Editor’s Note: The following article about the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Iowa is the first in a series of Guest posts provided by our friends at vikingbags.com
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To help prevent motorcycle accidents, their common causes must be identified. For those who haven’t been here, Iowa is a beautiful U.S. state located between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, well-known for its large cornfields and landscapes.
Due to such scenic views and attractive spots, Iowa has become an attractive place for motorcyclists. However, riding a motorcycle in Iowa is riskier for several reasons. Read this article to learn the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Iowa.
1. Motorcycle Accidents Statistics at Iowa
In a study conducted by the Institute of Transportation (InTrans) of Iowa State University, approximately 302 riders died during 2016-2021 due to being involved in motorcycle accidents in Iowa.
Iowa roads require constant diligence to safety for motorcycle riders as the number of motorcycle accidents has reached more than 5,700 during this period. Almost 1,305 riders during 2016-2021 suffered from serious injuries.
2. Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Iowa
Statistics: As per the statistics presented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST), 25.9% of fatal motorcycle accidents that occurred during 2015-2019 were due to speeding.
Modern motorcycles can produce impressive horsepower and torque due to being fitted with powerful engines. Many young riders are attracted to sport bikes and aggressive riding, resulting in more motorcycle crashes and deaths. Speeding becomes more dangerous when:
- It is raining
- There is less visibility due to fog
- There are sharp turns on the road
- There is heavy traffic
2.2 Riding while Impaired
Statistics: Most riders involved in motorcycle accidents were found to have more than the permissible amount of Alcohol Concentration in their blood (BAC > 0.08%).
In Iowa, 6% of all the fatal motorcycle crashes that happened between 2015-2019 occurred due to riding under the influence as reported by the NHTSA.
You are at a greater risk of being involved in an accident if you are impaired. Alcohol and drug use among motorcycle riders and car drivers have been a major issue in Iowa and all over the U.S. When you are under the influence, it can make you lose your senses, judgment, decision-making ability, muscle coordination, and control of your motorcycle. Impaired riders have a much slower response to danger as compared to sober riders.
“Wear all safety things, don’t outride my abilities, and never drink and ride!” -Luther Berge, Three Rules of the Road for Motorcycle Riders
2.3 No Helmet Law
This may not be a cause of crashes, but it could easily be argued that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injury in a motorcycle crash. That said, Iowa is one of the few U.S. states that does not have a helmet law. In Iowa, you are not legally required to wear a helmet and there is no fine imposed on riders not wearing helmets while riding. However, it is encouraged to wear a helmet to be safe.
In Iowa, it is the rider’s choice to wear protective gear and eye protection. Most fatalities in motorcycle accidents are caused due to head injuries. Wearing a DOT-approved helmet and appropriate riding gear can save you from severe injuries. Even a “minor” head impact during a motorcycle crash can cause severe injury or death.
2.4 Distracted Car Drivers
Motorcycles are smaller than cars and are less visible to car drivers on the road, especially when riding in the dark. The possibility of a car driver hitting a motorcycle increases when he/she is distracted.
The most common distraction which results in most road accidents is the mobile phone. In more than 10% of fatal road accidents in the U.S., the driver was reported using a cell phone while driving. The drivers may be inclined to reply to a text message, receive a phone call from work, play music, and eat food while driving.
Statistics: According to the NHTSA, almost 70% of motorcycle accidents in the U.S. occur due to drivers not paying attention to driving carefully and failing to watch out for motorcyclists on the road.
If you are involved in a motorcycle or car accident and have suffered injuries due to another rider’s fault, you can seek assistance from The Biker Lawyers to find justice and cover your medical bills and property losses.
2.5 Lost Control
Statistics: According to the NHTSA, approximately 18% of deaths in motorcycle accidents happened due to riders losing control of their motorcycles. More than 29% of motorcycle crashes in Iowa between 2015-2019 involved riders that lost control of their motorcycles.
There are several reasons why a motorcycle loses control during the ride. It can be due to bad weather, wet road conditions, obstacles, animals, damaged roads, speeding, distraction, swerving, speed wobbles, loss of traction, and faulty motorcycle parts and products. If you are a beginner rider, you should only ride beginner motorcycles. Riding sport bikes, performance cruisers, and naked bikes require expert-level handling and maneuvering skills to ensure stability.
2.6 Angled Collisions
Angled collisions, also known as T-bone collisions, are those in which two vehicles collide with each other at an angle of 90°. T-bone collisions usually occur when drivers do not follow traffic rules, break signals, and change their lanes without indicating the other vehicles on the road.
Statistics: Accidents involving two or more vehicles resulted in 45.2% of fatalities in motorcycle accidents between 2015-2019 in the U.S. and the most common of these are angled collisions. NHTSA also found that 56.1% of fatal motorcycle accidents involved angled collisions.
There are several reasons why the number of fatalities in motorcycle accidents has been increasing in Iowa over the years. If you want to be safe while riding a motorcycle, make sure to wear a helmet and appropriate riding gear. Avoid speeding and riding under the influence of alcohol and drugs as it can be life-threatening.
If you are a beginner and learning how to ride a motorcycle, do not take your motorcycle out on busy roads. Also, to be safe on the road, do not ride a motorcycle that you cannot handle. You can install a motorcycle trunk bag and saddlebags available at Viking Bags to carry useful stuff such as a first-aid kit, helmet, gloves, and white visors to ride safely in the dark.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, click here to contact The Biker Lawyers, or call (877) 209-9452 for a free case evaluation.