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Understanding the Dangers of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents in Iowa have steadily increased over the last several years. According to the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), in 2018, there were 42 motorcycle fatalities in Iowa, which increased to 63 fatalities in 2020. Even experienced motorcycle riders are at risk of an accident. Here our Des Moines motorcycle accident lawyers explain why these numbers continue to increase.

Common Reasons for Motorcycle Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), research suggests that motorcyclists engaging in aggressive riding is a leading factor contributing to motorcycle accidents. However, that is not the only danger that faces motorcycle drivers, namely other drivers on the road. In fact, 70% of motorcycle accidents are due to other drivers on the road failing to be careful and watch out for motorcyclists, according to the NHTSA.

Here are the top causes that contribute to motorcycle accidents:

Other Drivers

Due to the smaller nature of a motorcycle, drivers of vehicles have more difficulties being aware of them. Additionally, distracted drivers who are texting, talking on their phone, or engaging in other distractions do not pay enough attention to the road, which can contribute to motorcycle accidents.

No Helmets

In Iowa, the law does not require the use of helmets. Therefore, many motorcyclists choose to forgo a helmet while riding. In 2020, there were 58 motorcycle-related crashes, according to Iowa DOT. Of those accidents, there were 63 fatalities. Only 19 of those individuals were wearing a helmet, while 43 were not. This proves how crucial helmets are in preventing serious head injuries and can save lives in motorcycle accidents.

Bad Weather

While driving a motorcycle, you are exposed to the outside world. You do not have a vehicle to protect yourself from bad weather. During rain, snow, or other inclement weather, even the most experienced motorcyclists can have trouble navigating the road. It can make it more difficult to see the road as well as make it more challenging to keep control of your motorcycle.

Harder to Control

Motorcyclists are known to speed and drive more aggressively than regular drivers in passenger vehicles. Due to this, motorcycle riders are more likely to lose control of their vehicle. 

Poor Road Conditions

Driving a motorcycle on roads with poor conditions can present dangerous conditions for motorcyclists. Poor road conditions can include:

  • Large potholes
  • Uneven roads
  • Loose gravel
  • Wet or slick roads

Poor road conditions can be dangerous for any driver, but for motorcyclists, they can be deadly. They can lead to a rider sliding out or having a tire blowout. Not only is it difficult to drive on the road, but if you crash, you can be further injured because you do not have the safety of a vehicle to prevent you from being exposed to outside elements. It's important that motorcycle riders try to avoid roads with bad conditions, or at the very be more aware and slow down while driving on them.

Impaired Driving

No matter what type of vehicle you are operating, it's extremely dangerous to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Not only is it against the law, but it can be fatal for motorcycle drivers. Since there is nothing to protect them from the environment in the event of a crash, it's essential to drive a motorcycle while sober.

How To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle riders can help prevent accidents from occurring by:

  • Slowing down
  • Driving cautiously
  • Have correct lights on a motorcycle
  • Wearing bright and/or reflective safety gear
  • Avoiding other vehicle's blindspots

In many cases, motorcycle accidents are not caused by the motorcyclist but rather drivers of passenger vehicles. This occurs because they are not aware of the motorcyclists on the road and do not know how to share the road with them.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident because of the negligence of another, contact the Des Moines motorcycle personal injury lawyers at Hope Law Firm today. Our skilled motorcycle accident attorneys understand how unsettling this time be which is why we will do everything we can to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and suffering.

Call us at (515) 298-5056 today to set up a case evaluation with our Des Moines motorcycle accident attorneys.