Motorcycle riding is often a lifestyle, not just a hobby for bikers. While motorcycle riding can be thrilling, it can also be dangerous, especially as drivers are more distracted than ever. Motorcycle collisions are incredibly dangerous and often result in severe injuries or death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently ranked Alabama as the 17th most dangerous state for motorcycle accidents. We have listed some of the most common causes of motorcycle collisions below.
- Excessive SpeedUsing excessive speed is always dangerous while driving, but it is particularly dangerous when motorcycles are involved. For example, when large commercial trucks use excessive speed, the driver could fail to stop in time to avoid colliding with a motorcyclist. Every year, a significant number of motorcycle accidents involve one or more speeding drivers. Slow driving can also cause motorcycle accidents, mainly when a motorcyclist cannot stop in time to avoid colliding with the car in front, driving exceptionally slowly. Even when a driver follows the speed limit, he or she could put other drivers in danger. For example, if it is raining heavily, a reasonable driver may decide to drive below the speed limit for safety reasons.
- Objects or Debris in the RoadwayObjects in the roadway are always dangerous for drivers, but they are especially dangerous for motorcyclists. Most medium-to-large-sized passenger vehicles can roll over debris without much of an issue. Motorcycles are much smaller, and they only have two wheels, making them more dangerous in terms of roadway debris. When an item strikes a motorcyclist, the impact could cause the motorcyclist to lose control and result in a collision. Additionally, it can be more difficult for motorcyclists on two wheels to swerve out of the way of obstacles.
- Distracted or Inexperienced DriversAlabama is the only state in the nation that allows people to receive a motorcycle license without skills testing. Inexperienced motorcycle drivers are one of the reasons that motorcycle accidents are so common in Alabama. Motorcycles are more difficult to see than passenger vehicles, and distracted drivers are more likely to miss seeing a motorcyclist completely. When drivers do not check their blind spots or fail to pay attention to their surroundings, they can easily run into a motorcyclist. When a motorcyclist and a passenger vehicle are involved in a collision, the motorcyclist often suffers the most serious injuries because he or she lacks the external protection of a passenger vehicle. It only takes five seconds for most drivers to drive a football field’s distance on the freeway, and checking one text message can result in a catastrophic collision.
- Drunk DrivingEvery year, drunk driving is responsible for a significant number of highway injuries and deaths. Whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs, driving while intoxicated is incredibly dangerous. Drunk drivers lose their inhibitions and cannot make safe decisions as quickly and accurately as they would be if they were sober. Drunk drivers have been known to violate a motorcycle rider’s right of way, risking a severe collision. Drunk drivers are also more likely to make dangerous lane changes and not merge correctly on freeways.
- Mechanical Failures Some motorcycle accidents are caused by mechanical or engine failures. In these cases, the mechanics who worked on the motorcycle may have negligently failed to notice dangerous issues. For example, suppose a mechanic failed to notice that the brakes needed to be changed, and the motorcyclist became injured after he could not stop in time due to the defective brakes. In that case, the injured motorcyclist may have a valid lawsuit against the mechanic.In other cases, the motorcycle itself could be defective. When manufacturers release a defective product that they knew or should have known was dangerous into the marketplace, they can be held responsible by victims through product liability lawsuits. Whether the manufacturer or retailer sold you a defective and dangerous motorcycle or a mechanic used a defective part when working on your motorcycle, it is worth looking into the possibility of bringing a product liability lawsuit.
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If you or your loved one suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident in Alabama, you should reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for damages. Contact today to schedule your initial consultation to learn how we can advocate for you.