11 Key Hazards That Cause Motorcycle Accidents


Motorcycling offers a sense of freedom and adventure like no other mode of transportation. The thrill of the open road, the wind rushing past, and the connection to the environment make motorcycling a beloved activity for many. However, it also comes with significant risks of a motorcycle accident.

At Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, & Staggs (JJWLS), we understand the dangers motorcyclists face and are dedicated to advocating for their safety. In this article, we will discuss key hazards every motorcyclist needs to watch out for to stay safe on the roads.

1. Inattentive Drivers

One of the most significant dangers of a motorcycle accident is inattentive drivers. Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than cars, which often leads to drivers failing to notice them. Distracted driving, particularly due to mobile phone use, has exacerbated this problem. Motorcyclists must always assume that other drivers do not see them and ride defensively.

2. Road Conditions

Road conditions play a crucial role in motorcycle safety. Unlike cars, motorcycles are highly susceptible to road imperfections such as potholes, gravel, oil spills, and uneven surfaces. A minor road defect that a car might easily navigate can be disastrous for a motorcyclist. Always scan the road ahead for potential hazards and adjust your speed accordingly to maintain control.

3. Weather Conditions

Adverse weather conditions present another significant hazard that may lead to motorcycle accidents. Rain, snow, and ice drastically reduce traction, making it harder to control a motorcycle. Wet roads can also hide hazards like oil slicks, increasing the risk of a skid.

Whenever possible, avoid riding in poor weather conditions. If you must ride, reduce your speed and increase your following distance to allow for longer stopping times.

4. Intersections

Intersections are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. The majority of motorcycle accidents occur at intersections, often due to cars making left-hand turns in front of oncoming motorcycles. Always approach intersections with caution, even if you have the right of way. Make eye contact with drivers whenever possible to ensure they see you before proceeding.

5. Blind Spots

Motorcycles can easily disappear in a car’s blind spots. It’s essential to be aware of the blind spots of other vehicles and avoid lingering in them. When passing other vehicles, do so quickly and safely, and always signal your intentions. Consider using hand signals in addition to your bike’s indicators to increase visibility.

6. Speeding

Excessive speed is a common factor in motorcycle accidents. While the thrill of speed is tempting, it significantly increases the risk of losing control and reduces the time available to react to hazards. Always obey speed limits and adjust your speed according to road and traffic conditions. Remember, it’s better to arrive a little late than not at all.

7. Drunk Driving

Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs is incredibly dangerous. Impaired judgment, reduced reaction times, and compromised motor skills make it nearly impossible to ride safely and often leads to motorcycle accidents. Never ride if you’ve been drinking or using drugs. Similarly, be vigilant for other drivers who may be impaired and pose a threat to your safety.

Image is of a motorcyclist's point of view of riding a motorcycle, concept of avoiding motorcycle accidents.

8. Mechanical Failures

Regular maintenance of your motorcycle is essential to ensure its safe operation. Serious accidents can result from mechanical failures, such as faulty brakes, inflated tires, and malfunctioning engines.

Before every ride, perform a quick check of your bike’s critical components, including brakes, tires, lights, and fluid levels. Keep your motorcycle serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

9. Animal Crossings

Animals on the road can pose unexpected hazards, especially in rural areas. Deer, dogs, and other animals can suddenly dart into your path, leaving you little time to react. Slow down in areas where animal crossings are common and stay alert for any signs of wildlife. Use your horn to scare animals away if you see them near the road.

10. Other Motorcyclists

Group riding can be enjoyable, but it also introduces additional risks. Other motorcyclists’ actions can affect your safety, particularly if they ride aggressively or unpredictably. Communicate clearly with your group, maintain a safe distance, and ride within your skill level. If someone in your group is riding recklessly, it’s best to distance yourself from them.

11. Night Riding

Riding at night introduces additional hazards due to reduced visibility that may lead to a motorcycle accident. Other drivers may have difficulty seeing you, and obstacles on the road can be harder to detect. Increase your visibility by wearing reflective gear and using your headlights. Ride at a reduced speed and stay alert for any potential hazards.

Stay Safe and Avoid Motorcycle Accidents

At Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, & Staggs (JJWLS), we are committed to the safety and well-being of motorcyclists. By being aware of these key hazards and taking appropriate steps to mitigate them, riding your motorcycle can be both fun and safe.

Remember, defensive riding, regular maintenance, and a cautious approach to potential dangers are your best allies on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, our proficient team is available to assist you with the legal process and secure the compensation you are entitled to. Stay safe, and ride smart.