Every day, motorcycle accidents result in serious injuries to riders on Florida's roads. Unfortunately, as many as 60 percent of motorcycle crashes involving a car and a motorcycle in Florida are caused by the driver of the vehicle.
There are certain common situations where the risk of a motorcycle accident is greater, and both motorcycle riders and drivers need to know the most high-risk times so they can take steps to try to prevent crashes from happening.
Top causes of motorcycle accidents will vary depending upon whether the car was a one-vehicle accident involving only the motorcycle, or whether the accident involved a motorcycle and another vehicle such as a truck or a passenger car.
Motorcyclists are more likely than people in passenger cars to become involved in a collision on their own with no other vehicles. Around 19 percent of all crashes involving cars are single vehicle accidents, according to Sun Sentinel. The percentage of motorcycle accidents that only involve the motorcycle is much greater. Around 34 percent of motor vehicle accidents in Florida involve only the motorcycle and no other cars.
Motorcyclists are most likely to get into single vehicle accidents if they lose control of the bike due to excess speed or if they lose control of the bike when going around a curve. Motorcycle riders should follow speed limits and drive at a speed safe for conditions. They also need to exercise extra caution when going around a curve.
When a crash is a multi-vehicle accident involving a motorcyclist and another driver, the driver of the car is more likely to have caused the crash. Florida Department of Transportation conducted a study of 10-years of motor vehicle accidents and, as Sun Sentinel reported, it was this study that identified the fact 60 percent of drivers are to blame for motorcycle collisions.
Drivers cause motorcycle accidents because they tend not to see motorcycles, which can result in them moving into the lane of a motorcyclist or making a left turn as a motorcycle is going straight. Drivers can stop this type of dangerous behavior, though. They must make it a point to be more aware of motorcyclists and to look out for them more frequently.
When Florida DOT researched whether drivers really saw motorcyclists or not, DOT found that drivers who also had a motorcycle license were a lot more likely to say they'd regularly seen motorcycle riders while in their cars. This suggests that awareness can really make an impact on whether a motorist is able to spot motorcycle riders while driving.
Drivers also tended to misjudge motorcycles, in part because most people correlate size to speed. Since a motorcycle is smaller than a passenger car, drivers are often not good at estimating how fast it is going. This explains why so many crashes happen because a driver cut off a motorcyclist who was approaching.