How Do Motorcycle Accidents Happen?

Many Floridians like to get out on the open road and enjoy the pleasures that motorcycle riding can bring. Although it’s a fun and carefree way to spend your day, motorcyclists are more prone to road hazards than motorists — and their size and lack of certain safeguards, like seatbelts and airbags, leaves them vulnerable to sustaining a severe injury or worse, death. While it’s not possible to prevent a motorcycle accident entirely, knowing how motorcycle accidents happen can help you be proactive in your safety and the safety of others. Here’s what every motorcycle rider should know.

Top Causes of Motorcycle Crashes

Since motorcycle riders don’t have safety features such as airbags and seatbelts, or a metal encasing that could protect them in a crash, a collision can be devastating. These top causes of motorcycle crashes can lead to a severe injury:

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions between a motorcycle rider and other vehicles are far too frequent. A head-on collision can be caused by:

  • Distracted drivers
  • Impaired/intoxicated drivers
  • Drowsy or fatigued drivers
  • Drivers trying to beat a red light
  • Drivers speeding or racing
  • Drivers trying to pass on a two-lane road

Other Vehicles Making Left-Hand Turns

Other drivers who are careless when making left-hand turns are a top danger to motorcyclists. A driver turning left can strike a motorcycle rider as he or she is going straight through an intersection or passing the vehicle that is making a left-hand turn.


Lane-splitting is a dangerous move that many motorcycle riders make. Lane splitting happens when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes, either when vehicles are stopped or moving. Lane-splitting is not legal in the state of Florida.

Riding While Intoxicated

Getting on your motorcycle after drinking is never a good idea. Riding while intoxicated slows down your reaction time, and can increase your chances of getting into a severe motorcycle accident that can result in devastating injuries.


Speeding drivers can cause a catastrophic injury to a motorcyclist. This form of reckless driving by a motorist can create a serious collision and in many cases, a rider is ejected from the bike, due to the violent force.

Colliding with Fixed Objects

A forceful collision with a fixed object can be disastrous. For example, colliding with a telephone pole or rail guard can cause a rider to be thrown hard and sustain life-threatening injuries.

Doors Opening on Parked Cars

A vehicle doesn’t have to be moving to cause a motorcycle rider to sustain an injury. “Dooring” accidents are not uncommon and can occur when someone opens their door without looking. If a nearby rider hits the door, they could be ejected from their seat and thrown over.

Defective Motorcycle Parts and Components

Manufacturers of motorcycles can be held liable should an accident be caused by a defective part. For example, if a rider has installed new brakes, but they fail to stop the motorcycle, an inspection of the part is necessary to determine if a manufacturer defect was the cause of the crash.

Other Road Hazards to Motorcyclists

Motor vehicle drivers and defective parts aren’t the only cause of motorcycle accidents. Here are some common road hazards that motorcyclists face.

  • Potholes
  • Crumbling pavement
  • Animals in the road
  • Wet/slick road conditions
  • Unexpected objects/debris in the road
  • Missing traffic signals and signs

Types of Injuries Caused By Motorcycle Accidents

  • Catastrophic injuries (traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries)
  • Lower extremity injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Fractures/broken bones
  • Road rash

Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders

You can reduce your risk of sustaining an injury by practicing these safety tips as recommended by the National Safety Council.

  • Choose a bike that fits you.
  • Invest in anti-lock brakes.
  • Take a motorcycle safety course.
  • Learn the rules of the road.
  • Understand that riding with a passenger requires a higher level of riding skill.
  • Don’t ride while intoxicated.
  • Drive defensively.
  • Look out for potholes, gravel, and other debris in the road.
  • Always assume you are invisible to other motorists on the road.
  • Use headlights at all times.
  • Don’t weave in and out of lanes.
  • Refrain from riding on the shoulder or between lanes (lane-splitting).
  • Wear bright-colored or reflective clothing.
  • Wear protective gear such as goggles, face shields, and a helmet.

Who is Liable in a Motorcycle Crash?

The first thing every rider should do after a motorcycle crash is to seek medical attention. Once your injuries are tended to, it’s crucial to determine who is liable for the injuries you’ve sustained from the accident.

If someone else’s negligence caused your crash, they should be held liable. Liability can fall on more than one party. For instance, if a road hazard caused your accident, then the city could be held liable. If a semi-truck caused the crash, then the trucking company could be responsible. When it comes to determining liability, speaking to an experienced attorney can make all the difference in your case outcome.

Contact the Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Clearwater. We have four convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.

We serve throughout Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Pasco County, and its surrounding areas:

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 787-2500

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
(727) 591-5610

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
(813) 686-7588

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655
(727) 815-8442