Even a minor motorcycle accident in Atlanta can cause devastating injury. Because motorcycles offer so little protection from the road and from potential hazards, riders may end up with lifelong impact from motorcycle collisions. Understanding common causes of motorcycle collisions in Atlanta can not only help you reduce the potential for serious injury in an accident, it may help you determine which party might bear liability for your motorcycle accident.
Who is at Fault in Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents can occur due to a variety of reasons. Fault frequently rests with the driver that committed the dangerous error. For example, motorcycle accidents may occur due to:
The considerably smaller size of motorcycles can make it much more difficult for the drivers of passenger vehicles to see them on the road. Motorcycles frequently fit into a car’s blind spot. In blind spot accidents, the driver of the passenger vehicle might not ever even notice the presence of the motorcycle (though that driver would still bear liability for the accident).
Lane splitting, or driving between two lanes of traffic, may make a motorcycle rider feel as though he can save time and move through traffic more easily. Unfortunately, lane splitting can also pose a serious hazard, since the drivers of other vehicles might not note the presence of the motorcycle. Lane splitting motorcycle riders may bear liability for accidents caused by their negligent actions.
Reckless Driving Behavior
Sometimes, both motorcycle riders and the drivers of passenger vehicles may engage in reckless driving behavior that poses a danger to one another one the road. Frequently, the driver that engages in that reckless behavior, from speeding to tailgating or changing lanes rapidly, will bear liability for a motorcycle accident.
Weather hazards can mean potential disaster out on the streets of Atlanta. Even drivers of passenger vehicles may have a more difficult time navigating in dangerous weather conditions, including rain or ice and snow. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders may face even more hazards. Frequently, motorcycle riders have a hard time controlling their bikes in dangerous weather. Motorcycles have just two wheels to hold into the road and a lighter frame, which can make them more prone to serious accident. Furthermore, bad weather may decrease overall visibility. The driver that commits an error that results in an accident, whether the driver of the motorcycle or the driver of the passenger vehicle, may bear liability for that accident.
Left Turn Accidents
Left turns can spell disaster for many motorcycle riders, especially if the driver of a passenger vehicle around that motorcycle does not pay adequate attention. Left turn accidents may occur when a left-turning vehicle fails to note the presence of a motorcycle in that lane or on that street, or when a driver does not note a motorcycle’s turn signal and turns into that area on top of the motorcycle.
A mechanical failure can mean serious problems on the road for many motorcycle riders. Engine trouble, brake problems, tire blowouts, and more: if something goes wrong on the motorcycle, it can make the vehicle difficult, if not impossible, to control. As a result, many riders may end up involved in serious accidents. When mechanical failure occurs, it may be the fault of the owner of the vehicle, who may have failed to properly maintain that vehicle, including taking care of regular vehicle ownership tasks that could keep it running properly. In other cases, however, fault may rest with the manufacturer of the vehicle, especially when the mechanical failure occurs due to manufacturing or design error.
What are the Odds of Getting Into a Motorcycle Accident?
Each year, around 5,000 riders die in motorcycle crashes across the United States. Motorcycle riders are around 29 times more likely to die in a crash than the occupants of a passenger vehicle, based on the number of vehicle miles traveled. Even more motorcycle riders suffer severe injuries: on average, between 82,000 and 89,000 riders suffer injuries each year, based on an estimated 8.5 million registered motorcycles across the country.
Motorcycle riders do have a higher chance of getting into a motorcycle accident than the average driver of a passenger vehicle, and when they do have an accident, motorcycle riders may suffer much more severe injuries. Helmet use can reduce the risk of brain, facial, and neck injuries, but it does not eliminate it entirely–and often, motorcycle riders find themselves facing substantial injury risk.
Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents in Atlanta
Weaving through the busy streets of Atlanta, whether you regularly use your motorcycle as part of your commute or you need to travel through Atlanta to reach an important destination, can be difficult. However, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of an accident.
Wear appropriate safety gear.
Always wear a helmet when riding your motorcycle. Wear gloves and other protective gear when needed. Safety gear might not stop an accident, but it can reduce the injuries you have to deal with afterward.
Always assume that other vehicles cannot see you. Exercise extra caution when traveling in a vehicle’s blind spot or when making turns. Many drivers struggle to recognize the visual pattern of a motorcycle. If they do not see you, you may have much higher risk of an accident.
Follow the rules of the road.
As a motorcycle rider, it can be tempting to push or even ignore the rules of the road altogether. You may, for example, feel more comfortable at higher rates of speed than the average passenger vehicle driver, or you might want to drive between two stopped lanes of traffic to help you get to your destination faster. However, by following the rules of the road, you can make your driving behaviors more predictable and reduce accident risk.
Contact a Lawyer After Your Motorcycle Accident
If you do suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident, you may need a lawyer to help you pursue compensation. Contact Cambre & Associates to schedule a free consultation today.