Major Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
By Richard Romando
Nothing compares to the thrill and excitement of riding a motorcycle. Alas, the high excitement is unfortunately mingled with danger too. It’s true that motorcyclists are more prone to die in accidents than those in motorcars. Besides, an alarming increase in the number of motorcycle accidents has been recorded in recent years. Hence, it is important to study and analyze the causal factors of motorcycle accidents in our country.
Research indicates that the major cause of motorcycle accidents remains the failure of other motorists to recognize motorcyclists in heavy traffic or at night. Statistics shows that about 70% of the collisions are a result of this. Other causal factors remain bad road conditions, speed problems, riding skills, presence of alcohol and undivided roadways.
Motorcyclists usually suffer in case of bad road conditions like potholes, debris, and uneven places. High speed is a causal factor of accidents too. Speed displaces the alignment of the motorcycle, as it causes the front end to ‘wobble’. Hence, the motorcyclist loses control and collides against any stationary object or moving vehicle.
Findings from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, or FARS, state that high alcohol levels in the blood were often present in motorcycle fatalities. Also, undivided roadways, rural roads, speed, lack of helmet use, and driving at night, remain associated with the increasing number of fatalities.
Research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that speeding, aggressive driving, and driver inattention are leading causes of motorcycle accidents. Negligence on the part of the motorcyclist also leads to accidents or collisions. So does improper breaking or turning. Bad weather remains a problem or causal factor, though its influence is small.
In spite of such large numbers of motorcycle accidents, very few studies have been conducted to determine the causal factors of such accidents. A major study on accidents is the Hurt Report, conducted in 1980, which gives a detailed sketch of the causal factors of accidents.
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