What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

Whether you’re on your first bike or your one hundredth, there is something special about slinging your leg over the seat, kicking the bike into life, and roaring off into the sunset.

Unfortunately, this feeling of freedom comes with a price. Motorcyclists are approximately 27 times more likely to die in a crash than a passenger in a car. Thankfully there were only 248 motorcycle fatalities in 2016. Of course, it would be better if this number was zero.

One thing that is certain, whether you want to pick from this range of KTM motorcycles or prefer a more laid back, Harley-style approach. It’s not the type of bike you drive that causes the accident.

These are the most common causes:

Lane Changing

Generally, motorcyclists are very aware of what is happening around them. This is partly because there are no obstacles to vision. Unfortunately, this is not the same for car drivers. Too many check their rearview mirror and then change lanes without checking the blind spot or indicating.

The motorcyclist in their blind spot has no opportunity to avoid the collision.


This affects car drivers and motorcyclists. Speeding often leads to a lack of attention to detail, as well as an inability to react in time if danger is seen. The result is accidents through errors of judgment simply because the speed prevents adequate defensive action from being taken.

The faster the bike or car is going the greater the impact and the more likely there will be serious injuries.

Drink Driving

Despite a greater awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence many people still do so. Unfortunately, this impairs judgment and reaction times, increasing the risk of a serious accident occurring.

Driving Between Lanes

Some motorcyclists ride between the lanes, a practice is known as lane splitting. This makes it easier for them to see ahead and overtake when the opportunity presents itself.

Unfortunately, it also increases the risk of motorcyclists getting caught between two vehicles or clipped by one, resulting in a potentially fatal accident.

Stopping Suddenly

This remains one of the most common causes of accidents for motorcyclists and car drivers. It’s a combination of someone stopping too fast/suddenly and the person behind being too close. This reduces reaction time and prevents them from stopping in time. A motorcyclist can find themselves headfirst n the back of the vehicle or even thrown over the car.

Road Conditions

Motorbikes have just two points of contact with the road, the front, and the back wheel. These small pieces of rubber are all that keeps the bike stable. When the road hasn’t been maintained properly potholes start to appear. Disintegrating pavements and debris on the road can also cause issues. When the bike hits these it’s possible for the rider to lose control. The result is a slide down the road with your bike or a variety of more serious consequences.


Owning a motorcycle means learning basic maintenance skills. Something as simple as a loose or worn chain can help you to lose control of your bike and crash. The only question then is what speed you were doing and whether you hit anything else or not.  The faster the speed and the higher the number of objects hit the greater the chance of a serious injury.

It’s not just basic maintenance that matters, you should also be aware of how your bike handles and responds. This will help to ensure you’re aware when there is a defect. If you ride with a defective part you could have an accident. The knowledge that you can sue the manufacturer of the defective part is not going to be very comforting.

Car Doors

Cars have mirrors and yet there are a surprising number of accidents that simply involve a car driver opening their door in front of a motorcyclist. The rider can hit the door or swerve, although that may create a bigger accident and more issues.

Showing Off

While many accidents can be attributed to the actions of other road users, showing off is completely on the rider. If you’re popping a wheelie or showing someone how fast your bike can go you are increasing the likelihood of an accident and serious injury.

Bottom Line

Riding a motorbike is fun but you must also be responsible and pay attention to everything that is going on around you. In many cases, accidents can be avoided by being vigilant and aware of what is happening. This approach could literally save your life.

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