The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
A motorcycle accident is a collision involving a motorcycle and another vehicle or object. These types of accidents can be serious and often result in injuries or fatalities. It is important for motorcycle riders to always wear protective gear and to follow the rules of the road to avoid accidents. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention and to contact the authorities to report the accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data in 2020, the year with the highest number of motorcyclist killed was 5.579 people, this number constituted 14 percent of all traffic deaths. From 2019 that number increased by 11%. What are the most common causes of motorcycle crash based on NHTSA, here are the most common causes:
Car or other vehicles were turning left
There were 21% or 575 accidents are caused by other vehicles turning left while motorbikes go straight past or overtake other vehicles.
There were 34% or 1921 fatal accidents due to racing with other vehicles or speeding over the speed limit
There were 27% or 1436 accidents were caused by motorcyclists due to alcohol-impaired (BAC of .08 g/dL or higher)
Motorcyclist Fatalities & Injuries Statistics (Past 5 years)
Motorcycles are two-wheeled vehicles that are more affordable, fun to ride, more fuel efficient, compact for parking, look sporty, and agile in city congestion, maintenance costs are cheaper than cars, motorbike insurance costs are cheaper, etc.
Behind the pros of motorcycles, there are also cons of motorbikes which are more vulnerable to weather, limited luggage, more tired and sore than driving by car, motorcycle riders are more likely to be injured than those who drive cars. For motorcyclists to avoid accidents, it is necessary to know the factors that cause accidents. To reduce the risk, we should know what factors cause accidents on motorcycles. Three factors cause traffic accidents, namely:
On the highway, motorcycles are smaller in size than cars and trucks, motorcycles also have lower stability than four-wheeled vehicles, so they are more vulnerable and risky in the event of an accident on the road. According to a Stanford Law School report, it is said that more than 90% of traffic accidents are caused by human error.
Why the human and vehicle factors are so important, because that’s what we can control. In addition, the things that we can control are good motorcycle control, traffic ethics and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) or Motorcycle Gear is also very important.
In order to reduce the motorcycle factor, motorcycle maintenance and repair is needed, besides that there is an obligation to carry out regular motorcycle testing or check your motorcycle before driving long distances. The condition of a motorcycle that is less reliable, can also be a cause of accidents.
Motorcycle factors that most often occur are broken tires, brakes that don’t work or lack of grip, worn parts that are not replaced and various other causes. Another factor that is no less important in every accident case is the poor road infrastructure.
Like the condition of the roads are damaged and potholes. Especially entering the rainy season, where many damaged roads are often the cause of accidents. Road factors related to speed, road plans, road geometry, safety fences in mountainous areas, presence or absence of road medians, visibility and road surface conditions, damaged or potholes are very dangerous for road users, especially for motorcycle users.
Weather factors here can be predicted by the presence of fog, rain, slippery roads, which will bring the risk of traffic accidents. Weather factors such as rain affect the work of the vehicle such as the braking distance becomes longer, the road becomes more slippery, visibility is also affected because the windshield wiper cannot work perfectly or heavy rain causes the visibility to be shorter. Smoke and fog can also interfere with visibility, especially in mountainous areas.
90% Caused by Human Error
“Objectifying and Predicting” is needed by motorcyclists to read and predict what will happen next from the current conditions. it is necessary to face various dangerous conditions while riding a motorcycle.
The human factor is the most dominant factor in accidents. Almost all accidents are preceded by violations of traffic signs. Violations can occur due to intentional, ignorance of the meaning of the applicable rules or not seeing the applicable provisions or pretending not to know.
In addition, drivers who are negligent and even speeding while riding motorbikes, not a few traffic accidents are caused by driving a vehicle drunk, sleepy, and easily provoked by the actions of other road users who may be able to provoke passion for racing.
Human error, and especially recognition error, plays an important role in car and motorcycle traffic accidents. Failure of car drivers and motorcyclists to properly understand the road situation can also result in wrong decisions and performance errors.
Motorcycle Braking Distance
Safety riding is a safe driving behavior that can helps to avoid traffic accidents in which it is the basis of driving training with attention to safety for drivers and passengers. Safety riding is designed to increase rider awareness of all possibilities that occur while driving.
Safety riding is a program to reduce the number of traffic accidents by providing an understanding to the public that traffic is an activity that involves many aspects so that it must pay attention to the safety and security factors for oneself and others.
The priority targets for the safety riding program include equipping vehicles with mirrors, turn signals and brake lights (vehicle accessories), using helmets and other motorcycle Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Motorcycle riders are required to wear motorcycle Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or also known as “Motorcycle Gear” which is used to increase safety and and protect vital body parts such as the head, hands, body and feet.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
Here are some tips as “Important Safety Reminders” with the do’s and don’ts to prevents accidents:
Check the motorcycle before driving, such as checking the instrument lights, checking the wheels, checking the front and rear brakes.
Be Noticed and keep your headlights on even during the day to increase your visibility and that of cars, trucks and others seeing you.
Ride in daylight only, in addition to increasing your visibility, you can see traffic and roads more clearly.
Wear personal protective equipment (safety gear) such as a helmet that has a valid label from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), both for motorcyclists and passengers.
Wear other protective equipment such as jackets, trousers, gloves by using high-visibility colors, it is recommended to increase visibility, a jacket with reflective material so that it reflects light when exposed to light.
Be a responsible motorcycle rider, obeying traffic rules, signs, speed limits and lane markings. Provide sufficient safe distance between your motorcycle and other vehicles.
Don’t ride a motorcycle with a large engine size (cc) above 500 cc if you are not used to controlling a large motorbike, especially if you are a beginner.
Don’t ride in the Blind Spot, because you are not seen by other vehicles, make sure you are in the driver’s line of sight, be it in front, behind or on the side.
Do not drink alcohol before riding, Nearly half of all motorcyclists in the US are due to drinking alcohol, avoid drinking any kind of alcohol when you want to ride a motorcycle or vehicle.
Do not ride under the influence of ANY drug because riding motorcycle requires focus, concentration and full awareness.
Avoid riding at night if possible because your visibility is limited, if you have to wear a jacket with reflective gear is the best way to get other drivers to notice you on the road.
Avoid riding in Bad Weather such as snow, rain, sleet, or cold temperatures. Besides being uncomfortable, it can also be very dangerous for motorcyclists.
What should You do after motorcycle crash?
If you are in a situation where, as a motorcyclist, you have complied with traffic regulations, wear safety gear and are not drunk or speeding but still have a motorcycle accident, what should you do? Here’s a guide on how to act in your best interest, if you are involved in a accident.
Help us spread this safety riding campaign, and if you have any Tips to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents, please contact us.