Common motorcycle accidents and the injuries caused by them

big intersection
Source: Creative Commons

I have logged hundreds of thousands of miles on a motorcycle.  I’ve driven on city streets, rural back roads and interstate highways. There were many times I’ve had to take evasive action to avoid a motorcycle accident.  Cars and trucks often don’t see motorcycles. That’s a simple fact. When they do, the small headlight on the motorcycle just doesn’t seem to register with the driver of a car. Some of them think that because the motorcycle is so small that they could just turn in front of it and somehow the motorcycle can avoid them.

Left Turn Accident: One of the most common motorcycle accidents is the left turn accident. This is when a car or truck turns left across oncoming traffic and either hits the motorcyclist or the motorcyclist hits the turning vehicle. This accident is usually a cause of serious injury to the motorcyclist. That is because the motorcyclist is usually driving at or near the speed limit and is thrown off the motorcycle, sometimes over the car, striking their body either on the car or on the pavement. It’s not uncommon for serious head injuries, concussions, broken bones, broken legs, or a paralysis injury to occur from this type of accident.

Right Turn on Red: Another common accident is when a motor vehicle makes a right turn on a red light and either doesn’t see the motorcycle or believes it could turn in front of it. This usually results in the car running the motorcycle off the road or striking it broadside and knocking it over. This type of accident usually results in a broken leg to the motorcyclist or worse a severed leg.

Lane Splitting: Lane splitting in California is another source of injuries to motorcyclists. This can happen at any speed. At low speeds and traffic it’s common for cars changing lanes to drive into a motorcycle while it is Lane Splitting. This results typically in broken legs. At higher speeds a motor vehicle changing lanes will cause serious damage to a motorcycle and serious injury to the rider.  Any high-speed accident on a freeway can be fatal or, result in paralysis.

Vigilance is the only way to avoid a motorcycle accident. Motorcyclists must pay careful attention to other vehicles in the left turn lane. Lane splitting, though legal, is problematic and must be done with the utmost caution.