Motorcycle accidents can result in devastating injuries, expensive medical bills, and time away from work. While victims can demand compensation whenever an accident was someone else’s fault, not all motorcycle accidents are the same. In fact, the circumstances of the collision that injured you can affect your ability to recover compensation.
On this page, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Florence and how they might affect your claim.
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident in Florence, Alabama, due to someone else’s negligence, don’t miss your chance to hold the motorist who hit you accountable for their carelessness. The Florence motorcycle accident attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are ready to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Contact our team today to discuss your case and review your legal options in a free claim review.
Head-on collisions occur when two approaching vehicles collide with one another. Head-on collisions are often severe, particularly when they occur between motorcycles and passenger or commercial vehicles.
Unlike occupants of cars and trucks, who are protected to some degree by safety features like airbags, seatbelts, and the metal frames of their vehicles, motorcyclists have little more than their clothes and helmet to protect them from serious injury. If a car or truck hits a motorcycle head-on, the motorcyclist may be thrown from the bike, which can cause catastrophic injuries or even death.
Rear-end collisions occur when the front end of one vehicle collides with the rear end of another vehicle. Rear-end collisions can happen for many reasons, but one of the most common is following too closely, commonly known as tailgating. A motorist following another vehicle too closely has insufficient time and space to stop if the vehicle in front of them suddenly brakes or slows down.
A car or truck that rear-ends a motorcycle can cause severe injuries, particularly if the motorcyclist is thrown from their vehicle.
Left-Hand Turns in Front of Oncoming Motorcycle
Left-hand turns are another common cause of motorcycle accidents because, by their nature, left turns cause a vehicle to cross paths with oncoming traffic. For instance, if a motorcyclist is traveling straight through an intersection with a green light, and a motorist attempts to make a left turn, the approaching motorcyclist may crash into the side of the turning car, likely leading to injuries to the motorcyclist.
Oncoming motorcycles are often difficult to see due to their small size and lower profile. However, all motorists must remain alert and watch for motorcycles in traffic before making maneuvers that could endanger them.
Failure to Yield Right-of-Way
Many motorcycle crashes are due to other motorists’ failure to yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists. Motorists in cars or trucks may neglect to yield for various reasons, one of the most common being that they are not actively looking for motorcyclists. Motorists may fail to notice motorcyclists and turn in front of them because of low visibility, poor vision, or simply because they did not make an effort to see the motorcyclist.
Drivers Not Sharing the Road
Far too many drivers behave in a reckless, aggressive manner on the road. Occasionally, a particularly aggressive driver might attempt to run a motorcyclist off the road. Other drivers simply do not understand how to share the road with different types of vehicles, such as motorcycles, bicycles, and scooters. They may fail to check their blind spots before switching lanes or may not fully grasp the hazards that motorcyclists face. Car and truck drivers who aren’t prepared to share the road with other types of vehicles put themselves and everyone around them at risk.
Speeding is another frequent cause of motorcycle accidents, as is driving too fast for conditions. When motorists speed, they have less space and time to react to changing road conditions. Likewise, motorists who drive too fast in hazardous conditions risk causing an accident. For example, if the motorist hydroplanes while speeding in the rain, they could easily spin out of control and crash into a nearby motorcycle.
Driving Under the Influence
Drugs and alcohol impair judgment, concentration, and reaction times, all of which increase the likelihood of a collision. Some prescription medications can also cause impaired driving, such as narcotics or drugs with sedative effects.
Distracted driving occurs when a motorist takes their eyes off the road, hands off the steering wheel, or focus off the road. Common driving distractions include texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, and eating or drinking. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of all traffic-related accidents, including motorcycle crashes.
Some motorcycle crashes are caused by motorists opening their car doors into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. Motorists are not always diligent about checking their blind spots before exiting a parked vehicle. If they neglect to look for motorcycles, they could open their doors into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist, causing a collision.
Collisions Between Motorcycles and Fixed Objects
Some motorcycle accidents occur with fixed objects like guardrails, curbs, road construction equipment, buildings, trees, and fences. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 1,951 motorcyclists were killed in single-vehicle crashes in one recent, nearly 40% of the total number of motorcycle fatalities.
A motorcyclist who rides between two lanes of traffic is engaging in lane-splitting. Some motorcyclists do this to bypass heavy traffic conditions. While it can be convenient, it can also be deadly.
Imagine this scenario: You’re riding your motorcycle between lanes of heavy traffic, and suddenly a driver decides to switch lanes. You may not have enough space to maneuver your motorcycle out of the car’s path since you are blocked in on all sides. Lane-splitting is actually illegal in Alabama for precisely this reason.
Lane-splitting should not be confused with lane-sharing, which is the practice of riding side by side with another motorcyclist in a single lane. Lane sharing is legal and generally safe.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Sometimes, dangerous road conditions contribute to motorcycle accidents. Common road hazards include potholes, cracked pavement, rough roads, slick surfaces, standing water, ice, debris, and more. Motorcycles are more susceptible to these dangerous conditions because their two wheels provide less traction and stability than the four wheels of most passenger vehicles.
Contact Our Experienced Florence Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
Were you injured in a motorcycle accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence? If so, contact the Florence motorcycle accident lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., today to speak with us about your case. We offer a free consultation and legal advice about your best options.