Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Wisconsin

The warmer weather is here and that means motorcycles throughout Wisconsin and the rest of the United States will come out of their garages and hit the road. More motorcycles on the road during the summer months means more opportunities for motorcycle accidents to occur, and data from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation shows that this has been the case since at least 2012.

Although motorcycle accidents predictably increase during the warmer months, the weather is not the only factor that contributes to the increase. With the increased rainfall of April, May, and June, the road is more likely to be wet and thus, slippery. Below are four common causes of motorcycle accidents in Wisconsin, some of which are closely tied to the weather.

Driver Negligence
Negligence on the part of a motorcyclist or another motorist can cause an accident. Examples of driver negligence include:

    • Riding or driving while talking on a cell phone or otherwise while distracted. This can include eating while driving, using a vehicle’s onboard computer, or looking at the scenery instead of the roadway;
    • Driving or riding while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs;
    • Speeding;
    • Riding or driving in an aggressive manner, such as weaving in and out of lanes and tailgating; and
    • Riding or driving while too tired to do so safely.

Adverse Weather Conditions
There are a few ways rain and other weather conditions can cause motorcycle accidents. It takes longer for a vehicle to come to a complete stop on a wet roadway and when conditions are slick, drivers must make wider, slower turns to avoid spinning out and potentially colliding with other vehicles, pedestrians, and stationary objects.

Poor Road Conditions
Motorcycles are more sensitive to roadway conditions than other types of vehicle. A wet roadway during a rainstorm can be dangerous for motorcycles, but this is not the only issue the rain creates. When puddles develop in potholes and dips in the roadway, they can be very dangerous for motorcyclists. Uneven pavement and sharp turns can be magnified by the presence of water on the asphalt and the oils that rise to the asphalt’s surface during the first moments of rainfall.

Poor Visibility
Rainstorms and fog make it difficult for motorcyclists and motorists alike to see hazards in the roadway and other vehicles. At night, visibility decreases further. Motorcyclists can reduce their chance of being involved in accidents by making themselves as visible as possible with lights on their motorcycles and reflective tape on their helmets and clothing.

Work with an Experienced Appleton Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a collision with a motorcycle, you have the right to seek monetary compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about your rights and legal options as an injured victim, contact our team of Appleton personal injury lawyers at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to set up your initial consultation in our office.