Motorcycle Accidents: What are the top ten causes and how can you avoid them

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Motorcycle Accidents – the facts

From seasoned riders to those who have recently obtained their motorcycle licence, riders of all levels can be affected by road accidents, regardless of how much experience they have.

According to ROSPA, the primary categories of motorcycle accidents frequently observed include:

  • inability to navigate bends, particularly on rural roads;
  • instances of other vehicles impeding the path of motorcyclists when pulling out;
  • collisions transpiring at junctions;
  • accidents transpiring during overtaking maneuvers;
  • occurrences of loss of control.
Motorbike Safety Campaign by Cheshire Fire & Rescue

Over the period from 2016 to 2021, statistics indicate that on a weekly basis, an average of 6 motorcyclists lost their lives and 111 individuals sustained severe injuries in documented road incidents.

National Statistics, Department for Transport

Top 10 Causes of Motorbike Accidents

Here are the top ten causes of motorcycle accidents (in no particular order of importance) and what you can do to help prevent them.

1 Vehicle ahead turning left in front of you

Cars may hit your motorcycle as you turn left around a bend, either because the driver was inattentive or because you were in his blind spot. By giving yourself enough time to slow down, assessing whether the other car may be turning, and keeping an eye on other traffic, you can prevent an accident. 

Tip to rider – Always assume other road users haven’t seen you 

2 Hitting a patch of sand, gravel or uneven road 

Sometimes you come across a rough patch on the road that can cause you to panic and lose control of your vehicle, but you can see everything around you if you have a wide range of vision. 

Tip to rider – By riding at a reasonable speed, you’ll give yourself enough time to notice and react to these hazards  

3 Taking a corner too fast 

A motorcycle may not be able to make the bend if the rider turns the corner too quickly, which happens frequently. Simply controlling your speed, slowing down at curves until you have a clear view of the terrain ahead, and avoiding actions that can throw off the motorcycle’s balance will help you stay out of situations like these. 

Tip to rider – Try riding it out by keeping a soft touch on the controls if you tried to turn a corner too quickly

4 Without warning, a driver swerves into your lane 

You run the risk of this if your motorcycle is in the driver’s blind spot or if he or she fails to see you are following behind them. 

Tip to rider – By staying in the driver’s line of sight and keeping an eye on your surroundings you can predict when the motorist in front of you might try to change lanes

5 A vehicle rear-ends your motorcycle 

If you suddenly stop without notice or if another motorist is not paying enough attention to the road, you could find your motorcycle being rear-ended. Making careful to slow down gradually before stopping is one precaution you can take. Another is to pull over to the side of the road at junctions and flash your brake lights to let other drivers know you’re there. 

Tip to riderIt’s also a good idea to watch for cars coming up behind you at junctions to see whether you’re in any risk of being struck

6 Poor group etiquette 

The necessity to travel in a staggered pattern that will give each member of the group the space they need for their vehicle and give them an unhindered view of their surroundings is sometimes overlooked by groups of motorcyclists. 

Tip to riderTo ensure the group’s general safety when riding together, it is crucial to make sure everyone is aware of the protocol to be followed

7 Car doors and drivers 

If the other driver does not check to make sure the way is clear before pushing the car out or stepping onto the street, terrible motorbike accidents may result. The simplest method to prevent an accident brought on by these circumstances is to make sure your motorcycle is not being driven between parked cars and a busy street. 

Tip to rider – You can prevent a severe accident by riding at a regulated speed and watching out for any activity in the nearby parked cars

8 The weather 

Weather conditions including rain, snow, and ice can make roadways slick and challenging to drive on. You can successfully navigate these difficulties to a significant extent with a good set of tyres. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that these circumstances may decrease sight and lengthen the amount of time you need to brake correctly. 

Tip to riderRide at a suitable speed to suit the season and conditions, maintaining a safe distance from other cars on the road

9 Intoxication and alcohol 

Using intoxicated substances while driving can be fatal. Even if you don’t drink and drive, you should always be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers, especially in areas with a lively nightlife. When riding at night be cautious, especially at intersections. 

Tip to riderDon’t drink and ride and beware of those who do

10 Vehicle failure 

Although keeping your car in good order is necessary, it may be pricey. Failure to do so could result in a serious collision with dreadful implications for both you and other drivers.  

Tip to riderTo prevent an accident brought on by your own negligence, always ride safely and follow the maintenance schedule for your motorcycle

310 motorcyclists were killed in Great Britain in 2021
5,264 were seriously injured

National Statistics, Department for Transport

Tips for Preventing Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle riders face a high risk of accidents on the road. To prevent accidents, adopt these practices:

  1. Wear Protective Gear: Wear a helmet, gloves, boots, leather jackets with padding, and reflective clothing to stay visible.
  2. Check Your Bike: Regular bike maintenance like changing fluids, checking brakes, tire pressure, and lights will prevent accidents due to mechanical errors.
  3. Be Alert: Stay sharp and anticipate the moves of other drivers, make eye contact, assume a vehicle may not see you, and avoid riding in their blind spots.
  4. Get Proper Training: Take a course in motorcycle riding from a reputable instructor. It will help you develop safe riding habits, risk management, and manoeuvrability.
  5. Avoid Intoxication: Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Always follow the highway code and make sure you are up to date with the latest legislation. See rules 83 to 88 which cover the UK laws regarding motorbike helmets, riding with passengers and riding during daylight and in the dark.

39% of motorbike fatalities involved a crash between a car and a motorbike

National Statistics, Department for Transport

Wearing Protective Gear

To ensure your safety while riding a motorcycle, it is essential to wear the appropriate protective gear. This can help prevent injuries and even save lives in the event of an accident.

  • A helmet is the most important piece of gear, as it can protect your head from serious injuries and save your life. It should fit comfortably and snugly. All helmets worn on UK roads must meet strict standards.
  • Wear a sturdy jacket made of durable material like leather or heavy denim to provide protection to the upper body.
  • Riding trousers should be abrasion-resistant and preferably equipped with built-in armour for added safety.
  • Gloves provide a better grip on the handlebars and also protect hands in case of a fall.
  • Boots or shoes with non-skid soles offer stability when stopping or starting the motorcycle and safeguard feet from road rash.
  • Eye protection, such as goggles or a face shield, guards against debris and maintains clear vision while riding. If you are riding with a visor or goggles, they must also meet the necessary standards.

Following Traffic Rules and Regulations

Obey the Traffic Laws to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists must adhere to traffic laws to help avoid any devastating accidents. This entails respecting road signs, limiting speed, avoiding dangerous lane changes or manoeuvres, and keeping an appropriate distance from other vehicles.

This simple action can dramatically help prevent injuries or fatalities that may arise due to carelessness. Take note of the speed limits while driving on highways, know all the hand signals and inform other drivers of your intentions as early as possible.

Furthermore, failing to follow traffic rules can lead to heavy fines or imprisonment in some cases.

Keeping Your Motorcycle in Good Condition

By following these tips on regular maintenance practices like investing in quality protective gear or checking the chains’ durability regularly, riders ensure a safer and enjoyable ride.

Regular Motorcycle Maintenance for Safe Riding

Proper upkeep can help prevent accidents while riding a motorcycle. Regularly check the oil, brakes, tires, chains, and lights. Inspect your motorcycle before every ride and replace any damaged parts or worn-out components.

Keep Your Motorbike Clean and Dry

Cleaning your motorcycle frequently helps to maintain its condition and prevent damage from rust and dirt. After washing your bike thoroughly, dry it with a clean cloth. Store it in a dry place to avoid exposure to moisture that could lead to corrosion.

Invest in Quality Gear

Protective gear like helmets, jackets, gloves, and shoes can save you from an accident’s harm. Invest wisely in quality gear that fits correctly. Wearing comfortable clothes will help you move better and improve overall safety while driving.

Regular Maintenance Saves Lives

By giving proper care routinely, you enhance the lifespan of crucial motorcycle parts regularly. Poor maintenance may cause severe accidents that may injure or hurt individuals or significant damages to the machine itself considerably. Regular cleaning outside of maintaining mechanical components assures safe rides.

The content on this website is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice.

My experience with AClaim.co.uk
James
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I was out on my motorbike and got hit by a van on the wrong side of the road and the driver was drunk. Gary came to visit me at my home - 200 miles away! so he could find out what happened and help me claim compensation. Thanks to Gary I no longer have to worry about how I'm going to pay my mortgage or support my family financially while I'm getting treatment.
Highly recommend Gary
Catrina
Read More
Throughout the entire process, Gary and the team at AClaim were by my side, offering invaluable guidance and reassurance. I wholeheartedly recommend their services to anyone seeking legal assistance following a bike accident, as they truly go above and beyond to deliver exceptional results.
Wish I’d found AClaim sooner
Rob
Read More
I was fortunate enough to have Gary at AClaim step in and handle my motorbike accident claim. To say that Gary's expertise and dedication impressed me would be an understatement. In just a matter of days, he achieved more progress with my case than the previous solicitor managed in 18 months.
Extremely happy with the service
Simon
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AClaim came highly recommended to me by someone at the bike club. I suffered a life-changing accident after I was hit by someone running a red light at nearly 50mph. The first accident I've had in 42 years of riding!! As a result I can no longer ride. The decision to hang up my biking gear was a difficult one, but AClaim's guidance and support have made navigating this challenging time a bit easier. Thank you to Gary and the team for everything you have done.
So glad I found AClaim
Martin
Read More
I had a pretty nasty motorcycle accident, and the solicitor my insurance company assigned to my case didn't seem very interested in fighting my case. That's when I got in touch with Gary at AClaim, thanks to a recommendation. Gary provided solid advice and went above and beyond in helping me arrange private medical support and rehabilitation. He worked tirelessly and thanks to him my claim ended up being a big success. I can't sing Gary's praises enough. He genuinely cares about his clients and their well-being.
Great service
Pete
Read More
I just wanted to give a big shoutout to the awesome folks at AClaim for being such a huge help with my motorbike accident claim. And a special thumbs-up to Gary Laiolo, who was that friendly voice on the phone that made all the stress from the accident disappear. Thanks, AClaim, and a big high-five to Gary for making this whole process a whole lot easier for me!
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My experience with AClaim.co.uk
James
Read More
I was out on my motorbike and got hit by a van on the wrong side of the road and the driver was drunk. Gary came to visit me at my home - 200 miles away! so he could find out what happened and help me claim compensation. Thanks to Gary I no longer have to worry about how I'm going to pay my mortgage or support my family financially while I'm getting treatment.
Highly recommend Gary
Catrina
Read More
Throughout the entire process, Gary and the team at AClaim were by my side, offering invaluable guidance and reassurance. I wholeheartedly recommend their services to anyone seeking legal assistance following a bike accident, as they truly go above and beyond to deliver exceptional results.
Wish I’d found AClaim sooner
Rob
Read More
I was fortunate enough to have Gary at AClaim step in and handle my motorbike accident claim. To say that Gary's expertise and dedication impressed me would be an understatement. In just a matter of days, he achieved more progress with my case than the previous solicitor managed in 18 months.
Extremely happy with the service
Simon
Read More
AClaim came highly recommended to me by someone at the bike club. I suffered a life-changing accident after I was hit by someone running a red light at nearly 50mph. The first accident I've had in 42 years of riding!! As a result I can no longer ride. The decision to hang up my biking gear was a difficult one, but AClaim's guidance and support have made navigating this challenging time a bit easier. Thank you to Gary and the team for everything you have done.
So glad I found AClaim
Martin
Read More
I had a pretty nasty motorcycle accident, and the solicitor my insurance company assigned to my case didn't seem very interested in fighting my case. That's when I got in touch with Gary at AClaim, thanks to a recommendation. Gary provided solid advice and went above and beyond in helping me arrange private medical support and rehabilitation. He worked tirelessly and thanks to him my claim ended up being a big success. I can't sing Gary's praises enough. He genuinely cares about his clients and their well-being.
Great service
Pete
Read More
I just wanted to give a big shoutout to the awesome folks at AClaim for being such a huge help with my motorbike accident claim. And a special thumbs-up to Gary Laiolo, who was that friendly voice on the phone that made all the stress from the accident disappear. Thanks, AClaim, and a big high-five to Gary for making this whole process a whole lot easier for me!
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