Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are extremely common in Tennessee and other southern states. Motorcycles have less visibility and stability than cars, and there is no barrier between the road and the rider in the event of a crash. As a result, motorcyclists usually suffer serious harm when they crash. If you have been injured in a motorcycle wreck in Tennessee or elsewhere, you should contact Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz to discuss your legal options with an experienced Memphis motorcycle accident lawyer. We are the largest plaintiff’s personal injury law firm based in Tennessee, and we have more than 30 years experience investigating the causes of motorcycle accidents across the South. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.Motorcycle Accidents and How They Occur
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Shelby County alone had 21,440 residents with Class M licenses in 2016, meaning tens of thousands of motorcyclists are likely on Tennessee roads at any given point in time. If you pair this with the more than 575,000 licensed drivers on the road in larger vehicles, then there is a great potential for motorcycle collisions. Shelby County ranks 6th in the state for motorcycle crashes, with an average of 295 motorcycle crashes reported each year.
While motorcycle crashes in Memphis can be caused for a multitude of reasons, here are common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Head-on collisions – this type of crash occurs when another vehicle collides with the front of the motorcycle. Either party could be at fault, depending on which lane it occurs in. These crashes account for more than 75% motorcycle accident deaths.
- Unsafe left turns – these usually occur when the car is attempting a left-hand turn and strikes the motorcycle as it is going straight through an intersection or passing the car. The motorcycle’s smaller size makes it less visible to the turning car. If the motorcycle has the right of way (either through a green light or stop sign), the car will almost always be at fault for an improper turn. If the motorcycle was passing the car, the motorcycle may be at fault if the car had its turn signal on or if the crash occurred in a no-passing zone. This type of crash accounts for more than 40% of all motorcycle/car collisions.
- Following too closely – this usually occurs when a car does not allow itself enough time and space to stop and rear-ends the motorcycle in front of it. The driver of the car is usually found to be at fault in this type of crash. These crashes account for about 1 out of every 20 motorcycle accidents.
- Illegal lane changes – this type of crash is common when a car does not see a motorcycle in its blind spot and switches lanes, sideswiping the motorcycle. The driver of the car is usually liable for these collisions. Nearly 66% of motorcycle accidents are caused by a vehicle violating the motorcycle’s right of way.
- Distracted driving – these collisions can occur when the driver of a vehicle is distracted by a cell phone, radio, or another electronic device inside the vehicle or when the driver is eating, talking, or otherwise not paying attention to the road. This type of crash will usually be the car driver’s fault since cars contain more potential distractions than motorcycles.
- Drugged or drunk driving – drivers under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol often suffer from lower reaction times and lapses in judgment. If the responding police officer suspects this type of conduct, the offender could be charged with DUI or DWI at the scene.
If you have been injured while riding a motorcycle, contact Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz today to discuss the causes of the motorcycle accident, your injuries, and all legal theories of liability with a motorcycle wreck lawyer. Our firm will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement of your claim, but we are willing to try your case in court when the insurance company does not want to pay you what you deserve. We represent victims of car and motorcycle crashes throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi, including in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Caruthersville, Hayti, Little Rock, Jonesboro, Oxford, Starkville, Corinth, Columbus, Tupelo, Meridian, and Jackson. Call us today at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form to schedule your free consultation with an auto accident attorney. NST is the way to go.