A motorcycle accident can happen for many reasons. Sometimes multiple factors combine and lead to a crash.  A motorcycle wreck can involve only the motorcycle or more than one vehicle.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) performed a study of what can cause motorcycle accidents. They found more than 1,900 things that can lead to these crashes. The FMCSA used information from over 350 crash investigations.

Human Factors That Can Lead to Motorcycle Accidents

The final report, released in February of 2019, revealed these things are likely human factors (of both the motorcyclists and other-vehicle (OV) drivers) that contribute to motorcycle accidents:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Riding Experience
  • Training
  • Risk Taking
  • Frequency of riding
  • Operator licensing
  • Traffic violations
  • Socioeconomic factors like education, gender, marital status, occupation, and number of children
  • Psychophysiological states such as fatigue, drugs, alcohol, stress, and sleep deprivation
  • Riding habits like group riding, solo riding, and preparing for riding

The study found numerous tasks that drivers of motorcycles and other vehicles engage in that distract their attention from driving and lead to crashes. These tasks include:

  • Using a handheld phone or other device
  • Eating
  • Smoking
  • Daydreaming
  • Reading
  • Talking to a passenger
  • Dropping or moving an object in the vehicle
  • Being distracted by an insect in the vehicle or protective equipment
  • Other external distractions

Decision and perception errors by motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles that can contribute to wrecks include:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Violating the right of way and other motorcycle accident laws
  • Making braking or cornering errors
  • Misjudging the distance to other objects
  • Misjudging the speed of other vehicles
  • Trying to pass another vehicle that is turning
  • Not noticing or anticipating lane changes by other vehicles

Traffic, Control, Roadway, and Environment Factors

Sometimes non-human factors cause or contribute to motorcycle accidents. The study found that these traffic conditions can lead to motorcycle crashes:

  • Average speed
  • Traffic density
  • Left-turn volume at intersections
  • Traffic composition
  • The presence of parked vehicles

Some of the causative control factors include:

  • Traffic signage
  • Pavement marking
  • Type of traffic control
  • Type of Signal phasing
  • Temporary controls at work zones

These roadway conditions can lead to the crashes:

  • Things that obstruct the vehicle operator’s line of sight
  • Horizontal alignment of the road, like curvature
  • Vertical alignment, like grading
  • Road surface type and condition
  • Cross-section elements of the road, like lane width, medians, and turn lanes

A few of the many environmental factors that can lead to a motorcycle accident include:

  • Weather conditions
  • Visibility
  • Level of illumination
  • Roadside environment

Vehicle Elements and Motorcycle Collisions

The study also found that these motorcycle elements lead to motorcycle accidents:

  • Mechanical problems
  • Size, condition, and inflation pressure of the tires
  • Type and condition of the suspension and brakes
  • Turn signals and reflectors
  • Many other factors of the motorcycle

Some of the contributing features of other vehicles involved in motorcycle crashes are:

  • Tires
  • Brake lights
  • ABS
  • Mechanical problems

Trip Factors That Can Contribute to Motorcycle Accidents

These elements of the trip can affect the likelihood of a motorcycle crash:

  • How familiar the driver of the motorcycle or other vehicle was with the road and environment
  • Origin and destination of the trip
  • How many miles the driver had traveled before the wreck
  • The total length of the trip

Whether human error, equipment, or something else was the cause of your motorcycle accident, the personal injury lawyers at the Montero Law Center can help you go after money damages for the harm you suffered at the hands of others. Call us today at 954-767-6500, to set up your free consultation.