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Common motorcycle accidents: Causes and considerations

Added June 8, 2021
Someone riding a black motorcycle

For avid motorcycle riders like you, knowing the factors that contribute to the most common motorcycle accidents can help you avoid these hazards. We reviewed our recent motorcycle accident claims to help improve your awareness as you prepare for your next ride.

Learn what causes most motorcycle accidents

Loss of control is by far the most common cause of motorcycle accidents, accounting for more than a quarter of all cause of loss claims. The next most common cause falls under the broader category of collisions—including rear-end collisions and intersection collisions—making up 17 percent of all claims.

Recognize the accidents that pose high injury risks

According to our claims data, head-on accidents have about a 90 percent chance of resulting in injuries. However, these accidents only make up about one percent of all claims—among the rarest types of accident reported by Dairyland® brand customers. The next most frequent accidents resulting in injuries are turning collisions, loss-of-control accidents, and intersection accidents.

Be alert and visible in high-traffic and low-light conditions

The risk of accidents and resulting injuries tends to be highest between 3–11 p.m. Busier roads during rush hour account for some of the accidents and injuries in the 3–6 p.m. window. Don’t forget to use hand signals to alert others on the road to what you’re doing on your bike—particularly on crowded roads.

Poor visibility can lead to accidents and injuries during the evening. Remember, motorcyclists are far less visible to other drivers when it’s dark. If you take your bike out at night or twilight, turn on your headlight and wear reflective gear to make sure you’re seen by other drivers.

Watch out on the weekends

A comparatively high rate of motorcycle accidents occur over the weekend, and injury claims from accidents start increasing on Fridays. Claims are most frequent on Saturdays and Sundays, likely because that’s when most riders are able to get out and enjoy long rides.

Accidents involving animals also tend to peak on the weekend, which makes sense—increased leisurely time often provides more opportunities to take longer trips on rural, less-traveled roads. Most collisions with animals happen at night between 5–11 p.m., when it’s darker and animals crossing the road may be harder to see. 

Don’t ride your motorcycle under the influence

We see a spike in accidents during the early morning hours—especially Friday through Sunday—which could correlate with bar and restaurant closing times. We also see an increase in loss-of-control accidents and collisions with static objects between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. Some of these claims could be attributed to motorcyclists or other drivers operating their vehicles under the influence. Remember to never drive or ride under the influence—it’s illegal, irresponsible, and dangerous.

Ride safe

No matter when or where you choose to ride your bike, remember to prioritize safety. Always wear your helmet and other safety equipment, and be aware of road conditions, other riders, and nearby drivers.

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