How Do Motorcycle Crashes Happen?

Riding a motorcycle offers an unparalleled sense of freedom, but it also exposes riders to significant risks. The roadways, fraught with hazards, present numerous challenges that motorcyclists must navigate. At Jim Glaser Law, we are deeply committed to supporting those affected by motorcycle accidents. By providing expert legal advice and advocating for rightful compensation, we stand by our clients every step of the way. If you find yourself in need of guidance after an accident, get started with your free consultation as soon as possible. You can reach us at (617) 906-8775 to discuss your case.

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An older couple sitting on a black and chrome motorcycle with helmets on.

Learn About Common Motorcycle Accident Causes With Attorney Jim Glaser

Investigating the cause of a motorcycle crash is foundational to building a solid legal case. Statistics reveal that the majority of motorcycle accidents are not the fault of the motorcyclist but rather the result of another driver’s negligence. In Massachusetts alone, motorcyclists represent more than a tenth of traffic-related fatalities, highlighting the grave risks involved. So, how do motorcycle crashes happen? Accidents can stem from many factors, each affecting the legal strategies for compensation and the outcome.

Attorney Jim Glaser and his experienced team of motorcycle injury attorneys are dedicated to providing motorcyclists in Massachusetts and across New England with comprehensive legal support. We want to help you on your recovery journey, addressing injuries, bike damage, lost wages, and the emotional toll of accidents.

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Either the Motorcyclist or Another Driver Broke Traffic Laws

Traffic law violations are a common thread in many motorcycle accidents. Breaking traffic safety laws endangers everyone on the road, often leading to serious consequences.


Speeding is one of the most prevalent causes of accidents involving motorcycles. Driving at a high speed can drastically reduce reaction times, making it difficult to avoid sudden hazards. Motorcyclists, due to their vulnerability, need to be particularly cautious of their speed and surrounding vehicles.

Riders and drivers alike should adhere to speed limits and practice defensive driving techniques to mitigate the risk of collisions.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting, a controversial practice where a motorcyclist weaves between lanes of traffic, particularly in congested areas, is akin to not wearing a helmet in Massachusetts–that is, it’s illegal. This maneuver may seem efficient for traffic navigation, but it brings significant risks. Lane splitting creates a lack of visibility as motorcycles moving between vehicles are less visible to drivers.

The Motorcyclist or the Other Driver Was Impaired

A man on a black motorcycle is speeding down the road.

Impaired driving, whether due to distraction or intoxication, is more common than most would think and significantly increases the likelihood of accidents.

Driving While Distracted

Motorcyclists are generally less prone to distracted riding given the nature of their vehicle, requiring constant attention and both hands on the handlebars. The main concern lies with drivers of cars and trucks who, distracted by their phones, passengers, or other interferences, may fail to notice motorcycles around them.

Here’s the bottom line: put the phone down, keep your head up, and work together to ensure safety for everyone on the road.

Driving While Drunk or Otherwise Intoxicated

Unlike distracted driving, intoxication can be a factor for both motorcyclists and drivers, impairing judgment and reaction times. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense with potentially fatal consequences.

We at Jim Glaser Law stress the importance of making responsible choices when drinking, such as waiting to sober up before you drive or arranging for alternative transportation. Choosing not to drink and drive saves lives.

The Other Driver Couldn’t See the Motorcyclist

Visibility issues are particularly challenging for motorcyclists, as their smaller size makes them harder to spot on the road. To counteract this, many riders take proactive steps to enhance their visibility through additional lights, reflective gear, and even louder exhaust systems. These safety measures help to prevent motorcycle accidents, ensuring riders are noticed by others on the road.

Not Checking Blind Spots

Failure to check blind spots is a common cause of collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles. Drivers may inadvertently overlook a motorcyclist’s presence, leading to dangerous situations, especially during lane changes or merges. It’s essential for all drivers to perform thorough checks of their blind spots to avoid these potentially deadly encounters.

Making a Left Turn Without Looking

Left-turn accidents are particularly hazardous for motorcyclists. These incidents often occur when a vehicle turning left at an intersection fails to see an oncoming motorcycle. To prevent such accidents, drivers are encouraged to double-check for oncoming traffic, including motorcycles, before proceeding with a turn.

Outside Factors That Could Cause a Motorcycle Accident

External conditions, beyond the control of the motorcyclist or other drivers, can also lead to accidents.

Slick Roads or Low-Visibility Weather Conditions

Adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow, ice, and fog, significantly increase the risks for motorcyclists by reducing visibility and road traction. While many riders choose to avoid riding in such conditions, those who venture out are advised to exercise extreme caution and ensure they are experienced and equipped with the proper gear.

Poorly Maintained Roads

Road maintenance issues, including potholes, uneven surfaces, and debris, pose significant risks to motorcyclists. Such hazards can cause a rider to lose control, leading to accidents. In some cases, the responsibility for these conditions may lie with governmental entities responsible for road maintenance.

Insufficient Signage and Signals

The absence of proper signage or malfunctioning traffic signals can create confusion and dangerous conditions for all road users, including motorcyclists. When accidents occur under these circumstances, the liability may extend to the municipalities or states responsible for maintaining these systems, highlighting the need for a thorough investigation and legal expertise.

Dropping the Bike: “No Contact Crashes”

Situations where a motorcyclist must drop their bike to avoid a more severe collision often result from the negligence of another driver. These “no contact” crashes can still lead to significant injuries and damages. Our firm wants to emphasize the importance of legal representation in these cases, as establishing negligence and pursuing compensation can be complex without expert guidance.

Motorcycle Accident Liability

Determining how motorcycle crashes happen is necessary for motorcycle injury claims, but establishing liability is equally important. Factors like comparative negligence must be considered, as the victim’s partial fault can impact their compensation. With a careful investigation, our attorneys leverage their years of experience in Massachusetts law to empower clients to pursue their claims.

Jimmy Knows® How To Determine the True Cause of Your Accident

Motorcycle accident injuries are often severe and life-changing, and injured riders can benefit their claim and their recovery by hiring legal representation to address challenges. Attorney Jim Glaser‘s commitment to justice is unwavering, backed by a team dedicated to supporting injured riders. For those looking to explore their legal options and the potential value of their claim, Jim Glaser Law provides comprehensive free case reviews. We’re here for you even on nights and weekends, showing our commitment to your recovery. Remember, we only get paid when we win your case, so our success is tied to your best outcome.