A Motorcycle Crash Course Some Motorcycle Accident Facts

There are a lot of reasons why motorcycles wreck, but the majority of accidents are caused by one of three reasons. If we as bikers can understand these three reasons we can protect ourselves on the road from many of the hazards that await.

Photo by Adam Regele

The Number One Reason For Motorcycles Crashes:

Some two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle, and most often a car.

  • When motorcycles meet up with cars, by far the the most likely scenario is the automobile making a left hand turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. It’s very bad news as this is also the most dangerous crash for a rider and often results in a head-on or near head on collision.
  • Why does it happen? Drivers quite simply fail to see oncoming motorcycles in traffic.
  • It’s mighty rare (but it does happen) when deliberate action from the driver of another vehicle causes a crash.
  • You probably already know this, but if you don’t, you should. Intersections are the most likely scene of a motorcycle accident. Keep your head up and your eyes open to give yourself a fighting chance…

The Number Two Reason For Motorcycle Crashes:

Around a quarter of motorcycle accidents are single vehicle incidents where the rider hits an obstacle in the road.

  • It’s a sad fact of life that, like most air crashes, most motorcycle accidents are the result of rider error. They’re most likely to occur while cornering by either losing traction or taking a corner too wide. The “high side” is the bad side, so pay particular attention to your cornering technique while you’re riding.
  • While it may appear to be good news is that, while the average speed before a crash is around 30 mph, and the average speed at the time of the crash is just 21 mph, both of those speeds are more than enough to cause a rider serious injury .
  • Only one in a thousand crashes occur at speeds in excess of  85 mph, but it only takes one to ruin your day.
  • What can you do to lessen the odds of a crash? Keep your senses on high alert at all times while you’re riding, and take an MSF beginner or Advanced Course. Either course will make you a better rider, but neither one is a guarantee of your safety. If you’re a beginning rider, stay cool on your bike until you have enough experience to know your limits, you’re most at risk during the first couple of months of your riding experience.

The Number Three Reason For Motorcycles Crashes:

Vehicle failure, while it’s only responsible for less than three percent of motorcycle accidents, is something you can prevent.

  • Defects or equipment failures in the motorcycle itself causing accidents are rare and most likely the result of poor vehicle maintenance. You can do something about that, and you should. Every time you ride, make a quick check of all your bike’s systems before you hit the road, and pay particular attention to the condition of your tires and suspension. Running out of gas sucks, running out of tire tread sucks in an epic way…

Five Quick Motorcycle Accident Facts:

  • Riders aged 16 – 24 are significantly over-represented in motorcycle accident statistics
  • Riders aged 30 -50 are significantly under-represented in those same stats
  • While most motorcycle accidents involve men, women are significantly over-represented in motorcycle accident statistics when you consider their level of participation
  • Accidents where animals are involved represented less than 1 percent of all motorcycle accidents
  • In a typical scenario,  motorcycle accidents leave the rider less than two seconds to avoid a collision. Two seconds isn’t much time for evasion action, so don’t waste any of it by not paying attention to the road.

You may also like...