Motorcycle Crashes Due to Distracted Drivers

driver sending a text while driving with only one handIf you were hit by a car on your motorcycle and believe the driver was distracted or otherwise violating traffic laws, speak with an attorney with experience handling motorcycle accident claims right away. 

Distracted drivers are a frequent cause of motorcycle accidents in the Texas area. When a driver takes their eyes or mind off the road and is distracted, it inevitably leads to a higher risk they will be inattentive. This can be particularly dangerous when drivers are sharing the road with smaller motorcycles. 

A Leading Cause of Motorcyclist Injuries

The failure of drivers to observe and vigilantly lookout for motorcycles is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents generally. Anyone on or near a road is at risk of becoming involved in a traffic accident, but the risk of injury or death for motorcyclists in a traffic crash is substantially higher than for those in passenger vehicles. Although motorcycles make up just three percent of all vehicles on the road, riders accounted for 14 percent of all crash fatalities in a recent year.

According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcyclists face an increased risk of injury or death for several reasons:

  • The impact of any crash hits them directly, with no protection from a car frame encasing them.
  • Motorcycles do not have the stability or maneuverability of cars when they must brake or swerve quickly to avoid obstacles.
  • Riders face exposure to the elements (rain, snow, sleet) in their environment and the roads.

Motorcyclists also face other risks while riding. When the sun goes down, they become more difficult for other motorists to spot because of their small size and quick maneuvering on the roadway. They also can become hidden more easily in a driver’s blind spot or larger vehicles. Because fewer motorcyclists are on the road, car and truck drivers do not always anticipate their movements accurately or take due care to look out for them when changing lanes and making turns. 

These factors make it more likely for a driver to crash into a motorcycle than another passenger car. When that driver becomes distracted, they might have even less time to react when a motorcycle suddenly comes into view, or they might fail to notice the motorcyclist at all. 

Common Behaviors that Lead to a Distracted Driver

Anything can distract a driver from paying attention to their surroundings and the road ahead. Common behaviors that lead to distracted driving include:

  • Using a cell phone for calls, emails, texts, and other phone-related activities.
  • Reaching for items in the vehicle.
  • Eating or drinking.
  • Adjusting a radio station or entertainment system.
  • Looking at electronic devices, such as a Global Positioning System (GPS).
  • Monitoring or watching passengers.
  • Grooming oneself (combing or brushing hair, putting on makeup).
  • Daydreaming.
  • Rubbernecking.
  • Nodding off while behind the wheel.

Drivers are not perfect, and they do not always engage in distracted driving on purpose. Nevertheless, it occurs and poses a substantial risk to motorcyclists, more so than other vehicles. Distracted driving can lead a driver to do the following and hit a motorcycle:

  • Veer over into the lane and sideswipes the bike.
  • Turn without seeing the motorcyclist.
  • Not anticipate a motorcyclist’s sudden maneuvers.
  • Rear-end motorcyclists stopped at a traffic light or stop sign.
  • Miss seeing a motorcyclist in their blind spot.

Speak with a Round Rock Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

At Elissa I. Henry Law Firm, we represent injured motorcyclists against distracted drivers and their insurance companies. Contact us today either online or by calling (512) 766-4529 today for a free consultation.