Who Is Commonly at Fault for Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcyclists have a bad rep among car drivers — they assume the rider will behave recklessly and believe they cause the majority of motorcycle collisions. However, in most cases, the car drivers are the ones at fault for accidents involving motorcycles. If you own a bike, it’s important to understand the most common risks of accidents so that you know how to avoid them.

Other Drivers Are Most Commonly at Fault

If we were to survey a wide mix of car and truck drivers and motorcycle riders, most would say motorcyclists are responsible for the accidents they are involved in. However, reports show that most motorcycle collisions result from the other driver’s actions, not those of the biker themselves. Why is this? Most of the time, motor vehicle drivers fail to see the motorcycle rider, such as when they make a turn or change lanes, causing a collision.

Despite many accidents involving motorcycles being caused by other drivers, some riders can be at fault. Fault is determined by looking at who was being negligent leading up to the incident. Whether driving a car or riding a motorcycle, the negligent driver will be legally responsible for all accident damages. The victim could seek compensation from the at-fault driver if they were injured.

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes

Motorcycle accidents can lead to severe and sometimes fatal injuries. For this reason, it’s important to understand the most common risks associated with driving a motorcycle and learn how to avoid them. Here are the main reasons motorcycle accidents occur:

Inexperienced Drivers

Even after someone obtains their driver’s license, they still have a great deal to learn about the rules of the road. An inexperienced driver may not know they are supposed to be fully aware of all their surroundings, must look out for motorcycles and remember the rules of a four-stop intersection. This lack of knowledge can often lead to crashes.

Head-On Collisions

About three-quarters of the accidents between motorcycles and cars or trucks are head-on collisions. These are the most dangerous types of accidents for riders because the force of the crash can cause fatal injuries.

Left-Hand Turns

One of the most common reasons motorcyclists and drivers get into collisions is because the driver makes a sudden left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. These often-fatal accidents often happen because the driver of the other vehicle simply didn’t realize there was an oncoming vehicle. There are many reasons why that happens, some of which include distracted driving, driver drowsiness, intoxication, rushing, or simply being careless. In those situations, the driver turning left would be at fault, since most states’ laws say that a driver making a left-hand turn has to yield and cannot go until it is safe to do so, with no oncoming traffic.

At other times, the motorcycle driver may share fault in the accident. If they run a red light, are speeding or otherwise at fault, they may be held responsible for any injuries and damages sustained.


A biker lane splits when they drive between traffic lanes. They may be tempted to make this move when traffic is at a stand-still or slow. However, lane-splitting is illegal in most places, and if an accident occurs while the biker is lane-splitting, they will likely be found at fault for causing the collision.

How Is Fault Determined in a Motorcycle Accident?

Determining fault involves examining all evidence provided in an investigation, having an attorney state your case, and receiving a final decision from the court. Since motorcycles pose less of a threat to other vehicles on the road, this often goes into the court’s decision when assigning fault. However, the court may find the accident was caused in part by the biker and will deduct damages from the settlement based on this judgment.

It’s important to work with a Missouri motorcycle accident lawyer when making a case against the other driver. The attorney will help you determine which parties are liable for the accident and create a strong argument to present to the court.

Speak to a Motorcycle Accident Attorney About Your Case Today

Have you recently been involved in a motorcycle collision? You could be entitled to compensation. Consult with an auto accident attorney in Springfield, MO, to find out how we can fight for you.