Causes of Motorcycle Crashes

Many enthusiasts will tell you that motorcycles are quicker, have better fuel economy and are cleaner for the environment than other vehicles. However, it is also true that motorcycles are much more dangerous, not because they are themselves inherently unsafe but because of the other, larger and heavier vehicles on the road. Research has shown that motorcyclists are thirty five times more likely to die on the road than those in cars.

A considerable number of motorcycle accidents involve only one vehicle. The most usual causes for these types of accidents are speed, inexperience, inattention and drugs and alcohol.

Other vehicles

As motorcycles are so much smaller than other vehicles they are less visible than other road users, especially if they weave between other vehicles and filter through traffic (which is banned in a lot of states.) A failure to yield by the other vehicle, and being distracted or inattentive are the most common reasons for accidents caused by other vehicles.


Motorcycles are more susceptible to weather conditions than other vehicles, in part because they are much lighter and in relative terms faster than cars and trucks. Rain, snow and ice can all contribute to motorcycle accidents, as can strong winds which can knock riders off course on the road.


Of course, excessive alcohol consumption causes delayed reactions, poor judgment and a reduced sense of risk in all road users but it is particularly dangerous for motorcycle users. Similarly, intoxication through prescription or illegal drugs causes a change in spatial awareness which can give the motorcyclist an altered sense of mortality.

Motor vehicle defect

On some occasions a motorcycle can have a defect that causes the user to crash. However, under federal law motorcycle manufacturers are under a legal duty to endeavor to contact owners and to rectify the motorcycle's defect without any charge to the consumer.


Excessive speed or racing on the part of any road user is irresponsible but high-speed motorcycle crashes can be particularly devastating. Motorcyclists must ensure that they are aware of their vulnerability in relation to other road users and take care not to put themselves unnecessarily at risk. Because of the high ratio of engine power to vehicular weight, motorcyclists can accelerate much more quickly and to much higher speeds than cars.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident it is imperative that you do not sign anything from your insurance company, or from anyone purporting to represent the defendant, before you have consulted with a specialist personal injury attorney.

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