Top Houston Motorcycle Accident Causes and How to Prevent Them
Motorcycles are fun to ride, but they are also prone to accidents. Learn about the top Houston motorcycle accident causes, how to prevent them, and common injuries.
Motorcycles are popular among Texans for many reasons. Houston has excellent roads and beautiful scenery. But, unfortunately, having fun on your bike is risky. About 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents result in injury or death compared to just 20 percent of motor vehicle accidents.
A motorbike accident can result in severe injuries and property damage. However, you can receive financial compensation with assistance from a Houston motorcycle accident attorney. So, contact McDonald Worley immediately after a bike accident. But first, let’s discuss the common causes of motorcycle collisions and how to prevent them.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents in Houston?
Many factors lead to a Houston motorcycle accident. The motorcyclist’s carelessness or negligence contributes, but many others happen because of aggressive drivers. The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcyclists in traffic also contributes.
Below we discuss the leading causes of motorcycle crashes.
- Left Turns
When a motorbike or another motor vehicle on the road makes a left turn, it could cause an accident. For example, when a motorcyclist turns left, some cars fail to notice the motorcycle’s turn signal. In other cases, motorists accidentally collide with the bike while making a left-hand turn in their vehicle. This is because a motorbike can be difficult to notice and might be in the driver’s blind spot.
- Bad Road Conditions
Hazardous road conditions such as slippery surfaces, uneven pavement, loose gravel, or debris cause numerous motorcycle accidents. This is quite common near construction sites. In addition, motorcycles are less stable than cars or trucks due to their smaller size and lack of stability.
- Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is any conduct that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or minds off the task of safe driving while behind the wheel of a vehicle. In recent years, cell phone use by vehicle and truck drivers, particularly texting while driving, has produced severe problems for Houston motorcycle riders.
When distracted drivers use their phones, their vehicles frequently stray out of their lanes and into the path of other motorists, particularly motorcyclists. Using a device also raises the chances of missing a motorcycle in an oncoming route or a blind spot. This explains why nine people in the U.S. die daily from distracted driving accidents.
Like all other motor vehicle accidents, speed influences the likelihood of a collision and the severity of the physical injuries sustained. Therefore, motorcycle accidents are preventable if drivers and riders maintain speed limits.
- Alcohol and Drugs
Drivers and bikers who get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are more likely to cause an accident. Alcohol can affect a motorcyclist’s ability to maintain balance, operate their bike, and slow their reaction time.
- Reckless Driving
Another common cause of Houston motorcycle accidents is reckless driving. Any behavior that puts you or others on the road in danger is considered reckless driving. It is a conscious decision to participate in potentially dangerous driving actions and maneuvers.
Cutting off other vehicles, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, and driving too fast are all examples of reckless driving.
- Lane Splitting
Another significant cause of accidents is improper merging and lane changes. Drivers frequently cut off other road users in a hurry, resulting in sideswipe or side-impact collisions. Occupying the gap between two lanes to drive by slow-moving or stopped automobiles is a risky driving behavior committed by motorcyclists during rush hour.
Due to the limited space between cars, motorcyclists are more likely to collide with commercial vehicles. On the other hand, drivers are less likely to see the motorcycle when attempting to change lanes.
- Inability to Control the Motorcycle
Due to the necessity to balance and move the bike’s center of gravity to accomplish maneuvers, motorbikes are far more challenging to control than other vehicles. If riders lose control, they may hit barriers, roadside objects, signs, fences, or buildings.
- Defective Motorcycle
Accidents are caused by more than just negligence. Defective motorbike parts can also cause a motorcycle injury. This occurs when a manufacturer makes a mistake during the manufacturing process. Such errors may cause the bikes to malfunction. If this happens, the victims may file a lawsuit against the negligent manufacturer.
How To Prevent a Houston Motorcycle Accident
Houston, Texas, is an at-fault accident city. The at-fault party who caused the accident bears the consequences. However, it is better to prevent a crash than to receive compensation.
Therefore, motorcyclists must learn some safety precautions. The following are ways of preventing an auto-motorcycle collision:
- Get Your Class M License
Do not ride a motorcycle until you have received your motorcycle license. Riders must either finish a Motorcycle Safety Course or transfer a valid motorcycle license from another state to obtain a Class M license in Texas. Minors’ motorcycle licensing regulations in Texas are substantially more complicated.
Don’t overlook the significance of having the proper license and training. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists died in motorcycle crashes, representing 58.3% of 100,000 registered motorcycles. Inexperienced riders cause accidents.
- Use Safety Equipments
Wear leather or thick protective material with long pants and sleeves, gloves, eye protection, and ankle-covering boots. Also, ensure you wear a motorcycle helmet with the United States Department of Transportation Sticker.
If your safety equipment is damaged or showing indications of wear and tear, replace it. Your gear is there to keep you safe. It can’t accomplish its job if it’s missing or damaged. When the weather becomes colder, don’t forget to layer up or invest in thicker winter clothes.
- Check Your Motorcycle Before Riding
Before heading for a ride, ensure your bike is in good working condition. Check your tire pressure, fluids, lights, and signals.
- Avoid Riding in Bad Conditions
Riding a motorcycle is significantly more complex than driving a car. It’s even more difficult when the weather is terrible. Motorcycle accidents are frequently caused by slick roads, poor visibility, and road debris. So, check the weather forecast before heading out.
- Practice Defensive Driving
Other drivers on the road are unlikely to take extra precautions. Therefore, your safety is in your hands. Use your headlights at night and avoid riding in blind spots to stay visible.
Allow enough room between your bike and other vehicles. Slow down, particularly when turning, and use hand signals and turn signals. Also, be aware of potential road dangers such as potholes, downed power lines, and tree branches.
- Avoid Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol is responsible for motorcycle deaths. Riding a motorcycle when intoxicated is risky because the driver’s reflexes are impaired. As a result, they have less time to react to events. By avoiding alcohol before riding, a motorcyclist will be safer. Also, you avoid the criminal consequence of drunk driving.
- Obey the Speed Limit
Many people enjoy riding bikes because it goes very fast. Unfortunately, high-speed motorbike accidents happen. However, speed limits do exist on some Texas roads.
Also, the government enacted these regulations to safeguard all citizens. As a result, breaking these laws raises the risk of a high-speed motorcycle accident. Therefore, riders should maintain a safe speed and obey all traffic laws.
- Be Cautious
Texting drivers are a severe threat, so be prepared for lane changes and swerves. Also, keep an eye out for sand patches, potholes, railroad tracks, other road dangers, and other motorcycles. Finally, being hit by a drunk driver is a horrifying experience, so watch out for them.
- Do Not Ride Close With Other Automobiles
Riding away from other automobiles can help you prevent a collision. For example, stay away from truck drivers because their size and power of trucks make them dangerous to any vehicle on the road.
- Avoid Riding at Night
Riding a motorbike late at night might be fun, but it also increases your chances of accident involvement. As such, avoid riding at night. If you must ensure your lights are on and you wear reflective clothing to notify other road users of your presence. Do this if you want to travel on a route frequently used by truck drivers.
There are a few extra things to consider in night riding. First, you may not have been drinking, but that does not rule out the possibility that other drivers have. This makes it more likely for a biker to encounter unpredictable behavior.
Common Injuries After a Houston Motorcycle Accident
Bikes are a lot of fun, but they may also be dangerous if you aren’t careful. Motorcycles do not have the same level of safety as passenger cars. So a motorcycle wreck can result in severe or fatal injuries. Below are some of the most common Houston motorcycle accident injuries.
- Head Injury
In a motorcycle crash, a person who does not wear a bike helmet may suffer head damage. Examples of head trauma are lacerations, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries. A brain injury can affect your entire body’s actions and cause emotional distress. It could also cause a life-long disability. So, get medical attention to rule out any head wound.
- Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries to the spinal cord are also dangerous. They have the potential to induce acute or permanent paralysis. As a result, you may never be able to move your arms or legs again or walk. In addition, spinal cord injuries are expensive to treat.
- Broken Bones or Fractures
Broken bones in the arms, legs and other body parts can occur if you are not adequately protected. While fractured bones heal over time, some more severe injuries result in deformity and nerve damage.
- Rash From Driving
A typical bike accident causes road rash, but it’s not like a terrible cut or scrape. Instead, it is a friction injury and sometimes affects different layers of the skin. When this happens, the victim may need ski graft surgery. However, less severe road rash takes about two weeks to heal. But take care to keep the injury site from getting infected.
- Leg Injuries
The legs and feet are the most affected in motorcycle collisions. This is most likely because they are the first body parts to hit the ground. Motorcycles have also been known to roll over and land on the riders’ legs. Common leg injuries are fractures, ligament damage, cuts, and lacerations.
What To Do After a Houston Motorcycle Accident
The actions you take following a motorbike accident are crucial. Even trivial decisions substantially influence your potential to collect a fair settlement.
Follow these guidelines after a motorbike collision on Houston roads:
- Move to the side of the road but stay close to the accident location.
- Call 911 and report the accident to the Houston Police Department.
- Document the disaster by taking photographs, recording video, and obtaining witness information.
- Do not accept responsibility or apologize. If you file a personal injury claim, simple apologies can be taken out of context by the liable party’s insurance company and used against you.
- Seek medical care as soon as possible. Riders who suffer severe or catastrophic injuries may be sent by ambulance to a local hospital in Houston for emergency medical treatment by doctors. If first responders don’t take you, get to the hospital or your doctor as soon as possible. The medical record is a crucial piece of evidence in a Houston motorcycle accident lawsuit.
- Abstain from accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company. Have an experienced Houston motorcycle attorney analyze all offers. Your attorney will ensure the responsible party pays your medical costs, loss of income, property damage, etc. They will also secure non-economic damages like loss of consortium, mental anguish, etc.
- Seek legal advice. The most important thing you can do to improve your chances of having a successful motorcycle accident claim is to hire a Houston motorcycle accident attorney. They work on a contingency basis, so you don’t have to worry about upfront costs.
Do You Need a Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
Motorcycle accidents leave those involved traumatized. As such, many riders are unsure whether or not the accident was their responsibility or what kind of financial compensation they might receive. If you’re not sure what to do after a Houston motorcycle accident or are having issues with your insurance companies, get legal assistance.
Retaining the services of a Houston motorcycle accident lawyer can alleviate some of the stress associated with the legal claim. At McDonald Worley, our team will assist you in winning maximum compensation. We have decades of experience helping personal injury victims.
We will bring this combined experience to your case and help you negotiate with the at-fault part’s insurance carrier. We also handle wrongful death claims and will ensure we file your case before the Statute of Limitations expires. So, contact us today for a free case review with an experienced Houston motorcycle accident attorney.