A great deal of training, experience, and skill is required to operate a motorcycle safely. But no matter how much care a rider takes, they still face many risks of getting into an accident. Many of these risks arise due to the negligence and recklessness of other motorists on the road.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Connecticut
Although motorcycle crashes have numerous possible causes, some of the top causes of motorcycle accidents in Connecticut include:
- Head-On Collisions – Some motorcycle accidents involve a head-on collision between a rider and another vehicle. These collisions can occur when a driver drifts or veers into the oncoming lanes of traffic due to being distracted, feeling fatigued, falling asleep, or being intoxicated. Because most motorcycles only have one headlight, drivers may not realize that they are headed straight for a motorcycle.
- Cars Making Left-Hand Turns – The driver of a car may get into a crash with a motorcycle by failing to signal before making the left-turn or failing to yield to an oncoming motorcycle. Some drivers have difficulty judging the distance and speed of a motorcycle and may start a left turn when a motorcycle is approaching much faster than a driver realizes.
- Motorcycle Lane-Splitting – Lane-splitting typically refers to the practice of riding a motorcycle on road lines or in between lanes of traffic. It can also refer to situations where cars and other vehicles ride in the same lane of traffic as a motorcycle, which may occur if a driver fails to move over to the adjacent lane when passing a motorcycle. The law gives motorcycles the right to the entire width of a traffic lane, meaning that drivers run the risk of colliding with a motorcycle if a driver tries to pass a bike in the same lane.
- Speeding – Speeding arguably represents the leading cause of motorcycle accidents. When drivers speed, they leave themselves less opportunity to brake or avoid a collision with other vehicles such as motorcycles. Speeding poses a greater threat to motorcycle riders since drivers often fail to notice the motorcycles around them when they’re subconsciously focused on looking for other cars and trucks.
- Alcohol Use – Alcohol can impair a driver’s focus, judgment, reflexes, and vision. So, given that motorcycles are already more challenging to see on the road than other vehicles, an impaired driver has a much higher risk of hitting a motorcyclist, either because they didn’t look for them or because they weren’t able to react quickly enough to avoid a collision.
- Collisions Between Motorcycles and Fixed Objects – Fixed objects on the road also pose a collision hazard to motorcycles, such as road signs or guardrails that have been broken or bent into a travel lane. Riders may not realize the danger of a collision and can be seriously injured by fixed objects since, unlike vehicles, motorcycle riders don’t have a vehicle body to shield them from a crash.
- Road Hazards – Road hazards such as broken pavement, potholes, expansion joints, decaying plant matter, animals, gravel, oil slicks, and ice can easily disrupt a motorcycle rider’s balance, causing them to wipe out in a potentially serious crash.