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What Causes Wisconsin Motorcycle Accidents?

There are two important reasons to understand the common causes of Wisconsin motorcycle crashes. First, the cause of the crash is important in determining who is legally responsible for the accident and who should pay damages for the injuries that result from the accident. Second, when we understand the causes of motorcycle accidents we can begin to prevent future crashes from occurring.

Seven Causes of Motorcycle Accidents You Need to Know About

Wisconsin motorcycle crashes are frequently caused by:

  • Poor road design or road conditions. Potholes, debris in the road, uneven road surfaces, slippery roads, and poor visibility due to obstructed views can all cause motorcycle crashes.
  • Drunk drivers. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs may cause serious motorcycle crashes. In Wisconsin, it is against the law for most drivers to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher; however, even drivers with lower BACs may cause crashes.
  • Car drivers who don’t share the road safely with riders. Many car drivers are taught to watch for cars and trucks, but they do not notice motorcycles. When they do notice motorcycles, they may fail to take the smaller size of the bike into account when judging how far away the bike is from their vehicle. Accordingly, serious crashes can occur.
  • Distracted drivers. Distracted drivers pose a real risk to motorcyclists. In 2013, Wisconsin reported 163 motorcycle accidents caused by inattentive drivers other than the riders involved in the crashes. Distraction is defined as anything that takes a driver’s attention away from driving safely, anything that takes a driver’s hands off the steering wheel, or anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road.
  • Drowsy drivers. Tired drivers may be as dangerous as drunk or distracted driver. A tired driver may have slower reflexes and fail to stop before hitting a rider. Additionally, a tired driver may drift between lanes or even over the center line of a road and cause a catastrophic crash.
  • Speeding drivers. A driver who exceeds the speed limit may not only cause a crash, but may cause a more significant crash than otherwise would have occurred if the driver was obeying the speed limit. The force of the collision is greater when vehicles collide at greater speeds, and this can result in more serious injuries.
  • Aggressive drivers. Aggressive drivers can cause accidents in numerous ways. For example, in 2013 Wisconsin reported 332 motorcycle accidents caused by drivers other than motorcyclists failing to yield the right of way. Additionally, 39 motorcycle accidents were caused by drivers other than motorcyclists following too closely, and 15 motorcycle wrecks were caused by drivers other than motorcyclists improperly overtaking another vehicle.

While these are common reasons for motorcycle accidents, it is important to remember that any time a driver is negligent that driver may cause a dangerous or fatal crash.

You Need to Know What Caused Your Motorcycle Accident

Before you can recover damages in an insurance settlement or Wisconsin court, you are going to have to prove who caused your accident and how it happened. More specifically, you are going to have to prove that another driver breached his duty of care to operate his vehicle safely and that that breach of the duty of care resulted in your motorcycle accident injuries.

Often, an investigation will need to be done. Some of this investigation may occur at the accident scene; however, the investigation may be ongoing. After a crash, an experienced lawyer can help you by:

  • Reviewing the police report and evidence from the accident scene.
  • Getting important evidence from the other driver through procedures such as requests for production of documents, written interrogatories, and depositions.
  • Analyzing the evidence and applying Wisconsin law to the evidence to assess liability.

Additionally, an attorney can advise you of your rights, of your potential damages, and of the actions that you need to take to protect your recovery. To learn more about protecting your rights after a Wisconsin motorcycle crash, please download a free copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, today.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham