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Other vehicles pose risks to motorcyclists

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2020 | motorcycle crashes |

Motorcycles comprised just three percent of all registered vehicles in this country in 2016 and accounted for less than one percent of all vehicle miles travelled. But the fatality rate for each mile traveled for motorcycles was six times that of car occupants. Other vehicles played an  role in these deadly motorcycle accidents.


Motorcycle deaths occur almost 28 times more than deaths involving car occupants and constituted approximately 14 percent of all traffic deaths in 2016. Motorcycle crash injuries take place more frequently than other car accidents and are usually more serious.

Colliding with other vehicle was the top contributing factor and played a role in 55 percent of these fatal accidents. This was followed by the cyclist’s age at 54 percent, not wearing a helmet at 41 percent, speeding at 33 percent and alcohol at 25 percent.

Other vehicles

Over 40 percent of two-vehicle deadly motorcycle accidents in 2016 involved another vehicle making a left turn while a motorcycle was heading straight, passing, or overtaking the vehicle. The second most common accident scenario was a motorcyclist falling onto the road to avoid colliding with another vehicle, according to a 2018 report by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Fifty-six percent of serious accidents involved motorcycles being rear-ended or side-swiped by passing vehicles according to research by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and Virginia Tech Transportation. This research followed 100 motorcyclists for more than 366,000 miles.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation determined that the non-motorcycle driver is usually at fault when vehicles collide with motorcycles. Collison sensors in vehicles still cannot detect motorcycles when the vehicle is turning left or changing lanes which is the most common types of crashes.

Crash avoidance systems that deal with a car turning left in front of a motorcycle would more than quadruple the benefits of existing crash-avoidance technology, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, IIHS also said that there are questions on how well existing technology performs.


Wearing bright and highly visible outer gear is one of the most important precautions for preventing motorcycle collisions with other vehicles. Motorcyclist should also ride defensively and watch for unexpected turns and lane changes by other vehicles.

Cyclists also need to watch for blind spots on vehicles and know how to safely pass. They should always think of an escape path to get away from other vehicles.

Given the lack of protection from other vehicles, motorcyclists can suffer serious injuries in a crash. An attorney can help accident victims and their families seek compensation and damages from another reckless or negligent motorist.



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