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10 Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

10 Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

What is the primary cause of motorcycle accidents? Although there are many reasons for motorcycle accidents, there are only about 10 main causes of motorcycle accidents. Statistics show that these 10 causes account for most motorcycle accident deaths and most personal injuries.

#1 Car Doors

Imagine you are riding a motorcycle and someone exiting a parked car opens a door into the street, blocking your path just as you approach. Under such circumstances, an accident is unavoidable. You would think people would exercise more care, yet open car doors remain one of the primary causes of motorcycle accidents.

#2 Reckless Driving, Speeding, and Alcohol Use

Perhaps all of these causes for motorcycle accidents could be understood as forms of reckless driving. Liability, of course, depends on who was driving recklessly, the motorist or the motorcyclist. Since all these offenses are illegal, proving negligence is much easier once you have proven that the motorist broke the law.

#3 Lane Splitting

Lane splitting means riding a two-wheeled vehicle between cars, usually in response to slow traffic. Although lane splitting is extremely common,, including Indiana. If you cause an accident this way, you could end up with reduced compensation or no compensation at all.

#4 Weather & Seasons

You might classify some motorcycle accidents as “Mother Nature’s fault”. In other cases, you can assign liability to a person or entity, even if inclement weather created dangerous driving conditions. The city government, for example, might bear liability for icy roads if it failed to salt them within a reasonable time. Likewise, a motorist might bear liability for turning on their bright headlights during foggy weather conditions.

#5 Sudden Stops 

Sudden stops don’t cause motorcycle accidents any more often than they cause car accidents. It’s just that sudden stop accidents are more deadly for motorcyclists. Since motorcycles don’t have seat belts, a sudden stop can send a motorcyclist flying over the vehicle in front of them or smashing into the back of a taller vehicle. 

#6 Inexperience & Inattention

Inexperience and inattention are major reasons for motorcycle accidents. Of course, this cause overlaps some of the others listed. Failure to pay attention to an upcoming red light, for example, can result in a sudden stop accident. An inexperienced motorist might fail to watch for motorcycles, resulting in an accident. Likewise, an inexperienced motorcyclist might not know how to avoid certain kinds of accidents or how to accelerate out of trouble.

#7 Left-Turn Accidents

A left-turn accident occurs when an automobile turns left across a lane of traffic, into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist. Left-turn accidents are one of the top causes of motorcycle accidents. They are also among the most deadly, because the motorcycle typically hits the automobile broadside, throwing the rider over the vehicle onto the pavement. Left-turn accidents are even more deadly when the motorcyclist makes a careless left turn.

#8 Dangerous Road Conditions

Some road conditions might not cause a motorist any problem but might kill a motorcyclist. Imagine gravel on the road that causes a motorcycle to lay down in the path of an oncoming car, for example. Other obstacles include:

  • Rubber from a blown-out tire;
  • Road construction debris; and
  • Uneven pavement.

Slippery road surfaces also pose a particular danger to motorcyclists because a two-wheeled vehicle can lose balance much easier than an automobile.  

#9 Motorcycle Defects

A motorcycle defect accident is not the motorist’s fault, and it is not necessarily the motorcyclist’s fault. Such as accident might result from:

  • Careless motorcycle maintenance;
  • A defectively manufactured motorcycle part, such as brakes or tires;
  • A design defect in the motorcycle;
  • Negligent motorcycle repair work;
  • A broken mirror creates a dangerous blind spot.

Take good care of your motorcycle, because your life may depend on it.

#10 Physical & Emotional Impairment

The sense of freedom that riding a motorcycle offers can leave you feeling invincible. Many riders find out the hard way that this feeling is an illusion. Other hidden dangers that can cause an accident can include:

  • Riding while under the influence of drugs, even legal prescription drugs;
  • Riding while drowsy;
  • Riding while angry; and
  • Riding while engrossed in deep thought.

Anyone operating a motor vehicle must concentrate on the road. Because of their increased vulnerability, motorcyclists must make a special effort and pay close attention to the road. 


Motorcycle accidents tend to be serious, often catastrophic. If you are a victim of one, you need to focus on recovering your health, not fighting for compensation with a defendant or (more likely) an insurance company. The problem is that the longer you wait, the weaker your claim becomes. At Stracci Law Group, we can:

  • Investigate your claim. We might even retain an accident reconstruction specialist to determine the ultimate cause of your accident.
  • Gather evidence that is admissible in court. That doesn’t mean we will necessarily go to trial.
  • Probe the defendant’s case for weaknesses.
  • Negotiate with the opposing party (probably an insurance company adjuster).
  • Go to court if necessary. Otherwise, we can draft a settlement agreement for you and the opposing party to sign.

We have over eight decades of combined experience and thousands of victories for our clients. And you can afford us because you pay nothing unless we win your case. Call Stracci Law Group at (219) 525-1000 or contact us online. We serve clients in Gary, Crown Point, Portage, Hammond, Merrillville, Valparaiso, and elsewhere in Northwest Indiana.

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