As a motorcycle accident injury lawyer, I’m often asked “what is the most common cause of a biker accident?” It is very rare to encounter an accident where there was only a single cause. These events are almost always due to a combination of factors that come together at the wrong time to cause an accident. With that being said, the following conditions are involved in the majority of bike accidents in North Carolina.
1. Reduced visibility
By reduced visibility I mean any condition, weather or otherwise, that deprives a biker or driver of a clear view of the road and/or traffic conditions for a minimum of 250 feet. This can include other traffic, curves, vegetation, or even buildings. These areas should be clearly marked so that all motorists are aware of the potential danger around these hazards.
2. Driving outside the normal traffic lane
Most people think that lane-splitting, where a biker will ride in the space separating two vehicles in different traffic lanes, is the only time that such accidents can occur. This is not always the case. Driving in the right or left emergency lane, or on the shoulders of a paved roadway, has been the cause of many accidents because many drivers simply neglect to check for traffic in these areas before making a lane change.
3. Road conditions
Poor road conditions doesn’t always mean rain, snow, or ice. Road repair work, cracked or uneven pavement, and potholes may go practically unnoticed by many drivers but might easily cause a biker to lose control of his or her ride and could lead to serious or life-threatening injuries.
4. Reckless driving
Anyone operating a motor vehicle has the legal obligation to obey all traffic laws as well as the moral duty to operate their vehicles in a way that will reduce the possibility that another person will suffer an accidental injury. Any failure to do so could result in criminal charges or finding of responsibility in the case of an accident.
5. Driving under the influence / driving while impaired
When all other variables are taken into consideration, the percentage of bikers whose accidents can be directly linked to the biker’s impairment by alcohol isn’t very much different from that of automobile or truck drivers. Nonetheless, there is still room for improvement on everyone’s part.
While the above may seem like common sense to most people, when it comes to safety there is no such thing as too much knowledge.