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Phone: 630-932-9100


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Causes of Motorcycle Crashes

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DuPage County motorcycle accident attorney, motorcycle crashes, motorcycle safety, motorcycle accident prevention, motor cycle crash statisticsWhat causes motorcycle crashes in Lombard and throughout DuPage County? Understanding the reasons for motorcycle accidents can help riders and motorists alike to take preventive measures. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released a Motorcycle Crash Causation Study (MCCS), which addresses some of the underlying reasons for motorcycle collisions on major roads and smaller streets across the country. After considering the causes for these crashes, motorcyclists and automobile drivers should think carefully about safety, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides an extensive pamphlet on motorcycle safety tips for anyone on the road.

Get the Facts About the Motorcycle Crash Causation Study

There are nearly 4,500 motorcycle crash deaths each year, and that number has been rising almost every year since 1997. Congress mandated the MCCS in order to determine what causes most severe and deadly motorcycle crashes, and ultimately to consider new ways to prevent these accidents from happening in the first place. How did the researchers gather information? Several different investigation and analytical tools were used, including but not limited to:

  • Investigations at the scene of motorcycle crashes;
  • Motorcycle and automobile inspections;
  • Interviews with motorcyclists involved in crashes;
  • Interviews with “control riders”; and
  • Injury data from motorcycle collisions.

At the scene of motorcycle crashes, investigators documented the area, took measurements, and interviewed witnesses to the accident as well as individuals involved in the collision. Those FHWA investigators made detailed accident scene diagrams that included information about tire marks, debris on the scene, damage to vehicles, and any noticeable damage to roadside objects. They also obtained police reports, which include blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measurements that can help to show whether alcohol was a factor in any given crash. The FHWA also completed motorcycle helmet reconstructions to determine specific points of impact.

Why Do Motorcycle Accidents Happen?

What were some of the FHWA’s preliminary findings? Consider the following key takeaways from the study:

  • Motorcycle rider error was the primary contributing factor in more than 44 percent of crashes;
  • Motorists (or automobile driver) error was the cause of about 51 percent of all accidents;
  • Intentionally unsafe acts by motorcyclists contributed to about 50 percent of all collisions;
  • Traffic scanning mistakes by motorists contributed to about 70 percent of reported accidents; and
  • Inadequate motorcycle riding skills contributed to approximately 26 percent of all collisions.

Staying Safe on a Motorcycle

What can you do to prevent serious or fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident? The CDC recommends the following:

  • Always wear a helmet, regardless of motorcycle helmet laws;
  • Never drink and ride a motorcycle;
  • Never drink and drive;
  • Do not engage in distracted driving;
  • Do not engage in aggressive behaviors behind the wheel or while riding a motorcycle; and
  • Get trained in motorcycle riding skills.

Contact a Lombard Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love got hurt in a motorcycle accident after being struck by an automobile, you should discuss your case with a talented DuPage County motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC for more information.


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