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What Factors Increase the Risk of Motorcycle Crashes?

June 19, 2017 | Category: Motorcycle Accidents, Personal Injury | Share

The media reports on motorcycle accidents frequently in Southwest Florida. One such report involved a fatal crash between a motorcycle and a truck which happened on US-41 in Fort Myers at 10:16 p.m. January 15, 2017. Fort Myers police and fire departments, as well as the Lee County Sheriff's Office, responded to the scene. A witness said the motorcycle was heading north and could not stop when a truck driving south turned left into a Taco Bell. The person said the bike downshifted but could not stop in time and t-boned the truck's passenger side, according to an NBC-2 news report. 

What factors increase the risk of motorcycle crashes - Spivey LawMotorcycle riding is riskier than driving an automobile as maintaining control is more difficult on two wheels. The rider must balance the bike while steering. When collisions happen, motorcyclists have a greater risk of serious injury or death because they have little protection and no safety belts.

The Insurance Information Institute' statistics show that approximately three-quarters of motorcycle accidents involve other vehicles usually passenger vehicles. Further statistics show that two-thirds of the accidents are caused by the other vehicle's violating the motorcyclist's right-of-way. The most likely place for motorcycle accidents is at intersections when vehicles may violate the traffic controls by running red lights. 

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports that the most common motorcycle crashes include the following: 

  • Vehicles turning left: Statistically, the most dangerous situation for a motorcyclist occurs when cars are making left-hand turns. These collisions account for 42 percent of all crashes between motorcycles and other vehicles.
  • Head-on collisions: The vast majority of motorcycle crashes with cars occur when they collide head-on. These head-on crashes result in a higher fatality rate than other types of crashes.
  • Lane splitting: Lane splitting refers to when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of cars, usually in heavy traffic when car movement is slowed or stopped.
  • Speeding and alcohol impairment: In approximately 34 percent of single-vehicle motorcycle crashes speeding was a factor. 

Research studies reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found a link between the following risk factors and resulting motorcycle crashes: 

  1. Age - Roughly 26 percent of fatalities are among 20-29 year olds, and 22 percent are among 50-59 year olds. Crashes/fatalities among older, returning riders, may be due in part to rusty skills last used decades ago, and the inability to handle the increased power of today's motorcycles. 
  1. Licensing & Training -  27 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were riding without a valid motorcycle license. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, fewer than half of motorcyclists today have completed formal motorcycle safety training. 
  1. Weak Helmet Laws - 53 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were not wearing a safety helmet. Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41 percent for motorcycle passengers. Currently, only 19 states and the District of Columbia have helmet laws requiring all riders to be helmeted. Another 28, including Florida, mandate helmet use by riders younger than age 18 or 21, and three states have no requirement. 
  1. Riding While Intoxicated - 27 percent of fatally injured motorcycle drivers in 2015 had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08 percent. 49 percent of motorcycle drivers killed at night (9 p.m. - 6 a.m.) in 2015 had BACs at or above 0.08 percent, according to IIHS. 
  1. Low Visibility of Motorcycle Riders - It is the responsibility of all motorists to watch out for motorcycles and expect them, especially in Florida, to be sharing the road with them. says that motorcyclists can help improve the situation by making sure they use headlamps and wear highly visible clothing.  

"If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash, contact the experienced accident injury attorneys at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. to determine your rights," said Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey.



Ft. Myers Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney - the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Visit for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.



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