers. Similarly, an Australian study found that motorcyclists were 30 times more likely to die in an accident than car drivers. A recent study in the UK found that motorcycle rider were 38 times more likely to be killed in a crash than car drivers.
While many factors can increase the risk of motorcycle accidents, one of the most significant is driver inattention. Studies have shown that inattentive car drivers account for 25% of motorcycle accidents.
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