Motorcycles remain a popular choice for transportation in Arizona, but their popularity on the road means more opportunities for accidents.
Motorcycles present a unique danger in vehicle crashes because riders often are more vulnerable to injury. More than 2,300 motorcycle crashes occur annually in Arizona, often leaving crash victims permanently disabled or, even worse, dead as a result. This trend is true nationally, too, with motorcycles making up a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities and injuries.
This is why it is so important to rely on a personal injury lawyer if you or a loved one are dealing with the consequences of a motorcycle accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Here are some basic facts about motorcycle accidents you should know.
What Are The Main Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Many motorcycle accidents are the result of negligence on the part of vehicle drivers who may stray from their lane or disobey the right of way laws on the road. Some of the more serious accidents that lead to deaths are head-on collisions with other vehicles. Some accidents are also caused by the negligence of motorcycle riders.
Some common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Lane splitting: Serious accidents can be caused when motorcycle riders cut and weave rapidly in between slower vehicles in traffic.
- Road rage: Other dangerous accidents occur when an aggressive driver of a vehicle acts out in anger or frustration, sometimes intentionally cutting off motorcycle riders in traffic.
- Rider error: Some accidents are the result of a rider mishandling their motorcycle; for example, applying too much of the brake on the front wheel when attempting to stop
- Motorcycle defects: Crashes and injuries also occur when a motorcycle does not perform properly, due to equipment failure or defective parts.
- Speeding: Just as in vehicle accidents, aggressive driving and high speeds present serious threats to motorcycles.
- Poor driving conditions: Inclement weather conditions can be another factor that leads to accidents.
- Distracted driving: Motorcycles are not as easy to see on the road, and often drivers of other vehicles are not aware of them. While it is important for vehicle drivers to remain alert, they may be distracted and unable to react quickly enough to avoid a collision with a motorcycle.
- Driving under the influence: Driving under the influence is another factor causing accidents. This can be due to vehicle drivers or motorcycle riders driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which reduces their alertness.
- Unsafe driving: Accidents also occur when drivers of either vehicles or motorcycles do not comply with safety and traffic rules.
- Road defects: Potholes, uneven surfaces, and other hazardous road conditions can also lead to accidents.
Who is Responsible for Motorcycle Accidents?
Drivers must assume responsibility for their behavior while driving, acting with care and in a reasonable manner consistent with the behavior expected of other similarly situated drivers. Failure to do this can lead to negligence and a driver can be held liable for an accident. Those who are often found accountable for motorcycle accidents include:
- Motorcycle riders: A rider who acts carelessly or negligently can be found liable in an accident, which means they are responsible for payments covering injuries, property damages and other consequences.
- Vehicle drivers: Drivers of other vehicles who also act carelessly or negligently can also be found liable in an accident.
- The motorcycle manufacturer: Manufacturers of defective or failed motorcycles and parts can be held liable for an accident.
- Government jurisdiction: A government entity that fails to address faulty road conditions or poor traffic signs also can be found liable in an accident.