Motorcycle AccidentsSpringtime Safety: Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents & How to Avoid Them

As the weather changes and summer approaches, more and more motorcycle riders are taking to the road. Unfortunately, that means more motorcycle accidents and more motorcycle injuries.

According to the TxDOT, there is at least one motorcycle fatality every day on the roads and highways of Texas, with 13 motorcycle fatalities in Austin alone in 2021. May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to brush up on common causes of motorcycle accidents, and how to avoid them.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Austin

Austin is one of the worst areas in Texas for motorcycle safety, with an incredible 710 motorcycle accidents in 2019. Almost all motorcycle accidents involve a collision with another vehicle on the road, and almost all these cases require the services of an Austin motorcycle accident lawyer in order to settle them fairly. Here are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Austin:

  • Congested roadways. While it may seem like slow-moving traffic is a low-risk driving situation, it is actually a cause of many accidents. In highly congested conditions, both motorcyclists and automobile drivers may be tempted to reduce their safety practices. Car drivers may reduce their following distance to unsafe ranges. Motorcyclists may split lanes. Everyone may become frustrated and impatient, using poor judgment. These conditions are ripe for accidents, especially for accidents involving motorcycles.
  • Distracted driving. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents of all types. Any activity that takes your attention off the road, including phone use, eating, drowsiness, or looking at things or people inside the vehicle (passengers, console controls, dropped items, etc) can cause a crash. Always keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
  • Difficulty seeing motorcycles. Many motorcycle accidents are caused by visibility issues. Motorcycles are smaller in size, which may allow them to disappear in a blind spot, or create the impression that a lane is empty. Motorcycles and their drivers are often in dark or neutral colors that blend in with the surroundings. Interestingly, motorcycles may also fall into the fascinating phenomenon of inattentional blindness, where car drivers may fail to see them even while looking right at them.

Motorcycle Safety in Austin

Even when another vehicle is at fault or inattentive, motorcyclists still need to take care to protect themselves and mitigate the risks of an accident. In order to reduce these risks, follow these important safety tips:

  • Obey traffic laws. Defensive riding means observing road conditions, obeying traffic laws, and abiding by the speed limit. In 2020, 34% of all motorcycle riders involved in a fatal accident were speeding.
  • In the event of an accident, motorcyclists need to reduce their risk of serious injury as much as possible. Wear protective gear including a DOT-approved helmet. Every year, the NHTSA estimates that hundreds of lives could have been saved if motorcycle riders had been wearing approved helmets. Always look for helmets labeled “FMVSS No. 218 Certified”. When choosing helmets, also look for:
    • Fit. Make sure the helmet fits the shape and size of your head. Look for a helmet that provides snug, even pressure all the way around your head, without loose areas or pressure points.
    • Style. Choose a style of helmet that allows good visibility and airflow. Hi-viz color adds another element of safety in a wide range of styles.
  • Never ride while impaired or distracted. While no one should ever operate a vehicle while impaired or distracted, the risks of an accident are especially devastating for motorcycle drivers. People driving a motorcycle should remain especially alert and situationally aware, practicing defensive driving at all times.

Why You Need an Austin Motorcycle Accident Attorney

A motorcycle accident may have a number of devastating consequences, and each may have a different type of legal damages and recovery options. From simple property damage and car insurance settlements to personal injury or even wrongful death, victims of a motorcycle accident have to address tough legal issues. Accident victims will need to prove negligence and liability, demonstrate different types of damages, defend themselves from claims of contributory liability, and more.

No matter what type of accident you have had, it is important to consult with an experienced Austin motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. In most cases, accepting a settlement requires you to waive your right to pursue further legal action. Signing a fast settlement without consulting with an attorney may mean that you limit your recovery, and don’t get everything you are entitled to.

Aaron Allison has been family-owned since 1978, and we are proud to fight for the rights of people who have been injured through no fault of their own. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your motorcycle accident case today.

The Law Office of Aaron Allison