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Motorcycle Crashes: 4 Common Causes

May 3rd, 2023

Motorcycle Crashes

Motorcycles can be thrilling to ride but also potentially dangerous. Because motorcyclists are far less protected than car drivers, crashes frequently result in severe injuries (and sometimes death), hefty medical bills, and prolonged recovery periods. According to the NSC, although motorcycles comprise only 3 percent of registered vehicles, they account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities.

While motorcycle riding always carries some inherent risk, that risk can be reduced by developing smart habits, anticipating dangers, and avoiding them. In honor of May being Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, let’s talk about five common causes of motorcycle crashes and what you can do to reduce your risks.

Visibility Risks causing Motorcycle Crashes

One of the biggest challenges motorcyclists face is not being seen by other drivers on the road. Unlike cars, motorcycles are smaller and can easily disappear in blind spots or be overlooked by other drivers. Weather conditions such as fog, rain, or darkness can also make it harder for motorists to see you. To reduce these risks, wear bright or reflective clothing, always use your headlights, and avoid drivers’ blind spots. Also, be aware of your surroundings and anticipate the behavior of other drivers.

Left-Turn Motorcycle Crashes

One particularly dangerous scenario for motorcyclists occurs when a car makes a left turn in front of a motorcycle unexpectedly. It makes it impossible for the cyclist to avoid crashing into them. This usually happens because drivers often fail to see or adequately judge the speed of an oncoming motorcycle. This type of crash carries an exceptionally high risk of injury or death for cyclists. To avoid left-turn accidents, always slow down when approaching intersections. Be aware of turning vehicles and use hand signals to indicate your intention to turn.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is when a motorcycle rides between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic. While lane splitting is legal in some states, it is particularly dangerous for motorcyclists and increases the risk of a crash because there is less physical room for error. It is illegal in Colorado for a motorcycle to split a lane with a car. To prevent lane-splitting accidents, avoid this practice and be aware of surrounding traffic in heavy traffic situations.


Few things are more exhilarating to motorcyclists than riding fast, but speeding is also one of the most common contributors to fatal motorcycle crashes. More than one-third of all motorcycle fatalities involve speeding. Motorcycles are more difficult to control at high speeds and less able to compensate for unexpected situations without the cyclist losing control. Additionally, high speeds can make it harder to avoid unexpected obstacles or hazards on the road. Always obey speed limits, and always ride at a safe speed for the weather, road, and traffic conditions.

You can practice safe riding habits to reduce the risk of injury from a motorcycle crash—but you can’t control the choices of other drivers. Were you’re involved in a motorcycle accident where someone else was negligent or at fault? A good personal injury attorney can help you receive all the compensation you need for your recovery. Call our offices for a consultation today.