The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Arkansas & How to Avoid Them
Motorcyclists in Arkansas face a variety of obstacles, challenges, and risks when riding on the road. However, the most common risk they face is simply being on the road with other vehicles. Did you know that other drivers are responsible for the majority of motorcycle accidents on the road? That’s right! Other drivers simply do not take the time to look for motorcyclists who may be sharing the road — and the results are disastrous.
Understanding what caused your Arkansas motorcycle crash is an important part of your claim. Your attorney will need to examine and investigate your accident closely to determine why your accident occurred and who is to blame for the crash. In many situations, multiple parties can share the blame — further complicating your injury claim.
Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Arkansas
Head-on Collision Motorcycle Accidents
Did you know that crashes involving other vehicles account for more than half of all motorcycle accident fatalities? Even worse, 78 percent of those accidents are caused by the car striking the motorcycle in a head-on collision. In these accidents, the motorcyclist is often crushed or thrown from their bike into traffic, resulting in serious injuries and often fatalities.
How Can You Avoid Head-on Collisions?
According to the National Safety Council, you can avoid these deadly motorcycle accidents by driving to the right, reducing your speed, and reading the road constantly. Scanning the road for potential hazards is a must for all motorcyclists. When you see a car coming head-on, run off the road or drive as far to the right as possible. This can reduce your chances of getting into a serious and deadly crash.
Cars Making Left-hand Turns
One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is the left-hand turn. When drivers make a left-hand turn at an intersection, they may fail to notice an oncoming motorcyclist. As such, they can turn directly into the motorcyclist’s path or crash into the bike itself. These types of accidents account for 42 percent of all motorcycle crashes.
How Can You Avoid Left Hand Turn Crashes?
Motorcyclists can reduce the likelihood of getting into a motorcycle crash at an intersection by surveying the intersection carefully when approaching. Look for any sign that the car may be moving or getting ready to pull out. Slow down when approaching intersections as a precaution. Also, be sure to wear bright and reflective clothing and gear at all times. This will increase your chances of being seen on the road.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting Accidents
Lane splitting is a common motorcycle riding practice that occurs when a motorcycle rides between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving traffic. It is illegal in some states. When a motorcyclist rides in between traffic, they can get into an accident in many ways. They can sideswipe a vehicle, or the vehicles could change lanes suddenly and into their path. Car drivers are not expecting anyone to be in between the lanes, so they may not look carefully when maneuvering through traffic.
How Can You Avoid Lane Splitting Accidents?
The best way to avoid these types of motorcycle accidents is to avoid lane splitting. Riding in between traffic can be dangerous. However, if you do lane split, be sure to ride slowly and watch for large traffic gaps where other cars may be tempted to change lanes. Watch other drivers for clues they may be moving, such as turned heads, blinkers, and tire rotations.
Motorcycle Lane Changing Accidents
Other motorists have a responsibility to look for motorcyclists on the road. However, when changing lanes, many motorists fail to recognize a motorcyclist in their way. They may not see them in their rear-view mirror, or the motorcyclist could be riding in the blind spot. Either way, these accidents can be deadly because they can happen without warning and on busy, fast-moving freeways
How Can You Avoid Lane Changing Accidents?
- Lane changing accidents are best avoided in several ways:
- Never ride in a vehicle’s blind spot
- Wear bright and reflective clothing
- Watch for blinkers and other signs of movement
- Defensive driving
Motorcycle Collision with Parked Car Doors
Surprisingly, a vehicle doesn’t have to be moving to injure a motorcyclist. Parked cars pose a real threat. When a car driver parks, they may fail to check their side mirrors before exiting their vehicle. A suddenly open car door can throw a motorcyclist off their path and into oncoming traffic. Dooring accidents are tragic and can be deadly.
How Can You Avoid a Dooring Accident?
The best way to avoid a dooring accident is to ride far enough away from parked cars. As you pass parked cars, look for signs of activity, such as an occupant in the driver’s seat or taillights on. This can signal to you that they may be getting ready to exit their vehicle.
High Speed Motorcycle Accidents
Speed is a killer, especially if you are on a motorcycle. Without the added protection of seatbelts, airbags, and steel frames, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to injury during a high speed accident. In one recent year, a third of all fatal motorcycle accidents are caused by excessive speed. Sport motorcycles, in particular, are high-speed and often purchased because of this ability.
How Can You Avoid a High Speed Accident?
Slowing down is the best way to avoid these types of accidents. Always obey the speed limit and be sure you are riding at a safe speed for the road conditions. When a road is filled with gravel or debris, motorcyclists may need to ride even slower to avoid injury. Likewise, when it is raining or when the wind is strong, motorcyclists may need to reduce their speed further to prevent serious and deadly accidents.
Drug & Alcohol Intoxication Motorcycle Accidents
Did you know that 30 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol? That’s right. Alcohol intoxication is a big reason why serious and deadly motorcycle crashes occur. Both motorcyclists and other motorists share the blame for these deadly crashes.
How Can You Avoid Alcohol Intoxication Accidents?
The simplest way to avoid drunk driving motorcycle accidents is to avoid drinking and riding. Whenever you go out, make sure you have a designated driver or take an Uber home. If you are riding at night (and not under the influence of alcohol), be extra careful of other drunk drivers. Use extra caution at intersections and always look out for drivers swerving or weaving in and out of traffic.
Corner Turning Motorcycle Accidents
Turning corners is a dangerous maneuver for motorcyclists. That’s because it is often difficult to control the bike during sharper turns. If you hit a patch of gravel or sand, your tires can lose traction, and you can wipe out. If you take the turn too quickly, you can also lose control or veer off into oncoming traffic.
How Can You Avoid Corner Turning Accidents?
When you approach a corner turn, be sure to slow down and take the turn slowly. The general rule is “slow in, fast out.” This helps you increase your field of vision, maintain control through the turn, and avoid any obstacles or hazards.
Collisions Between Motorcycles and Fixed Objects
Fixed objects are generally not dangerous. However, when motorcyclists lose control of their bikes, these fixed objects can be deadly. Signs, street poles, trees, and even parked cars can suddenly become dangerous and result in catastrophic injuries.
How Can You Avoid Fixed Object Accidents?
You can best avoid fixed object accidents by maintaining control of your bike at all times. The best practices a motorcyclist can take to avoid fixed object accidents include:
- Avoid drinking and riding
- Drive within the speed limit
- Do not ride fatigued
- Reduce speed during inclement weather
- Have bike regularly tuned and maintained
Sudden Stop Rear-End Motorcycle Accidents
Rear-end accidents and motorcyclists are deadly. These accidents can occur in numerous ways, including:
- When a motorcyclist is stopped at a stop sign or stoplight, and another vehicle rear-ends them
- When another motorist is tailgating them or riding too closely
- When the motorcyclist is following another vehicle too closely
All these rear-end accidents result in a motorcyclist thrown from their bikes suddenly, resulting in life-threatening and fatal accidents.
How Can You Avoid Rear-end Motorcycle Accidents?
The best way to avoid rear-end accidents is to avoid riding too closely to other vehicles. Keep your distance and allow motorists the space they need to stop. When you are at intersections, position your motorcycle on the right of the lane and plan an escape route. Make sure your tail lights are working properly, and be alert at all times.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Inexperienced Drivers
Inexperienced drivers do not always pay attention to the road in the same way. They may fail to recognize motorcyclists or cut them off in traffic because they failed to check their mirrors. They can also make unsafe moves that jeopardize motorcyclists and their safety.
How Can You Avoid Inexperienced Driving Accidents?
Be sure you are not an inexperienced rider by taking a motorcycle safety course. Also, practice defensive driving and keep a lookout for motorists who may not be experienced on the road. Give inexperienced drivers plenty of space and avoid riding in their blind spots.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Dangerous Road Conditions
Road conditions can affect motorcycles more than other vehicles. Potholes, slick and slippery surfaces, and debris can all wreak havoc on riders and make it hard for riders to stay safe and out of harm’s way. Losing control of your bike can have devastating and serious consequences.
How Can You Avoid Dangerous Road Accidents?
When riding, be sure to consider the road surface. Use extra caution when riding on slippery or debris-filled highways or freeways. Slow down and make sure you are using an appropriate speed for the conditions.
Motorcycle Defect Accidents
Motorcycle manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe and free from defects. When they fail to do this, they can be held liable for the injuries their products cause. These products can cause horrific accidents and injuries from defective tires to defective brake components when they fail.
How Can You Avoid Motorcycle Defect Accidents?
The best way to avoid motorcycle defect accidents is to have your bike regularly tuned and maintained. Check for any recalled products, and be sure you have any recalled products changed immediately.
Contact Our Arkansas Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Did you or someone you love suffer an injury in a motorcycle accident in Arkansas or Tennessee? If so, you deserve to have someone on your side fighting for you. With eight offices in Arkansas and Tennessee – Little Rock, Little Rock-Corporate Hill, Springdale, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, Jacksonville, and Memphis—our motorcycle accident lawyers can tackle cases from across both states. Contact Rainwater, Holt & Sexton Motorcycle Accident Lawyers today. Fill out a free contact request form, which only takes a minute, or simply dial (800) 434-4800 and tell us your story. Call us today!