Why Do Head-On Accidents With Motorcycles Occur?

By Peter DePaolis

Many Maryland motorcyclists enjoy the feel of the open road and the beautiful scenery Maryland has to offer. Unfortunately, motorcycle drivers have a heightened risk of head-on accidents because they have less structural protection from collisions. As a result, they are more likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries if they are involved in an accident. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, our Maryland personal injury attorney can evaluate your claim and help you pursue it.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Most head-on accidents involve a car and a motorcycle. Many drivers of cars, minivans, or trucks have difficulty seeing motorcycle drivers. The smaller size of a motorcycle can more easily be lost in blind spots, corners, and less visible at night.

Another common cause of these accidents is poor road conditions. Snow, ice, and rain are a much more significant problem for motorcycles, which have less stability than four-wheeled vehicles. 

Lane splitting can also lead to severe accidents. Lane splitting is where a motorcycle drives between two cars. This often occurs in heavier traffic conditions. While it may be a way to avoid sitting in traffic, it is not legal in Maryland and can cause serious injuries.

Collisions are also frequently caused when a motorcycle tries to overtake a car, and the vehicle turns left while this is happening. This can happen at an intersection or simply any left turn. The consequences can be very serious if a motorcycle is involved in this collision. A motorcycle driver has much less protection from a direct hit by a car and can suffer fatal injuries.

Safety Tips to Avoid Accidents 

Understanding common causes of head-on motorcycle accidents is one good way to prevent yourself from being involved in one.

You can try to avoid these limitations by following recommended safety rules. First, try to be as visible as possible. Check your headlights for proper functioning day and night, and use reflective strips on your bike and clothes. Try to avoid driving in blind spots, give yourself room between yourself and other drivers, and use your brake lights to indicate to others you are slowing down.

Second, wear protective gear such as a helmet, eye protection, and motorcycle-approved clothing such as a leather jacket, pants, boots, and gloves. Third, drive defensively. Be aware of other drivers and changing conditions on the road. Give yourself and other drivers enough time to respond to lane changes, turns and stops. You should also always follow the road rules and use turn signals.

Finally, ensure you know how to drive and use your bike correctly. You can take basic steps such as reviewing your owner’s manual. You can also take formal training and practice riding before getting on the road. 

Speak With an Attorney Promptly  

Unfortunately, even when safety precautions are followed, accidents happen. Dealing with the resulting injury can be overwhelming, and your focus may be on trying to recover. However, you should speak with an attorney promptly because you have limited time to file a claim in Maryland. The statute of limitations is three years, subject to certain exceptions. Get in touch with our office today for a free consultation about your case.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.