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Motorcycle Accidents

December 27th 2022

The number of deaths on motorcycles per mile traveled in the U.S. in 2019, was nearly 29 times the number in cars [1]. Motorcycles are less stable than automobiles and may undergo roll, pitch, and yaw prior to, during, and post-collision. While the occupants of an enclosed automobile are constrained by restraints and/or the interior of the automobile, motorcyclists lack the protection of an enclosed automobile, are not constrained, and may be on or off the motorcycle prior to, during, or post-collision or fall-down incident, so they are more likely to be injured or killed. 

Some common motorcycle accident scenarios are:

  1. Left-turn motorcycle accidents
  2. Head-on motorcycle accidents
  3. Curve-turn motorcycle accidents
  4. Lane-splitting motorcycle accidents

Left-turn motorcycle accidents

In this scenario, a left-turning automobile strikes an oncoming or passing motorcycle. Automobile operators often claim that they did not see a motorcycle. This is because motorcycles are less visible than automobiles, they fall lower on the attentional hierarchy for driving and it’s difficult for automobile operators to properly identify a motorcycle’s speed, position, or both.



Head-on motorcycle accidents

Typically, in this scenario both motorcycle and automobile are traveling at a high speed and considering that automobiles weigh up to four times or more than motorcycles, the collision severity is higher for the motorcycle than the automobile.

Curve-turn motorcycle accidents

Another common motorcycle/automobile accident scenario is when the approach speed of a motorcycle is too fast for the turn causing the motorcycle to run wide and strike an oncoming automobile. This can also happen when the speed of the motorcycle is too fast to avoid debris, cracks, or potholes in the turn causing the motorcycle to run wide.



Lane-splitting motorcycle accidents

Lane splitting or lane sharing is the practice of a motorcycle passing between a line of stopped or slow-moving vehicles. Stopped or slow-moving vehicle drivers do not expect to be passed by another vehicle in their lane. In a lane-sharing scenario, the motorcycle has limited space for maneuvering between vehicles.




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