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The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

on  Motorcycle Accidents

Riding a motorcycle brings a unique sense of freedom and exhilaration that’s hard to match with other forms of transportation. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that this thrill comes with its share of risks. Statistically, motorcycles have a higher fatality rate when involved in accidents compared to cars or trucks. 

One of the primary dangers of motorcycle riding is its inherent vulnerability. Unlike cars, motorcycles offer minimal protection in the event of a collision. This vulnerability is a key factor contributing to the severity of injuries and the higher likelihood of fatalities in motorcycle accidents. Factors such as the size and visibility of motorcycles also play a significant role. Motorcycles are smaller and can easily fall into a vehicle’s blind spot, making them less visible to other drivers on the road. This can lead to collisions, especially at intersections or during lane changes.

Why is it important to understand the top cause of motorcycle accidents? Understanding the specific causes of a motorcycle accident will shape the legal strategy you and your attorney will employ to build your case. Each cause can lead to a different legal approach. For instance, if another driver’s negligence caused the accident—such as failing to yield the right of way—your attorney might focus on proving the other driver’s liability. On the other hand, if poor road conditions were a contributing factor, the case might involve holding a government entity or construction company accountable for not maintaining safe roadways. 

By investigating and determining the causes of the accident, your attorney can tailor a legal strategy that addresses the specific circumstances of your case. This helps pinpoint liability and accurately document damages and losses for compensation claims.

Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Florida

Left Turning Cars

Accidents involving left-turning cars represent one of the most common hazards for motorcyclists. These collisions typically occur when a car turns left at an intersection, driveway, or into a parking lot and fails to notice an oncoming motorcycle. The smaller profile of motorcycles makes it easy for them to be overlooked or lost in a vehicle’s blind spots, especially if the driver is not actively looking for motorcycles. This type of accident is particularly dangerous due to the motorcycle’s direct path into the side of the turning vehicle, often leading to serious injuries for the rider.

When cars turn left into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist, the driver is typically at fault and to blame for the collision. This is because drivers must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic when making a left turn, ensuring the path is clear before proceeding. Failing to notice an oncoming motorcycle due to inattention, misjudgment of the motorcycle’s speed, or simply not looking for motorcycles breaches this duty of care, making the driver responsible for the resulting accident and any injuries or damages sustained.

While it is the other driver’s responsibility to look for oncoming motorcyclists before turning left, motorcyclists can stay safe by riding defensively. 

Be extra cautious when approaching intersections, driveways, or any area where vehicles could turn across your path. Look for signs that a car is about to turn, such as activated turn signals, wheels turning, or the driver checking mirrors or the intersection. However, don’t rely solely on turn signals; drivers may forget to use them or change their minds without signaling. 

Slow down as you approach intersections or areas with potential left-turning vehicles, even if you have the right of way. This gives you more time to react if a car does turn in front of you.

Lane Switching

Motorcycles can effortlessly find themselves in the blind spots of cars. These blind spots, areas around the vehicle that the driver cannot directly see through windows or mirrors, create significant risks for motorcyclists, especially when a car driver suddenly changes lanes. Drivers must check their mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes. When they fail to do so, it can lead to serious and sometimes fatal motorcycle accidents. 

When accidents happen under these circumstances, car drivers are often at fault and to blame. This fault arises from the driver’s failure to check their blind spots and mirrors adequately or to signal their intentions before changing lanes, neglecting the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of all road users, including motorcyclists.

To maintain visibility and prevent such accidents, motorcyclists need to be acutely aware of the common blind spots of cars and avoid lingering in them. This can be achieved by positioning oneself in more visible spots within a lane, using a headlight, and wearing reflective gear, especially during low-light conditions. 

Rear End Accidents

Rear-end collisions at stop signs or lights are frequently caused by inattentive drivers who fail to notice a stopped or slowing motorcycle ahead of them. The driver who rear-ends a motorcyclist is almost always at fault. Rear-end motorcycle accidents are typically caused by distraction from mobile phones or other activities, tailgating, speeding, sudden stops by the vehicle ahead, adverse road conditions, mechanical failures, and impaired driving due to substances. These factors lead to delayed reaction times and insufficient stopping distances, resulting in motorcycle collisions. 

In these situations, the car driver is typically at fault and to blame for the accident. This fault is attributed to the driver’s lack of attention or failure to maintain a safe following distance, preventing them from stopping in time to avoid a collision with the motorcycle. Such negligence disregards the basic principles of road safety and poses a significant risk to the well-being of motorcyclists, who are far more vulnerable to injury in these incidents.

To minimize the risk of being rear-ended, motorcyclists can adopt several positioning strategies and visibility tactics. First, when stopping at lights or stop signs, motorcyclists should try to position themselves where they are most visible to drivers approaching from behind. This can include stopping to the side of a lane rather than directly in the middle, making it easier for an inattentive driver to pass by without colliding with the motorcycle.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions between motorcycles and cars are among the most deadly types of road accidents, often resulting in severe or fatal injuries for motorcyclists due to the direct impact and the lack of protective barriers. When these collisions occur, car drivers can be to blame, particularly if they veer into oncoming traffic due to distracted driving, impaired driving, or incorrect overtaking maneuvers. Such actions demonstrate a disregard for road safety rules and the well-being of others, making the car driver responsible for the consequences of the collision.

To reduce the risk of head-on collisions, motorcyclists are advised to adopt strategic road positioning and speed adjustments. Riding on the part of the lane that maximizes visibility to oncoming traffic can help ensure that motorcyclists are seen by car drivers. Staying alert to the behavior of oncoming vehicles and being prepared to react quickly to any vehicle that appears to be crossing into the lane is crucial. Additionally, adjusting speed in situations with limited visibility, such as curves or hills, can provide extra reaction time if an oncoming car veers into the motorcycle’s lane.

A Car Driver Opens Their Door

Accidents caused by drivers opening their car doors in the path of an oncoming motorcycle, often referred to as “dooring,” can lead to serious injuries for motorcyclists. In these instances, the car drivers are typically at fault and to blame for the accident. These accidents occur because drivers fail to check their mirrors and blind spots for approaching motorcycles (or bicyclists) before opening their door into active traffic lanes. Failure to notice oncoming motorcyclists makes the driver responsible for the consequences of their actions.

To mitigate the risk of being involved in a dooring accident, motorcyclists are advised to avoid riding between parked cars and active traffic lanes whenever possible. This practice, known as “lane splitting” or “filtering” in some jurisdictions, can be dangerous due to the limited space and the unpredictability of parked cars suddenly becoming obstacles. Motorcyclists should maintain a safe distance from parked vehicles and use lanes that reduce the risk of encountering suddenly opened car doors. 

Speeding and Reckless Driving

Speeding and reckless driving significantly increases the risk of motorcycle crashes. When other drivers drive recklessly, they have less time to notice and react to a motorcyclist on the road. When unforeseen hazards or changes in traffic conditions occur, they can veer into the path of motorcyclists. 

The consequences of these split-second failures to react are often grave. Motorcycles, due to their smaller size and less protective structure, leave riders highly vulnerable in the event of a collision. When a vehicle that is speeding or maneuvering recklessly veers into a motorcyclist’s path, the resulting impact can lead to serious and catastrophic injuries for the rider. These can range from severe fractures and traumatic brain injuries to life-altering spinal cord damage and, in the worst cases, fatalities.


Alcohol significantly contributes to the risk of motorcycle accidents, impairing judgment, reaction times, and motor skills necessary for safe riding. When car drivers operate their vehicles under the influence of alcohol, they pose a severe danger to themselves and others, including motorcyclists. The diminished ability to make sound decisions, notice motorcycles on the road, and react appropriately to traffic signals and conditions makes alcohol-impaired drivers highly at fault and to blame for collisions involving motorcycles. 

Motorcyclists also have a responsibility not to drive intoxicated. The importance of not drinking and riding cannot be overstated. Motorcyclists must take this risk seriously and commit to never riding under the influence of alcohol. Planning alternatives for getting home safely after social gatherings is a crucial strategy for avoiding the temptation to ride after drinking. Options such as designating a sober driver, using public transportation, or arranging for a ride-sharing service can be lifesavers, ensuring that everyone reaches their destination safely.

Contact Our Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

If you’ve been hurt in a Florida motorcycle accident, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain of what to do next. But you don’t have to face this challenging journey alone. As you focus on your recovery, finding an attorney who understands the unique complexities of motorcycle accidents is crucial. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA., can offer the support you need to navigate the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.

We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll a motorcycle accident can take on you and your loved ones. It’s not just about seeking justice; it’s about securing the support you need to heal and move forward. Our compassionate legal team is dedicated to standing by your side, offering personalized attention and fighting tirelessly for the best possible outcome.

Don’t hesitate to contact our law firm after a motorcycle accident. Call Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676 for a free consultation.