Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Detroit, Michigan

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Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

No matter how many precautions motorcyclists take on the road, they still run a high risk of suffering serious injuries if a crash occurs. Riders simply have less protection when they encounter hazardous conditions or reckless drivers. The careless actions of others often lead to motorcycle accidents in Michigan.

At Christensen Law, our Detroit motorcycle accident attorneys provide compassionate, effective legal representation to clients hurt in serious collisions. Put our experience and talent to work for you. We understand the financial and personal pressures you may be facing while trying to recover from your injuries.

We also know that insurance companies will do everything in their power to avoid paying motorcycle accident victims the fair and full compensation they need. That’s why our attorneys work tirelessly to pursue the best possible results in your case.

When you choose Christensen Law, you get an accomplished legal team who will listen to your story, evaluate your losses, and explain what to expect in your case. We’ll serve as your voice and demand justice for the harm you’ve suffered.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Detroit, contact us today for a free case review.

Leading Causes of Detroit Motorcycle Crashes

Motorcycle accidents happen for many of the same reasons that auto accidents do. However, the consequences can be much worse. Nearly 74 percent of motorcycle accidents in Michigan in a recent year resulted in injuries. Nationally, motorcyclists were nearly 29 times more likely to die in collisions and four times more likely to be injured than passenger vehicle occupants per vehicle miles traveled.

The top causes of motorcycle accidents include:

Other Drivers Not Sharing the Road

Though motorcyclists are legally granted the same privileges as other motorists, drivers often fail to share the road with motorcycles properly. Common examples include cutting off motorcyclists, making unsafe lane changes, and tailgating. In some cases, negligence is attributable to drivers’ subconscious tendency to look for cars and larger vehicles. This makes it more likely for them to miss a smaller motorcycle in its path. Other times, a failure to share the road is more deliberate, leading to motorcycle wrecks caused by road rage or aggressive driving.


Speeding drivers pose a particular danger to motorcyclists. Driving too fast means drivers have less time and distance to slow down, stop, or take evasive measures to avoid a collision. At the same time, speeding makes it harder for a driver to identify motorcycles on the road. By the time a speeding driver notices a biker, it’s often too late. The faster a vehicle travels when it collides with a motorcycle, the more catastrophic the injuries can be.

Failure to Yield Right of Way to Bikers

Right-of-way laws exist for a reason — to make sure everyone can get through traffic safely. However, drivers often have a hard time judging the distance and speed of an oncoming motorcycle. Many left-turn accidents involve cars that plow into motorcycles after drivers misjudge the space between them.

Unsafe Lane Changes

Drivers may make unsafe lane changes by failing to signal or check their mirrors before moving into another lane. Without the warning of a turn signal, a motorcyclist may be surprised by a vehicle suddenly moving directly in front of them.

In addition to signaling and checking mirrors, drivers should also remember to check their blind spots. Compared to a larger vehicle, a motorcycle may be harder to see in a blind spot. Drivers should either have blind-spot mirrors or blind-spot warning systems on their vehicles. Even with those safety features, they should also quickly turn around to look directly into the blind spot before changing lanes.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving drunk or under the influence of drugs is dangerous no matter what. The effects of alcohol or drug intoxication, such as impaired perception, poor judgment, and delayed reaction times, increase the chances that a driver may make an error behind the wheel that leads to a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is illegal in Michigan. It occurs when a motorcyclist either rides on top of traffic lines or between lanes of vehicles rather than in a single lane. Lane splitting puts riders at risk since other motorists may not expect to see a motorcycle in between lanes of traffic.

Lane splitting also can refer to a vehicle fully or partially occupying the same traffic lane side-by-side with a motorcycle. Michigan law gives motorcycles full use of the width of a traffic lane and makes it illegal for any vehicle, except for another motorcycle, to occupy a single lane next to a motorcycle.

Unfortunately, sometimes drivers will fail to give motorcycle riders the full lane, especially when passing. This creates the risk that the driver may clip a motorcycle, causing it to spin out of control.

Change in Weather Conditions

Although motorcycle riders are encouraged to avoid riding in inclement conditions, sometimes there’s no way to predict a change in the weather. High winds, precipitation that makes the road surface slick, or low lighting and visibility can all result in motorcycle wrecks. If riders find themselves in bad weather, they should pull off the road as soon as possible and wait until it stops.

Road Defects

Any hazards or defects in the road surface can easily disrupt a motorcyclist’s balance, especially when traveling at faster speeds. Potholes, broken pavement, railroad tracks, expansion joints, and even debris or gravel can cause a motorcycle rider to lose control of their bike and crash.

Contact Our Detroit Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today

If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash caused by somebody else’s negligent actions, you need a no-nonsense attorney who will push for the compensation you deserve. Look no further than Christensen Law. Our Detroit motorcycle accident lawyers can determine what your case might be worth in a free consultation. Call or contact us online today.