One of the leading and most widely underestimated causes of motorcycle accidents is curving roads and sharp turns. If a motorcyclist takes on a curve too quickly on their bike, their center of gravity will be lost. Losing their balance and traction will cause them to spin out of control, especially on rainy days that create icy, slick roads. The vast majority of weather-related accidents occur during rainfall, 70% on wet pavement, 18% during snow or sleet, and 16% on slushy pavement. Traditional vehicles are heavier than motorcycles, allowing them to make trickier turns without fearing that their car will spin out. Despite this, motorcyclists can minimize their risks by thoroughly understanding what factors are often at play in a motorcycle accident.
Speeding or alcohol use causes half of all accidents involving motorcycles. While these factors play a significant role in the statistics for traditional motor vehicles, motorcycles don't provide ample protection resulting in more deaths when compared to other types of accidents. A motorcyclist or driver's ability to operate their vehicle becomes impaired when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In 2017, the NHTSA studied cases of motorcyclists who suffered fatal injuries. The study found that 28 percent of them had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than the legal limit of 0.08 percent. About 49 percent of these deaths occurred during the nighttime hours.
Lane splitting happens when a motorcycle wedges between two lanes that are stopped or slowed, usually by traffic jams. It is a common cause of motorcycle accidents for several reasons. The proximity of the cars to the motorcycle creates a significant hazard. The reduced nature of the space makes it difficult for the motorcyclist to maneuver. Additionally, cars don't often anticipate that a motorcycle will pass them in traffic. It is often complex to assign fault in accidents that occur because of lane splitting especially because it is a legal maneuver in California. Views given by the police officer(s) and the judge will be taken into consideration when determining fault. The driver and the motorcyclist's actions before the accident are also considered.