Who is At Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle accidents can result in devastating injuries for those involved. This is particularly true for motorcycle drivers and passengers. Unfortunately, motorcyclists do not have the same level of protection that those inside traditional passenger vehicles have. In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, determining fault becomes a priority. Here, we want to discuss who ends up being at fault most of the time after a motorcycle crash occurs.

Motorcyclists Are Usually Not At Fault

When you speak to many drivers on the roadways throughout Tennessee and ask them about motorcycles, you may see them roll their eyes, or they may give you a story about how unsafe motorcyclists are. However, when we dig into studies about motorcycle safety, we will find that when vehicles and motorcycles collide, motorcyclists are less likely to be the at-fault party.

Perhaps the most comprehensive study about motorcycle use and accident statistics is the “Hurt Report,” which is a comprehensive study and analysis conducted by USC Professor Harry Hunt. The study, initiated by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), worked to answer many questions people had about motorcycle safety.

When we examine the information from the Hurt Report, we can see that:

  • When motorcycles are involved in crashes with other types of vehicles, it is often discovered that the other vehicles violated the motorcyclist’s right of way and were at fault for the incident more than 66% of the time.
  • The leading cause of accidents where another driver was at fault was other drivers failing to notice a motorcyclist in traffic.
  • The most common situation where another vehicle causes a collision with a motorcyclist is when the driver violated the motorcyclist’s right of way by turning left in front of them when the motorcyclist was attempting to go straight.
  • Motorcycle accidents usually occur on shorter trips and close to where is the trip originally started.
  • Intersections are the most likely place where a motorcycle crash will occur.

There have been many follow-up studies since the Hurt Report was initially released, and the findings have generally held that the report was accurate.

What Does This Information Mean for Tennessee Motorcyclists?

Most vehicle drivers are surprised when they learn that motorcyclists are not the ones at fault in most accidents. However, motorcyclists who ride their bikes on a regular basis are well aware of the fact that vehicle drivers are not especially vigilant on the roadway.

However, it is not uncommon for insurance carriers and at-fault drivers in these situations to push back hard against paying compensation to an injured motorcyclist. There are plenty of unwarranted biases against motorcyclists when it comes to investigating these incidents and paying over the compensation a motorcyclist deserves. If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the actions of another driver, you need to seek assistance from a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can use their resources and investigate every aspect of the claim in an effort to help an injured motorcyclist recover full compensation for their losses.

It is crucial to vigorously negotiate with insurance carriers to ensure that motorcyclists get compensation for their medical bills, lost income, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering losses. If insurance carriers do not budge, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover the compensation a motorcyclist deserves.