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What Is the Cause of Motorcycle Crashes in Wisconsin?

While motorcycling offers enthusiasts a unique blend of joy and liberation,injuries from motorcycle accidents tend to be more severe than those from car accidents. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reports that approximately 2,000 motorcycle accidents occur in Wisconsin every year, causing hundreds of injuries and dozens of fatalities. Understanding the causes of motorcycle crashes is crucial to safeguarding you from injury.

Some of the common causes of motorcycle collisions in Wisconsin include:

  • Left-Turning Cars – Left-turn accidents occur when a car driver turns left onto a road or at an intersection and fails to see an oncoming motorcyclist. Left-turn accidents pose a significant threat to motorcyclists. A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that left-turn accidents accounted for 43 percent of all fatal crashes involving a motorcycle and another vehicle.
  • Lane Switching and Blind Spots – Motorcycle accidents often happen when drivers don’t check their blind spots while changing lanes and hit a motorcyclist. If a car starts to merge into your lane space, it’s likely that you’ve been caught directly in its blind spot.
  • Lane Splitting – Lane splitting, also known as traffic filtering or white-lining, occurs when a motorcyclist drives on the line separating two lanes of traffic, typically in a traffic jam. Be advised that lane splitting is illegal in Wisconsin, and motorcyclists can be liable for injuries caused by lane splitting accidents.
  • Head-on CollisionsHead-on collisionstypically occur when one vehicle crosses over to an oncoming lane, and the front of the motorcycle crashes into the front of another vehicle. Head-on collisions are dangerous for motorcyclists due to the disproportionate force, as cars generally weigh four times as much as motorcycles. According to recent NHTSA numbers, in fatal crashes involving a motorcycle and another vehicle, 75 percent of the motorcycles were struck in the front.
  • Open Car Door – Motorcycle accidents happen when a car driver opens a door without first confirming it’s safe to do so, and the motorcycle crashes into the door. Motorcyclists can suffer serious injuries, such as head trauma and broken bones, from open-door crashes.
  • Distracted Driving and Driving Under the Influence – Distracted drivers may veer into a motorcyclist’s path, causing serious injury. Impaired drivers who are lacking coordination and skill are less likely to see a motorcyclist and more likely to hit it. Both motorcyclists and drivers must drive safely and responsibly.
  • Aggressive Driving – Speeding, tailgating, and executing erratic lane changes with minimal space between vehicles puts everyone on the road at risk.
  • Poor Road Conditions and Inclement Weather – Potholes, gravel, bumps, and debris in the road can all cause motorcycle crashes. Motorcycles are also no match against harsh Wisconsin winters, which bring rain, sleet, and ice.

Contact an Attorney for Help After a Motorcycle Accident

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the team at Atterbury, Kammer & Haag, S.C. Our Madison, Wisconsin, motorcycle accident lawyers are passionate about helping clients get the justice and compensation they deserve. We have a proven track record of success in representing injured motorcyclists. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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Eric J. Haag

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Wisconsin Personal Injury

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