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As I posted a couple of weeks ago I dropped my bike, for the second time, in two days, because I left the bike stand down. I felt like such an idiot. But ever since then, experience the total lack of control of the bike when it gets mechanically caught up, I've been riding with this nagging voice in my head. It's just this super cautious, thinking negative thoughts. I'm not so much afraid of making a rider mistake, but now I'm overly anxious of mechanical failure.

Any little noise and I start thinking negative thoughts. I guess I'm just starting to think that if a wheel blows or something gets caught in the sprockets, or whatever, I have absolutely no way of being in control, and that kind of scares me.

So I was wondering, do most motorcycle accidents occur due to riding error, or mechanical failure...like the brake locks, or a tire blows. What are people's opinions, or better yet objective facts?
 

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The big problem people have is other drivers (cages). Usually failure to yeild right of way. Rider error is going to be #2. Thats going to be mostly new riders, and riders trying to ride over their head.
 

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the "fun" guy
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I caused my own "minor accident" in our driveway while my wife and I were getting ready to go for a short ride on the 650 Yamaha. I wasn't feeling all that well (first sign not to be riding) when I just started to apply throttle and the front wheel went into a small hole at the end of our driveway. At the same time I was turning the wheel left when it turned hard to the left and the bike went over. I rode it to the ground as my wife simply stepped off looking at me while I was laying there on the ground asking...What happened? DUH!!!!! How would she know....she wasn't driving. :)

I have felt before that when I do not feel well that I should not be riding a bike.....and this was one time that I proved to myself why not. I would say to others that if you are not feeling well or are tired.....and you are going to ride....be very careful and if you have a choice not to ride.....wait until you are well or rested before you do so. It may be the difference of staying in one piece....you and your bike.

On another note....I have read articles....and spoke with others who knew of a rider....or riders who were in an accident while riding in groups. I'm sure there are several reasons for this happening.....but I have to believe that some reasons are due to inexperience of riders who ride with groups and either have not been given pre-ride instructions or they just didn't listen and found themselves in trouble by not paying attention to what the group was doing around them. I have heard of some who were showing off while riding in groups and either caused themselves to be involved in an accident or others who were around them. I'm sure some could tell us other reasons as they probably have witnessed some issues while riding in groups.
 

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AZ's Official Mechanic
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im betting if you find some stats youll find
1. rider error
2. collisions w/ other vehicles
3. mech. error
dont be so nervous or your never gonna enjoy the ride and you might as well give it up now. just relax and take your time.
good luck
 

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This info comes from http://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/iso/MAPP2002N/MotorCycle.html
I hope it is helpful


There are more than 4 million motorcycles registered in the United States which represents about two percent of all vehicles registered, yet motorcycle fatalities represent about five percent of all highway fatalities each year. About 80% of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death compared to about 20 % for automobiles.

The failure of motorists to detect motorcycles is the most frequent cause of accidents for motorcyclists. More than one half of motorcycle accidents occur because the driver simply "did not see the motorcyclist coming." Automobile drivers contribute to another 10% of motorcycle accidents where the motorcycle is the only vehicle involved. Drivers who unintentionally pull out in front of a motorcycle often force the rider to over brake, slide, and fall. Motorists tend to look for other cars, not for motorcycles. In addition, because of its small profile, a motorcycle is harder to see. A motorcyclist's riding pattern also differs from that of a car and is harder to judge and predict. Traffic, weather, and road conditions often require motorcyclists to respond differently than drivers.



Left Turns: The most common accident between cars and motorcycles is at an intersection when the automobile driver is making a left turn in front of a motorcycle. Over forty percent of all motorcycle accidents occur at intersections.

Car's Blind Spot: Cyclists riding alongside a lane of cars are often out of the view of the driver. An unsuspecting driver may collide with a motorcyclist as the driver changes lanes.

Hazardous Road Conditions: Motorcyclists have to be much more concerned about road obstructions. Potholes, fallen tree limbs, or railroad tracks may be minor problems for many drivers. A motorcyclist may have to slow down or change lanes to avoid these obstacles.

Weather Conditions: When the road surface is wet or icy, motorcyclists' braking and handling abilities are impaired

Strong Winds: A strong gust of wind can move a motorcycle across an entire lane if the rider isn't prepared for it. Wind gusts from large trucks in the other lane can be a real hazard.

Large Vehicles: A large vehicle, such as a van or truck, can block a cycle from a driver's view. The motorcyclist may seem to suddenly appear from nowhere
 

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If you want the MOST common accident with a motorcycle period it is involving another vehical (most of the time because the other vehical didn't see the motorcyle as stated above)

If you looking for the most common accident being the motorcyclist's fault, it is in a corner. It happens when the motorcycleist does not judge a corner corectly and goes wide into a ditch. That is the most common accident at the fault of the rider. That info is from the ABATE MSF course I took. Sorry that I don't have a link to back it up. I'll see what I can find on it though.

I don't ride as safe as some people would like me to and I still have had 100 times more close calls with an another automobile than me just being stupid. Mostly because when I'm being stupid I'm checking out the area first and trying to eliminate as many variables as possable. I have no control over another vehical pulling out in fron to of me. As far as I'm conserned thats a fact of life. If you ride a motorcycle someone WILL pull out in front of you. Thats just how it is. Motorcycles are small which makes them hard to see and hard to judge their speed.

I don't get why people are so quick to blame the ride to be at fault for most accidents... Why would ABATE and other motorcycle organizations run SO many compains on TV and the radio to look for motorcycles and share the road if most of the accidents where the riders fault..... Just something to think about I guess.
 

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Taken from the Hurt Report, a study done to examine motorcycle accidents and their causes:

Summary of Findings


Throughout the accident and exposure data there are special observations which relate to accident and injury causation and characteristics of the motorcycle accidents studied. These findings are summarized as follows:

1. Approximately three-fourths of these motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most often a passenger automobile.

2. Approximately one-fourth of these motorcycle accidents were single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment.

3. Vehicle failure accounted for less than 3% of these motorcycle accidents, and most of those were single vehicle accidents where control was lost due to a puncture flat.

4. In single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident precipitating factor in about two-thirds of the cases, with the typical error being a slideout and fall due to overbraking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering.

5. Roadway defects (pavement ridges, potholes, etc.) were the accident cause in 2% of the accidents; animal involvement was 1% of the accidents.

6. In multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.

7. The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision, or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision.

8. Deliberate hostile action by a motorist against a motorcycle rider is a rare accident cause. The most frequent accident configuration is the motorcycle proceeding straight then the automobile makes a left turn in front of the oncoming motorcycle.

10. Intersections are the most likely place for the motorcycle accident, with the other vehicle violating the motorcycle right-of-way, and often violating traffic controls.

11. Weather is not a factor in 98% of motorcycle accidents.

12. Most motorcycle accidents involve a short trip associated with shopping, errands, friends, entertainment or recreation, and the accident is likely to happen in a very short time close to the trip origin.

13. The view of the motorcycle or the other vehicle involved in the accident is limited by glare or obstructed by other vehicles in almost half of the multiple vehicle accidents.

14. Conspicuity of the motorcycle is a critical factor in the multiple vehicle accidents, and accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps (on in daylight) and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets.

There are plenty more findings, I just posted the top 14. Keep in mind this study was done in the 70s, so some of the information is not applicable anymore because bikes have changes so much since then, mostly in reference to motorcycle engine sizes. Here are some more interesting tidbits:

27. Almost half of the fatal accidents show alcohol involvement.

28. Motorcycle riders in these (alcohol related) accidents showed significant collision avoidance problems. Most riders would overbrake and skid the rear wheel, and underbrake the front wheel greatly reducing collision avoidance deceleration. The ability to countersteer and swerve was essentially absent.

42. Injury severity increases with speed, alcohol involvement and motorcycle size.

Here is some information from a study done over in Europe, where they have more bikes on the road in relation to total vehicles. The results are very similar.

Interestingly, there was another report done in early 90s for the insurance companies, and they report that motorcyclists who drank and ran off the road accounted for 41% of the total fatalities, more than twice that of any other cause, including the dreaded left turner. Keep in mind that statistic refers to fatalities, not just motorcycle accidents.
 

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Great post there. I think most of it is the same except that accidents due to the motorcyclist being under the influence has gone down a lot. I'm not sure on the number but I do know it has gone down.
 
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