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Motorcycles epitomize the freedom of the open road. After all, there’s nothing quite like having the wind in your hair and a powerful motor at your fingertips. Unfortunately, this freedom can come with a steep cost. Because there’s no seatbelt or vehicle structure to surround the rider, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a crash than someone driving a car. Learn about the six most common causes of motorcycle accidents here.

Right-of-Way Violations

Two-thirds of multi-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles are caused by the other vehicle violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way. This happens when the motorist doesn’t see the motorcycle, fails to anticipate the motorcycle’s movements, or drives distracted. Examples include colliding with a motorcycle while making a left-hand turn, opening a car door in front of an oncoming motorcycle, and changing lanes without checking the blind spot.

Inexperienced or “Re-Entry” Motorcyclists

To legally operate a motorcycle, riders must complete training and pass competency tests above and beyond what is required to obtain a standard driver’s license. However, 36% of motorcycle fatalities comprise older riders who rode in their 20s and took up the hobby again in their 40s, 50s, or 60s. Many of these “re-entry” riders fail to refresh their skills, making them more likely to get in an accident.

Unsafe Maneuvers

Motorcycles are small and nimble, so some riders engage in risky maneuvers to get out of traffic. This includes “lane splitting” or riding along the shoulder where uneven surfaces or unexpected obstacles could cause a crash. Speeding is another major factor in fatal motorcycle collisions.

Alcohol Impairment

Drinking and driving is a significant cause of motorcycle accidents. In fact, 28% of motorcyclists who died in a crash in 2017 were alcohol-impaired. Not only does drinking make it unsafe to ride a motorcycle, but alcohol impairment also makes riders less likely to wear a helmet. This increases the risk of injuries or death if a crash occurs.

Poor Road Conditions

Two-wheeled vehicles are more likely to skid out in wet or icy conditions than passenger cars. Other road hazards, such as potholes and debris on the street, can also cause a motorcycle to crash or swerve dangerously to avoid the obstacle. In these cases, the state could be held liable for a lack of proper road maintenance.

No Antilock Brakes

Stopping a motorcycle is more complex than stopping a car. There are separate brakes for the front and rear wheels, and braking too hard can cause the wheels to lock up. Still, not braking hard enough may result in a collision. Because of this, the crash rate is significantly higher for motorcycles that aren’t equipped with optional antilock braking systems (ABS).

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a motorcycle crash, choose Childers and Associates to represent your case. Our motorcycle accident lawyers will put their 100+ years of combined experience to work for you! For a free case evaluation, please call our Manassas, VA office at (703) 330-6300 today.