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Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

22 August 2019

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Motorcycle accidents are sadly commonplace on the roads of the UK. According to ROSPA 319 motorcyclists were killed on the roads in 2016, with a further 5553 seriously injured. Even though motorcyclists only make up 1% of the total traffic on the roads, they account for 18% of deaths on the road. This is due to their vulnerability on the road, as motorcyclists do not benefit from the safety features that vehicles have like seat belts, airbags and the frame of the vehicle.

True Solicitors LLP investigates the main causes of motorcycle accidents in the UK:

Failure to negotiate bends

Travelling at great speed whilst approaching a bend or misjudging the curve of the bend is a contributing factor to a large percentage of motorcycle accidents. Common crashes at a bend happen when a motorcyclist:

• Takes a left hand bend too wide resulting in colliding with an oncoming vehicle.
• Loses control on a right hand bend resulting in a collision with a tree, hedge, building or parked car on the opposite side of the road.
• Collides with another vehicle due to the other motorist losing control or cutting the bend.
Collisions at bends are more likely to happen when:
• The road conditions are wet, slippery or icy.
• There are potholes, fuel spillages or faulty manhole covers present in the road.

Collisions at Junctions

Collisions at junctions are the most common cause of motorcycle accident, the police reporting that in 2016 64% of motorcycle accidents occurred at a junction.

Accidents are more likely to happen at T-junctions when drivers fail to give way or stop for motorcyclists. Accidents at T-junctions are likely to happen at rush hour in the early morning and late afternoon, when there is more traffic on the roads. Crashes are more likely to involve a vehicle turning right into a junction into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist from the rider’s right.

The most common cause of motorcycle collisions at junctions is other motorists’ failure to spot a motorcycle on the approach, failure to judge the speed at which the motorcycle is travelling or fail to look at all when pulling out of a junction.

Collisions whilst overtaking or filtering

Filtering is the process of moving safely past stationary or slow moving traffic on a motorcycle. Collisions can occur as motorists fail to observe the fact that motorcyclists are able to move and overtake in ways that other larger vehicles can’t. This can cause motorists to collide with filtering motorcyclist’s as they fail to see their approach.

Many overtaking accidents are caused through the inexperience of the motorcyclist. It is essential to be able to judge the speed and distance of the traffic around you in order to overtake safely; something which many younger or newly qualified riders can struggle to do.

Loss of control

Motorcycle accidents commonly happen due to the rider losing control down to factors such as travelling at excessive speed, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol or simply being reckless or careless on the road. Inexperienced riders are also more likely to be involved in a collision due to loss of control, as they struggle more with handling the bike safely, knowing when to brake or panicking when finding themselves in a location that they are unfamiliar with.

Road surfaces can also result in loss of control, travelling on uneven, slippery or wet surfaces can be more difficult on two wheels.


Fatal and serious injuries are more likely to result when speed has been the main contributing factor in a motorcycle accident. Miscalculating the speed when approaching a bend is one of the main causes of single vehicle crashes. As with a lot of motorcycle accidents, when speed is involved, it is younger, less experienced riders who are more likely to be involved.

Surface Conditions

Changing road surfaces can pose a problem for riders. Potholes, loose gravel or chippings in the road can lead to motorcyclists having an accident. Other surface hazards include mud, oil, snow and ice. If the local authority has failed to display appropriate signage to forewarn road users of possible road hazards or failed to inspect and remove hazards from the roads, they could be liable.


Drivers or passengers failing to look when they open the door of a parked car into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist is known as ‘dooring’. This is a common cause of motorcycle accidents, so it is important for riders to pass parked cars with caution.

What to do if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident?

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, in the last three years, that wasn’t your fault you could be entitled to compensation. True Solicitors are experienced in handling all types of road accident claims, obtaining not only financial compensation but also access to rehabilitation and medical care to aid in your recovery.

If you have been injured in an accident whilst riding a motorcycle or whilst travelling as a pillion passenger, contact TRUE Solicitors LLP now on 0344 854 7000 for free, impartial advice on motorcycle accident claims. Alternatively, you can email us at

Our ‘No Win, No Fee’ service gives our clients peace of mind.

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