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What is the Most Common Cause For Motorcycle Accidents in Philadelphia?

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Philadelphia is an exciting city to experience while riding a motorcycle. However, one must also be aware of the common causes of accidents and what makes for safe precautions and practice. The causes of motorcycle accidents include distracted drivers, lane-splitting, speeding, and dangerous road conditions, among others; however, distracted driving is amongst the most common, and it is often instigated due to a host of other reasons. By avoiding these negligent acts and being cautious, motorcycle riders can find safe rides on the streets of Philadelphia. The most important step to achieving these safety measures is understanding their main causes.

What Are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accident Crashes in Philadelphia?

Motorcycle accident lawyerDue to factors such as traffic congestion, distracted drivers, poor road conditions, and inclement weather, drivers in Philadelphia face a unique set of challenges. Approximately 64% of motorcycle fatalities happen in urban settings, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The ten most frequent causes of motorcycle accidents that Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorneys encounter are:

  • Distracting driving: Motorists ignore vehicles due to distractions from cellphones, passengers, or external stimuli.
  • Lane splitting: Motorcycles moving between two lanes of slower or stopped vehicles increase the speed of a collision.
  • Speeding: Excess speed of cyclists or motorists that reduces reaction time and boosts impact force.
  • Unsafe change lane: Drivers do not check blind spots before moving lanes, causing motorcycles to crash.
  • Drunk driving: operating motorcycles or vehicles while certainly under the influence of alcohol or drugs that impair judgment and coordination.
  • Left-turn crash: Drivers frequently duck against oncoming bikes in intersections.
  • Road dangers: Potholes, trash, slippery asphalt, or degenerative pavement present perils to motorcyclists.
  • Inexperienced drivers: Inadequate training or experience resulting in error in handling motorcycles.
  • Vehicle doors: Motorists fling doors out of the way without verifying that an approaching vehicle can cause a collision.
  • Rear-ending: Being hit from behind results in frequent fatalities and prolonged injury.

Awareness of common driving errors helps to take preventive measures, allowing riders to increase road safety.

How Often Do Motorcycle Accidents Occur in Philadelphia?

Over the last decade, motorcycle crashes have increased by 20 percent. Many motorcycle accidents happen because of dense traffic flow, distracted auto drivers, shabby and poorly maintained roads, and unpredictable weather patterns. These can be variables and increase the likelihood of accidents in Philadelphia. Motorcyclists in Philadelphia face a unique set of challenges as they ride through the city’s fast-paced urban environment:

Philadelphia’s Parkways, Boulevards and Traffic

  • Some of the city’s most iconic streets, such as the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Columbus Boulevard, are often congested, forcing riders to navigate through gridlock.
  • In addition, Roosevelt Boulevard is notorious for high congestion and many varying traffic lanes and patterns, including pedestrian crossings. This makes it particularly dangerous for motorcyclists, who are often the victims of cars changing lanes without signaling.

Philadelphia’s Interstates and traffic

  • Motorcyclists on some major highways, including Interstate 76 and Interstate 95, are forced to engage in lane-splitting, where bikes move between the lanes while cars are at a complete stop. This required maneuver, however, can be dangerous as drivers may not always expect bikes to appear in their blind spots.

Philadelphia’s Center City, Queen Village, Chinatown, and Downtown areas…and more traffic!

  • Center City Philadelphia, widely recognized for its high population density, frequently congested streets, and constantly crowded intersections, makes navigating difficult for motorcycle riders. Streets such as Market Street and Broad Street are incredibly challenging for riders looking for pedestrians and parked cars re-entering traffic lanes.
  • South Street is often gridlocked, creating situations where drivers are idle and maneuvering through traffic.
  • The Vine Street Expressway (by Chinatown) typically hosts frequent distractions to which drivers are subjected.
  • Most recently, there have been trends where groups of motorcyclists speed along certain streets and often bully through traffic lights and signage; this bullying is dangerous for everyone on the ride, including fellow cyclists.

To reduce the risks of riding in a densely populated area of Philadelphia, motorcyclists should use techniques such as defensive riding and keep an eye out for others while using their turn signals and high-visibility gear.

What Are Common Hazards Motorcyclists  Face in Philadelphia?

In Philadelphia, hazards threaten motorcycle safety. Potholes, often hidden below the road’s surface, can cause a motorcycle to slip and fall or damage the tires and suspension. Gravel, fallen branches, and construction materials are other risks as they are an oncoming obstacle that the rider will have to avoid. Finally, uneven roads due to a lack of maintenance also threaten motorcyclists. Since these circumstances increase the chance of an accident and injury, riders must persistently pay attention to the environment and the road ahead, scanning the surface and adjusting the desired speed and place. Finally, identifying dangerous areas and challenging local authorities to solve problems is highly recommended.

Weather Conditions

Philadelphia experiences variations in weather throughout the year, leading to dangerous riding conditions. Wet conditions, including rain, snow, and fog, reduce visibility and create slippery surfaces, contributing to motor vehicle collisions. Precipitation increases the likelihood of motorcycles skidding and hitting other road users. Riders can reduce the risk of causing accidents by:

  • Decreasing speed and increasing following distance
  • Being more cautious while applying brakes and taking turns
  • Wearing waterproof clothing: durable jackets, helmets, boots, and gloves are ideal in this area, as are reflective lights.

Strong winds can also affect motorcycle stability, making riding more challenging. Using these guidelines, a rider can cope with Philadelphia’s extreme weather by riding cautiously and following current motorcycles to avoid danger easily.

Distracted Driving

Drivers in Philadelphia have access to smartphones and other electronic devices and often use them to text or browse the internet while driving. People also use navigation systems in the car and talk on the phone while driving. All of these countless ways distract the driver from the road. They prevent a motorcyclist from noticing a car that is about to change lanes and prevent a driver, often unaware of the loved one’s negligence, from caring about the motorcyclist he’s about to hit. That is why it is so significant for such a driver always to be prepared for a dangerous situation and to avoid as many situations that lead to it as possible. Additionally, this is another reason why it is crucial to raise public awareness and conduct adequate local legislation to prevent distracted driving, often presented as:

  • Texting
  • Browsing the internet
  • Using navigation systems
  • Talking on the phone

Aggressive Driving

There are multiple ways in which aggressive driving behaviors affect the safety of motorcyclists on the road. Most drivers speed rapidly, shifting lanes and allocating little concern to their speed. In such an environment, motorcycles represent stationary targets that reckless drivers easily hit. A failure to give way to approaching motorcycles, tailgating, and neglecting road signs can prove lethal for motorcycle drivers and present with devastating immediate medical consequences or outright fatal motorcycle crash outcomes.

What Are Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries?

Motorcycle accidents often result in road rash due to sliding on the pavement and fractures and broken bones due to collisions with the ground and other vehicles. Other common motorcycle crash injuries include head and spinal cord trauma, traumatic brain injuries, soft tissue damage, internal injuries, second and third-degree burns, and even amputations. It is imperative to consult a seasoned personal injury attorney to help manage complex cases and involved injuries, sometimes even fatal injuries.

When Do I Contact a Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

Munley Law's Strousburg, PA motorcycle accident lawyers discussing a case

If you are injured in an accident, contact a Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer immediately. Obtaining legal advice to protect your rights and compensation for your injury is crucial. The sooner you secure your attorney, the sooner they will help you find and collect evidence, negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, and, if necessary, represent you in court. And the earlier you hire a responsible attorney, the more likely you are to build a strong case and obtain full compensation. Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorneys have the resources and relationships with legal and medical experts that can be pivotal in your case. Motorcycle accident victims have much to manage, including their well-being and trying to keep their health and everyday life stable at a very traumatic time. If you have been in a traumatic accident, you need someone in your corner who has your welfare and the legal knowledge to navigate your case.

Contact Munley Law Today

Your law firm choice matters. Our Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyers have spent over 60 years helping injured victims. Our award-winning personal injury attorneys have obtained substantial settlements for injured motorcyclists. We were consistently rated the Best Lawyers in America and are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. The results speak for themselves. Call us for your complimentary motorcycle case evaluation today!

    Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

    1617 John F Kennedy Blvd
    Suite 1690,
    Philadelphia, PA 19103
    (215) 515-7747

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