Which Motorcycle Accidents Are the Deadliest?

Motorcycle Accidents in OhioAlthough any type of motorcycle accident can be fatal, there are some accidents that are more likely to lead to death than others. Here are five motorcycle accidents that are considered to be the deadliest.

1.     Head-on collisions

Head-on collisions are extremely dangerous for motorcyclists. These types of motorcycle accidents occur when the front-end of a motorcycle and the front-end of another motorcycle, automobile, pickup truck, or even an 18-wheeler collide. Since a motorcycle rider does not have any protection surrounding their body and their bike is a lot smaller than other vehicles, these accidents often result in death. The motorcyclist can be ejected from their bike, hitting the hard pavement, trees, poles, and other vehicles. Unfortunately, the force and impact of all these things at once almost always leads to severe injuries that some motorcyclists have trouble surviving.

2.     Speeding accidents

Speeding accidents are one of the most preventable accidents there are. This is because all drivers and riders have to do is ensure that they drive the posted speed limits and obey the traffic laws, and a speeding accident should not occur. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists between the ages of 21 and 24 were involved in more than 200 fatal accidents where speed was a factor in 2019, which is the “highest speeding involvement” out of any other age group.

3.     Turning or intersection accidents

Many times, deadly motorcycle collisions occur because motorists do not pay attention or fail to notice motorcycle riders when they are turning, especially at intersections. Because of the designs of the different vehicles, it’s easier for a motorcycle to end up in a blind spot of a car, truck, or 18-wheeler. It’s also easy for a motorcycle to slide under a semi-truck, as side underride guards are not required by law.

In fact, there is something called inattentional blindness, which is believed to be the reason why other motorists fail to see motorcycle riders. Inattentional blindness happens when our brains filter out certain information or details when we are driving, and it is suggested by the Australian National University that motorcyclists are one of the main elements that gets filtered out. As a result, motorcycles that are turning at an intersection or another busy road may not be seen by oncoming traffic, which can quickly lead to death. Therefore, if you are a motorcyclist who is ever in a situation where you need to make a turn, you should always assume that other vehicle drivers cannot see you.

4.     Lane change accidents

When a motor vehicle driver or motorcyclist decides to change lanes, they should check their surroundings to make sure that it is safe and clear to do so. Motorcycles frequently end up in passenger vehicles’ blind spots, making it very difficult for drivers to see them. As a result, it is not uncommon for sideswipe accidents or rear-end accidents to occur because drivers were not completely aware of their surroundings before making a lane change.

Note: Ohio law does not specifically address lane splitting, which is when a motorcycle operator (or cyclist) drives in between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic.  However, lane splitting is typically considered unsafe and could lead to fatal accidents that could have been avoided if the motorcyclist patiently waited behind other vehicles.

5.     Drunk or drugged driving accidents

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP), “From 2018 to 2022, 9% of motorcycle-involved crashes involved alcohol and/or drugs, nearly twice the rate of alcohol/drug use in crashes overall (5%). In addition, 54% of fatal crashes involving motorcycles were alcohol and/or drug related.”

Like speeding and distracted driving, drunk/drugged driving accidents should be 100% preventable. Unfortunately, not everyone follows the laws – and more often than not, it’s motorcyclists who pay the ultimate price.

Additional dangers for Columbus motorcycle riders

While collisions with other vehicles can lead to fatal injuries, motorcycle operators can also be killed in single-vehicle crashes. The greatest risks to operators include:

  • Wildlife
  • Unexpected weather changes
  • Dangerous road designs
  • Unexpected road debris
  • Low visibility
  • Defective parts

The deer that runs out into the road at dusk, the pile of leaves that’s blown off a lawn, a pothole hidden by a puddle – any of these can cause a motorcycle operator to lose control of the bike.

Can you prevent a fatal motorcycle accident?

You can’t control the actions of other people; all you can control is how you choose to operate your motorcycle. The OSHP attributes about 64% of fatal motorcycle crashes to operator error or negligence, so following the rules and riding safely should significantly reduce your risk of a deadly crash.

You should also practice “defensive driving” skills, especially on busy roadways. Leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle ahead of you, use your turn signals, and try to avoid passing on the right. These actions alone may reduce your risk of being in a wreck of any kind.

Motorcycle accidents usually cause significant damage to the human body. The reason for this is because motorcyclists are not protected by a hard outer shield like automobile drivers are. In addition, motorcycles do not come equipped with airbags or seat belts. Motorcyclists must buy their own protective equipment to try to protect themselves from as much harm as possible.

In order for motorcyclists to protect themselves to the best of their ability, they must wear proper helmets, padded clothing, eye goggles/ glasses, closed toe shoes, and reflectors.

If your family member or loved one died as a result of a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, Soroka & Associates is here to help you. Our Columbus motorcycle accident lawyers are experienced, skilled, and very knowledgeable when it comes to all types of motorcycle accidents, and we will do all that we can to hold the responsible driver accountable for their negligent behavior. Please call our office or complete our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with our team today.