Things every Motorcyclist Needs to Know
Common Causes of Motorcycle Collisions
There are some tactics and knowledge we can use to make our rides as safe as possible. According to the Hurt Report, a significant study done on motorcycle collisions: the following was determined:
- The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision, or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision.
- Approximately three-fourths of these motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most often a passenger automobile.
- Approximately one-fourth of these motorcycle accidents were single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment.
- In single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident precipitating factor in about two-thirds of the cases, with the typical error being a slideout and fall due to overbraking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering.
- In multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.
For a complete list of the findings, please see:
Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, Volume 1: Technical Report, Hurt, H.H., Ouellet, J.V. and Thom, D.R., Traffic Safety Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90007, Contract No. DOT HS-5-01160, January 1981 (Final Report). To order the full report:
National Technical Information Service
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, Virginia 22161
What to do in the event of a Motorcycle Collision
Unfortunatley, due to the lack of external protection on a motorcycle, many motorcycle collisions can result in severe injuries to the rider. If you are involved in a motorcycle collision, it is important that you try to do the following:
contact the police to investigate the scene of the accident
get names and phone numbers of any potential witnesses
make sure you get the name and insurance information of the other driver
if possible, get pictures of the vehicles and the collision site
seek immediate medical treatment if you are injured
contact your insurance company to them notice of the accident but do not give a recorded statement until you have spoken with an attorney
Uninsured Motorist coverage is a must
Many times the driver causing the accident will not have sufficient insurance coverage to ensure that you can recover enough damages to compensate you for your injuries. In order to protect yourself it is strongly recommended that you get as much Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) coverage that you can afford. Uninsured motorist coverage on your policy will provide additional coverage to you in the event the value of your injury claim exceeds the other driver’s coverage. On virtually all of the motorcycle claims we handle, the majority of the damages are recovered under our clients UM policies.