Common Motorcycle Accidents and Road Risks (Part A)

With Labor Day rapidly approaching, the holiday spirit will be in the air and on the roadways. Holiday travel has never been known for its convenient or safe nature, and Labor Day travel will be no different. If you plan on riding a motorcycle this Labor Day, you face added dangers that the average motorist does not.

Labor Day weekend is a time of heightened risk, when more vehicles, including motorcycles, will be on the roadways. If you plan on using a motorcycle for your Labor Day travel needs, you should be aware of the dangers created during this busy travel time.

Risk Factors Unique to Motorcyclists

The nature of the motorcycle is a double edged sword; it provides the freedom of being exposed to the open air and at the same time, it risks serious injury due to the open and exposed design.

Because of this nature, motorcycle riders face a unique set of risk factors. These risk factors include:  

  • Visual Recognition. As a smaller vehicle, motorcycles are not always easily seen or recognized by other motorists. This can be particularly problematic in the event of inclement weather conditions, adverse road conditions, or at an intersection.
  • Road Obstacles and Hazards. What may be a minor aggravation to the driver of a larger vehicle could be catastrophic to a motorcyclist. Such "aggravations" include potholes, debris, puddles, ruts, railroad tracks, oil slicks, and uneven pavement.
  • A "Speed Wobble" Crash. When a motorcycle runs at a high speeds the front wheel can begin to shake back and forth, or "wobble." This is often caused by a misalignment of the front wheel. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident because of a speed wobble, it is likely the fault of the manufacturer and you may be able to receive a monetary settlement.
  • Driving Skills and Familiarity with the Vehicle. Motorcycles require a larger skill set and greater coordination to operate than do other motor vehicles. Far too many motorcycle accidents are caused by a simple lack of skill or failure to grasp the limitations of a motorcycle.  

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