Motorcycling is a favorite mode of travel for many in Wisconsin, the state that is home to the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. However, motorcycling presents risks that traveling in a standard automobile does not. Specifically, motorcyclists are basically left out in the open. There are no seat belts, no air bags and no crumple zones to protect them in the event of a collision. Moreover, the sheer size disparity between a motorcycle and standard automobile generally means the motorcyclist will be on the losing end of the crash. Therefore, it is important to understand what some common causes of motorcycle accidents are.
Sometimes, a motorist simply fails to notice a motorcyclist before crashing into it. This is especially true at intersections. FindLaw reports that 70 percent of motorcycle crashes take place in intersections. Motorists may make an illegal left-hand turn in front of a motorcyclist, fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes or may fail to yield to the motorcyclist’s right of way. Any of these situations could lead to a motorcycle accident.
Road hazards that may seem insignificant to those operating a standard automobile can present a significant danger to motorcyclists. A motorcyclist is more impacted than a standard automobile by potholes, oil slicks, uneven pavement and road debris. Roads kept in poor repair can cause motorcycle accidents.
Speed “wobble” accidents can also occur. In general, if a motorcyclist is traveling at a high rate of speed, the vehicle might begin to shake. This happens when the tires are misaligned. Manufacturers of motorcycles must ensure that their vehicles are designed and produced in a manner that will prevent this wobbling from happening.
These are only some causes of motorcycle accidents, but they are important ones to be aware of. If a motorcyclist is struck by a negligent driver, the motorcyclist may be able to pursue compensation if it can be shown the motorist breached their duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances, that this breach actually and proximately caused the accident and that the motorcyclist suffered damages as a result. Of course, this is only a very brief overview of motorcycle accidents and cannot serve as legal advice. Those involved in motorcycle accidents who want to determine if they can pursue a legal claim will want to seek professional guidance.