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10 Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Fatalities in North Carolina

10 Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Fatalities in North Carolina

On the busy roads of North Carolina cities, motorcycle accidents are far more likely to result in death than crashes involving other types of vehicles.

In fact, over 80% of motorcycle collisions across the country result in motorcyclist fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

And the number of yearly motorcycle deaths is only rising in NC!

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) studies show that motorcycle crash fatalities rose about 15.2% between 2020 and 2021. And over the last 5 years, the deaths have increased by nearly 25%.

1. Left-Hand Turns

Motorcyclists are more difficult for most drivers to see, which becomes especially dangerous when drivers take left turns through intersections.

Whether because of inattentive driving, distance misjudgements, or right-of-way mistakes, a surprising 41% of fatalities from U.S. motorcycle-vehicle crashes in 2019 happened while another vehicle driver turned left and the motorcyclist was traveling straight or passing/overtaking another vehicle (NHSTA).

 2. Speeding

Excessive speeding significantly decreases a motorcyclist’s chances of noticing and reacting to other drivers and surroundings in enough time to prevent an accident. And as speed rises, so does the risk of serious injury.

In fact, speed proved to be a major factor in about 33% of nationwide motorcycle deaths in 2019, according to the NHTSA.

3. Bad Lane Changes

Motor vehicle drivers frequently hit motorcyclists after neglecting to check their blind spot or use turn signals when moving from lane to lane.

4. Lack of Experience

Motorcyclists need significant training to handle their vehicle-just like people do when they get a motor vehicle driver’s license. Without the proper understanding of their motorcycle and local road rules, motorcyclists can put themselves AND other drivers in unnecessarily dangerous situations.

Unfortunately, a significant portion (30%) of U.S. motorcycle accidents in 2019 involved drivers who did not have valid motorcycle licenses.

5. Drugs & Alcohol

It’s never a good idea—nor is it legal—to drink alcohol or use drugs before driving, whether you’re handling a motor vehicle or a motorcycle. When driving a motorcycle, you need to have extremely sharp reflexes so you can react quickly to potential safety risks to you. And yet, 29% of motorcycle drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2019 were under the influence of alcohol—more than any other type of motor vehicle driver.

6. Distracted Driving

Besides drugs and alcohol, there are a wide range of other things that can create distractions on the road—from texting to fellow passengers or riders to mere day-dreaming.

7. Lane Splitting

Many motorcyclists develop a bad habit of shifting between multiple road lanes and weaving through traffic. Not only is this illegal, but it also creates dangerous situations to which many drivers may not know how to respond.

8. Abrupt Stops

We can’t forget the all-too-frequent fender bender. Although rear-end accidents can be very serious for all drivers, motorcyclists have a greater injury risk because of their lack of external vehicle protection.

9. Parked Car Doors

A common problem for bicyclists and motorcyclists alike, “dooring” can be much more serious than it sounds. When a driver parks a vehicle on the side of a roadway and doesn’t watch out behind them for oncoming traffic, motorcyclists frequently cannot react in enough time to avoid a collision.

10. Road & Weather Conditions

Motorcycle crashes can have a wide range of external causes, such as:

  • Potholes
  • Crumbling pavement
  • Debris
  • Inclement weather conditions
  • Absence of necessary road signs & signals.

Robert Armstrong | Specialized North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s essential for you to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of medical bills, building a claim, and presenting your case.

Get in touch with Robert Armstrong’s office today!