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We all know that riding comes with a risk factor. It takes a bold spirit to brave the roads on two wheels, but even the toughest motorcycle riders know the importance of riding smart.
So read up on the most common causes of motorcycle accidents to stay one step ahead of the game. Some of the stats about motorcycle collisions can be a bit scary, but with the right precautions you can stack those odds back in your own favour.
We all love the adrenaline rush of riding, but tearing up the road comes with its own set of risks. According to Queensland's University of Technology, a motorcycle crash is 30 times more likely to result in a fatality.
Here are the main causes of motorcycle accidents to be aware of during your riding:
Speeding causes motorcycle accidents. No shit, right? The NHTSA reported that speed was a factor in 33% of fatal motorcycle crashes in the US in 2019.
Excessive speed not only decreases your control of the bike, but it cuts down your reaction times when dealing with sudden changes in traffic conditions.
You might be shocked to find out just how many fatal motorcycle accidents involved alcohol, or maybe you won't. One 2011 study found that a whopping 40% of motorcycle fatalities involved alcohol.
A lot of riders over the years have suffered severe or fatal injuries due to alcohol that were very much avoidable. So if you're thinking of getting on the beers, just suck up the cost of a taxi or Uber.
Once you've spent enough time on a bike, you'll quickly realise just how invisible motorcyclists can be to other drivers. Try to avoid unpredictable turns and aggressive driving, because odds are the drivers around you won't see it coming.
Lane splitting can be a great way to breeze through congested traffic, but it should be done with great caution. Lane splitting might even be illegal depending on where you live, so brush up on your local traffic laws before trying this manoeuvre out.
Distractions can come from everywhere. Your phone, a passenger, or even just adjusting your music. You've probably seen all those PSAs about using your phone while driving a car, so just imagine the risk factor of texting while motorcycling.
Car drivers can barely see us when it's daylight, so you'd best have those headlights on at night. As soon as the sun starts to set, it's a good idea to turn your lights on.
Fatigue can often play a role in motorcycle crashes. You might be driving as safely as possible, but your alertness still takes a dramatic dip if you're battling drowsiness while riding.
The Motorcycle Council of NSW found that in a five-year period, fatigue was associated with 24% of fatal motorcycle accidents. You can avoid fatigue by making frequent stops to stretch, setting realistic driving goals and sticking to light, healthy snacks. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process bulky meals.
It should come as no surprise that inexperienced drivers are more likely to be involved in a motorcycle accident. What might surprise you is that many bikers ride without a valid licence. The Department of Transportation reported that 30% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved someone riding without a licence.
If you're new to the motorcycle game and still getting a handle on things, take some extra precautions and recognise your limits. Your learning phase is not the time to ride like a cowboy.
We all know that wearing helmets is a legal requirement for riding. But many riders still make the mistake of thinking that's where it ends.
Do you ever see those people riding in a singlet and flip flops? What do you think will happen to their skin if they meet the ground? You should be covered from head to toe if you want to stack the odds in your favour when things go random.
Just check out our collection of crash stories if you need proof that motorcycle gear works.
A pair of properly rated motorcycle jeans give you 3.1 seconds of crash time at 80km/h, compared to just 0.6 seconds for a normal pair of jeans, which isn't much at all.
Likewise, a crash at 60km/h gets 2.37 seconds of crash protection from a genuine motorcycle jacket, and just 0.03 seconds from a casual hoodie, according to the TAC.
Check out our stylish range of moto gear to see what's on offer, or take a deep dive into our beginner's guide to motorcycle gear.
There's a widely cited statistic by the NHTSA that about 70% of motorcycle crashes occur at intersections. Intersections are a common place for crashes no matter the vehicle, but motorcyclists have to be especially on their guard.
The biggest concerns are both complex driving patterns and the fact that other motorists won't account for a motorcycle. They either won't see you coming or will completely misjudge your speed and distance.
So what time do most motorcycle accidents occur? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most major motorcycle accidents happen between 3 pm and midnight on weekends.
These times probably won't shock anyone. We all love to let loose on the weekends but just keep in mind that these are the most likely times for a crash while you're out on your next weekend ride.
There's no one answer to what is the main cause of motorcycle accidents. However, the three most common factors are excessive speeds, alcohol consumption and a driver's inattention or inexperience.
While these are the most common causes to look out for, you should still stay sharp in regard to the big picture. As mentioned above, there are a whole lot of other pitfalls for riders so try not to ever get complacent.
So stay sharp and smart on the road. It only takes a split second to change yours or someone else's life forever, so stay in control of your own destiny.
Exactly how common is it to crash a motorcycle? The TAC has discovered that a motorcycle crash is 30 times more likely to result in a fatality than a car crash. So this suggests that bikers are at a much higher risk of being involved in an accident.
While stats like these can seem quite alarming, you can stack the odds in your favour by adhering to sensible riding and gearing up properly. We all love the thrill of riding, but even the toughest bikers know that they won't win a collision with the ground. Ride hard, but ride smart.