People love to warn others who want to ride motorcycles about how dangerous two-wheeled transportation can be. They might tell you that any little mistake could put you in the hospital, but they will probably gloss over the biggest threat to your safety as a motorcyclist.
People tend to focus on road issues or what a motorcycle rider does wrong instead of on one of the biggest problems on the modern road. For most motorcyclists, their biggest safety risk will be other drivers. Other drivers are responsible for causing a significant portion of the crashes that injure or kill motorcyclists yearly.
How do people in bigger vehicles cause crashes that hurt or kill those on motorcycles?
They drive drunk
Alcohol plays an outsized role in fatal collisions. Drivers under the influence have longer reaction times and trouble making good decisions at the wheel. The people who cause major collisions with motorcycles often have had too much to drink.
They drive while distracted
Distracted driving is a serious issue on modern roads. There have always been drivers who pay more attention to their passengers or to the radio than they do to the road in front of them, and now there are also countless drivers so dependent on their mobile phones that they cannot go the duration of their daily commute without texting somebody or checking to see who emailed them.
Distracted drivers may not notice the motorcycle in time to avoid it and can therefore cause horrible collisions with much smaller vehicles.
They don’t notice the motorcycle at all
One of the top reasons people give for causing motorcycle collisions is their own failure to notice the motorcycle rider, even in the middle of the day when the motorcycle was directly across the intersection from them. People often fail to see others in traffic if those people or vehicles don’t cause immediate risk. Drivers have an easier time spotting motorcycles when actively looking for them, but not all drivers will make the extra effort to watch for them.
Understanding why drivers cause motorcycle crashes could make it easier for you to prevent a crash or take action if someone does hurt you in one.