Last year, motorcycle accident deaths surged 10 percent. This substantial increase in fatalities was likely caused by more people on the roads and low gas prices, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. It is a troubling increase made more troubling by the fact death rates in motorcycle accidents are expected to remain high in 2016.
Drivers and motorcycle riders must be aware of why fatal motorcycle accidents happen and of how these crashes can be prevented. One report indicates most crashes with motorcycle riders in Florida are caused by automobile drivers.
Drivers Cause Most Florida Motorcycle Accidents
The Sun Sentinel reported on research which revealed drivers are largely to blame for causing motorcycle accidents. A senior researcher at the University of South Florida's Center for Urban Transportation conducted a study of 10 years of Florida motorcycle crash data. The research revealed 60 percent of the time it is a driver of a car's fault when a collision happens with a motorcycle.
Many of the cases in which drivers cause a collision with a motorcycle occur when drivers are making a left turn and pull in front of a motorcycle. When drivers change lanes or enter into intersections, these are also dangerous times with high rates of motorcycle accidents. The problem is, drivers in these situations often fail to see motorcycles because the motorcycles have a smaller profile than cars do.
The small size of motorcycles not only makes them harder to see, but also makes drivers more likely to cut them off. Most people perceive the speed of something they are looking at relative to the size of the object.
If there is a car or a truck going down the road at 45 miles per hour, the larger size will make this vehicle more intimidating to an oncoming driver. As a result, the driver may underestimate the speed and distance of the motorcycle and think the motorcycle is father away than it is and less likely to come into their path. This results in a situation where the driver of the car would have yielded for a car or the truck but does not yield for the motorcycle rider.
While people in cars are responsible for a substantial portion of motorcycle accidents, there are also situations where motorcycle riders become involved in single vehicle accidents. Motorcyclists have a higher rate of single-vehicle crashes as compared with people in passenger cars, and these crashes are especially likely to happen when the motorcyclist loses control around a curve. Motorcyclists need to be aware of this risk and be cautious when taking sharp turns.