Who Is at Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?

by Paula A. Wyatt | June 25, 2022 | Auto Accidents, Blog | 0 comments

Who Is at Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents? Motorcycle crashes can be tragic, and one cannot help but feel a sense of dismay when you witness one happen before you on the road. Most individuals understand that a likely outcome in a motorcycle crash is the rider’s demise. Motorcycle riders sometimes have a poor reputation, and many are quick to blame riders when an accident happens. The truth, nevertheless, is quite the opposite. Most motorcycle riders love to ride and value their life and safety. They are aware of the dangers of riding and do everything to do what is right on the road. Unfortunately, sometimes their best efforts are not enough, and more often than not, the fault in a motorcycle crash lies with someone other than the motorcyclist. Having an experienced motorcycle attorney could be extremely beneficial in this situation. 

How to Start Looking For an Attorney For Your Motorcycle Accident?

Making sure you are getting the benefits and compensation you deserve is a priority for most victims involved in a motorcycle accident. Getting in contact with a qualified lawyer can help put your mind at ease. A lawyer will be able to go over the next steps in your legal process, reach out to us!


Motorcycle accidents cause more severe injuries or deaths than other crash types. Per the Insurance Information Institute (III), motorcycle riders were 27 times more likely to perish in a crash than those in passenger vehicles. Along with heightened risks on the road, motorcycle riders face unjust biases. Many drivers think bikers are at fault for motorcycle accidents. Yet, it surprises many individuals to learn who’s typically at fault in most motorcycle crashes. Many motorists assume that motorcycle riders are careless or reckless on the road. But the facts say something different. Most motorcycle accidents occur due to another motorist’s actions. A car or truck driver is more likely to be the cause of a motorcycle-related wreck. Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents occur when another driver doesn’t see a motorcycle rider. For instance, a driver might fail to see a motorcycle at an intersection and cause a crash. Many additional elements can cause motorcycle wrecks. Traveling by motorcycle can be an exciting and cost-efficient way to get from place to place for some individuals. Many individuals prefer to ride them for their thrilling nature and because they do not use as much gasoline as passenger cars or trucks. Nevertheless, riding a motorcycle on the highway can also be risky. Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 5,000 motorcyclists die yearly. Motorcycle accidents can be caused by numerous situations, from environmental factors to mistakes on the road. Resolving who is at fault in most motorcycle accidents often requires examining the accident scene and collecting evidence. Once you decide what caused the accident and what actions might have led to it, you may determine the responsible party in your accident.

Drivers Must Watch for Motorcyclists When Making Left Turns

Vehicles making left turns can be a highway hazard for motorcyclists. Motorcycles are much tinier than most cars. Because of this, other motorists might not see motorcycles entering an intersection. But this doesn’t always mean the driver of the car is at fault. Left-turn accidents can happen when:
  • The motorcycle driver is speeding
  • The driver of the car is distracted
  • One of them runs a red light
A left-turn accident can cause severe or catastrophic injuries, particularly for a motorcyclist. Determining fault in a left-turn crash can be challenging, depending on the events. Negligent car drivers cause most motorcycle collisions, but sometimes dangerous roads contribute to a crash, and you can hold accountable the government entity or private contractor responsible for road management. You calculate fault based on arguments made by lawyers using evidence provided in an investigation and then determined by the jury in its verdict and the court in its final judgment. Motorcycles typically pose less of a threat on roadways than passenger vehicles, and the jury or court considers this when deciding allocation of responsibility. Thus, if the evidence demonstrates a motorcyclist is partially responsible for the crash, an insurance company evaluating the value of a claim will subtract damages from its final settlement offer based on its calculation of plausible liability. Consult a personal injury or wrongful death lawyer to fully investigate the matter to determine which parties are liable in your case.

You Can Hold a Speeding Driver at Fault

Motorcycle Accident after speeding driver When determining fault for a motorcycle crash, consider speed. If one person broke the speed limit, that might place responsibility on the speeding party. If a motorcycle driver is speeding, they can take other drivers by shock, particularly if they are weaving in traffic without signaling or using appropriate care. Because motorcycles are much tinier than other vehicles, they are harder to see. A vehicle might switch lanes as a motorcyclist attempts to speed forward, and unexpectedly a collision happens. When other car drivers speed, they might not have as much time to see a motorcyclist in front of them, particularly if they lack focus. If a driver was on their phone while speeding, they might not react to a motorcyclist and brake in time to avoid an accident.

Alcohol Consumption Can Be a Deadly Error if Motorcyclists Choose to Drive After Drinking

In a recent year, 26 percent of motorcycle drivers who suffered deadly injuries had a BAC of 0.08 percent or more, per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Alcohol can create problems with balance in a motorcycle driver. When riding a motorcycle, keeping balance is especially critical. Losing balance can result in a crash for a motorcyclist. Alcohol can decrease reaction times and inhibitions in any motorist. Drivers are more likely to drive dangerously and carelessly. Driving while drunk is risky for any driver and can cause havoc.

Inexperienced Riders May Put Others in Danger on the Highway

Seeing other motorcycles on the highway can make riding a motorcycle seem leisurely. Nevertheless, jumping on a motorcycle without appropriate knowledge and training can be perilous. New riders risk their own lives along with the lives of every driver around them. Inexperienced motorcycle riders might not know how to handle particular situations on the highway. While a crash might not be the new rider’s fault, they might not stop an accident that a more skilled rider might avoid.

Head-On Crashes

Most motorcycle crashes involve other drivers. Most of the time, the crash is a head-on collision. The other driver hits the motorcycle from the front. While rear-end collisions happen with motorcycle riders, they are much less common. Tragically, head-on accidents are often deadly to motorcyclists. Motorcycles do not have the same protection as cars or trucks in accidents.


Lane-splitting happens when a motorcyclist drives between two traffic lanes. A motorcyclist might lane-split when traffic is slow or backed up. The laws regarding lane-splitting differ by state. A biker might have a more complicated claim process if they were lane-splitting before the crash.

Inexperienced Riders or Drivers

Everyone who gets a driver's license should understand how to drive safely. That includes car drivers and motorcycle riders. If one or the other is inexperienced or reckless, it can immediately lead to an accident. Amateur drivers might not know to look out for smaller vehicles like motorcycles. As a result, the driver can crash with a biker as they try to pass or turn near the car.


The recurrence of distracted drivers on the highway continues to be a formidable threat that can be hard to fight. All travelers are in danger when distracted drivers are on the road, but motorcyclists are at higher risk of death if an accident happens. Drivers doing other activities such as texting, eating, grooming, talking, or entertainment can’t react or identify motorcyclists in their vicinity or approaching them.


Tired drivers are just as scary as drunk drivers. Research indicates that the lack of sleep can be as bad as or even worse than the effects of raised blood alcohol levels in a motor vehicle driver. Long work hours, crowded commutes, and lack of restful sleep can cause a motorist to fall asleep behind the wheel or not maintain the focus needed to operate their car safely. An unsuspecting motorcyclist may not avoid a vehicle that has lost control due to the driver’s incapacity. Head-on collisions, sideswipes, and rear-end crashes are typical motorcycle accidents caused by a negligent, tired driver.

Failure to Obey Traffic Laws and Signals

Road Sign for Traffic Laws A lack of concern or regard for traffic regulations and signs is dangerous to motorcyclists. A motorcyclist must stay aware and mindful of all drivers and traffic indicators to ensure their commute is as safe as possible. Motorcycle riders depend on traffic signals and directions to travel safely through dangerous intersections. If a driver fails to observe a signal, they may catch the motorcyclist off guard and put the motorcyclist in the path of their vehicle. In many circumstances, a motorcycle rider can’t evade the unexpected actions of a negligent motorist running a red light or stop sign or the motorist’s failure to utilize turn signals. Motorcycle riders always watch the road and drivers around them. They use the tools available to help make decisions to travel safely, but when a driver fails to obey the laws and duty of care of a motorist, the careful motorcycle rider is put at risk for a serious accident.


A behavior blamed for fender benders in heavy traffic, tailgating, or driving too close can kill a motorcyclist. Even at the lowest speeds, a crash caused by tailgating will push a motorbike from underneath the rider and knock the rider into the road or other traffic. Tailgating by negligent drivers is treacherous and can injure or kill people on a motorcycle in a preventable accident.

Lack of Driver Awareness

The drivers of vehicles, in general, are not considerate of motorcyclists. Motorcyclists pale compared to the number of vehicles on the highway at any given time. You can often go an entire drive and see just a handful of motorcyclists or maybe none. This disparity causes motorists to not notice others. Drivers know to look carefully for other cars and trucks but may not think to look for indications of a nearby motorcycle.

Aggressive Maneuvers

Fast lane changes, bold passing, cutting off other motorists, road rage or failure to use turn signals are all negligent behaviors. Motorcyclists are most powerless to these aggressive maneuvers as just a bump or premature stop can easily cause riders to lose their balance and command of their bike. This can result in a biker crashing into nearby objects or cars, being thrown from their motorcycles, or sliding into the highway at high speeds.

Why Are Motorcyclists Vulnerable to Crashes With Motor Vehicles?

The NHTSA reports that motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to suffer fatalities in a motor vehicle crash than occupants of other vehicles. The design of a bike and the nature of motorcycle riding puts a cyclist at greater risk of injury in a crash. Motorcycles require extreme focus and the ability to operate numerous mechanisms at once. Driving a vehicle is a primarily passive activity, requiring little physical action by the driver. On a motorcycle, a rider must keep their balance, have the power to hold up the weighty machine, and the experience to maneuver to their destination safely. Nevertheless, the highest risk of injury and death comes not from the motorcycle and rider but road conditions and the mentality of drivers, which can contribute to an accident and the harshness of the outcome for a biker. The vulnerability of a biker lies in the actions and responses of other drivers that share the road alongside them.

Building a Motorcycle Accident Claim

After your accident, there are ways to defend your rights. These measures can help you construct a claim and fight for compensation:
  • Report the accident to the police.
  • Make sure officers create an accident report.
  • Take photos of the accident scene.
  • See a physician ASAP.
  • Hang on to all bills and other proof of your damages.
  • Speak to an attorney ASAP.
Establishing fault in a motorcycle accident is challenging. However, it will help if you don't have to pay for someone else's mistakes. An experienced attorney can help you fight for what you deserve.


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