Handle Insurance Adjusters Like a Pro After a Motorcycle Accident

Handle Insurance Adjusters Like a Pro After a Motorcycle Accident

God, I love this time of year, don’t you? Look, we’re going to talk about how to deal with insurance adjusters after a crash in a second but let’s just take a moment to appreaciate how great it is to ride in Minnesota and Iowa in the fall.

Seriously, there’s nothing quite like the freedom of the open road, the wind in your face, the roar of your bike beneath you. The beauty of the changing colors of the trees as autumn sets in… there really isn’t anything like it.

Image of a motorcycle rushing down an open highway in the Autumn

 Unfortunately, not all roads are smooth.

When the unexpected happens, and you find yourself picking up the pieces after a motorcycle crash, all that freedom can feel like it’s been replaced with a mountain of stress and uncertainty. Suddenly, you’re thrust into a world of insurance claims, repair costs, and medical bills. 

watercolor splash representation of a motorcycle accident on a highway. The motorcycle is seen toppled and the fluid strokes and splashes of color spread away from the crash

And as if that’s not enough, you’re now faced with the daunting task of dealing with an insurance adjuster. Sure, they might seem friendly, but remember, their job is to save their company money, not to make your life easier.

It’s a tough situation, especially here in the Midwest where most of us were raised being “Iowa (or Minnesota) Nice.” It can feel like it goes against our nature to not be as helpful as possible, especially in stressful situations.

Yeah, it’s a tricky road, but with the right knowledge and guidance, you can navigate this challenging time and get back on the road where you belong (without accidentally screwing yourself over in the process).

So you’ve been in a crash?

Watercolor splash style paining depicting a motorcycle accident on a highway

It’s time for some straight-talking advice on how to handle insurance adjusters after a motorcycle accident.

Remember, no matter how friendly they may be, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not for you. Their job is to settle your claim for as little as possible. 

6 Essential Tips for Dealing with Insurance Adjusters After a Motorcycle Accident

Watercolor splash image of a greedy insurance executive and a pile of money

1. Don’t Feel Pressured to Give a Statement

After an accident, you might get a call from the other party’s insurance adjuster. Remember, you’re not obliged to give a statement right away. You might still be rattled by the accident, and that’s not the best time to be giving details that could be used against you later. It’s okay to wait until you have a lawyer by your side.

2. Keep It Basic

If you do decide to talk to the insurance adjuster, stick to the basics. Be very accurate and “to the point” in answering questions. Answer their questions, but don’t offer any details beyond what they specifically ask you. Do not tell the adjuster the crash was your fault, even a percentage. Those details could be twisted and used against you when it comes to settling your claim.

3. Stick to the Facts

When you describe the accident, keep it factual. Don’t make assumptions or guesses. Do not make guesses about speed, distance, or time. Guesses of this nature are usually wrong, and can only hurt you.  The more detail you give, the more chance there is for the adjuster to twist your words. Answer their questions truthfully, but don’t embellish or go into more detail than necessary.

4. Don’t Admit Fault

After a crash, it’s easy to say things that might imply you were at fault, especially if you’re confused or finding it hard to express yourself. If that’s the case, it’s best to wait until you’re feeling better before talking to an insurance adjuster. And of course, don’t admit fault for an accident you didn’t cause.

5. Track Your Expenses

Keep a record of all your expenses related to the accident, like medical bills, bike repairs, and lost wages. Provide copies of these documents to the insurance adjuster when they ask for them. These bills will need to be paid, either by you or the person who caused the accident, so make sure they’re part of any settlement.

6. Don’t Sign Anything Without Legal Advice

Do not agree to any settlement or sign any documents or agreements without talking to a lawyer first. Insurance adjusters might try to get you to sign away your right to sue or accept a settlement offer that’s less than you deserve.

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into the things you need to know.


Understanding Insurance Policies: Terms to Know

Watercolor Splash image of a greedy insurance adjuster sitting in piles of cash

Navigating the world of insurance policies can be tricky, especially when you’re dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. Insurance companies use lingo every day that the average driver may not fully understand. They can (and often do) use this to their advantage, so let’s level the playing field.

Here’s a quick rundown of some key terms you’re sure to hear and what they really mean:

  • Actual Cash Value (ACV): This is the value of your property, based on the current cost to replace it minus depreciation. In the case of a total loss, the insurance company might pay out the ACV of your motorcycle.
  • Adjuster: An insurance adjuster is a representative of the insurance company who investigates and evaluates insurance claims to determine the extent of the insurance company’s liability.
  • Claim: A request made by the insured to the insurance company to cover an incurred loss. In the context of a motorcycle accident, this could be for damages to the motorcycle, medical expenses, or other costs related to the accident.
  • Coverage: The extent of protection provided by an insurance policy. Coverage can vary greatly from one policy to another, and it’s important to understand exactly what your policy covers.
  • Coverage Limits: This is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for a covered loss.
  • Deductible: This is the amount you’ll need to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.
  • Exclusion: Certain conditions or circumstances for which the insurance company will not provide coverage. Exclusions are detailed in the insurance policy, and it’s important to be aware of them.
  • Liability: This refers to the legal responsibility for one’s actions or omissions. In an insurance context, liability insurance covers the policyholder’s legal liability in the event of damage or injury to another party.
  • Policyholder: The individual or entity who owns the insurance policy. This is the person who holds the contract with the insurance company and pays the premiums.
  • Premium: The amount of money that an individual or business pays for an insurance policy.
  • Replacement Cost: Unlike ACV, replacement cost coverage will pay the cost to repair or replace the damaged property with materials of similar kind and quality, without any deduction for depreciation.
  • Subrogation: This is a term often used in the insurance industry to refer to the right of the insurance company to recover the amount it has paid for a loss from the party that caused the loss.
  • Umbrella Coverage: This is a type of insurance coverage that goes beyond the limits of regular insurance policies, such as homeowners or auto insurance. It provides an additional layer of security to those who are at risk for being sued for damages to other people’s property or injuries caused to others in an accident. It also protects against libel, vandalism, slander, and invasion of privacy.
  • Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage: This type of insurance coverage protects you if you’re involved in an accident with a motorist who does not have sufficient insurance coverage or no insurance at all.

Understanding these terms can help you know what to expect when dealing with insurance companies after an accident.


Documenting the Accident: A Step-by-Step Guide

A step-by-step infographic with information on maximizing a personal injury claim after an accident.

Proper documentation can make a world of difference when it comes to filing an insurance claim. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Call the Police

Image of police at an accident scene with text: "Step 1 Call the cops"

The police are a vital part of the process as they gather information and help generate a timeline of events. Also, as soon as you can, write down everything you remember about the accident. This can be crucial evidence if there’s a dispute about what happened.

Step 2: Take Photos 

Image of a man taking pictures with his phone at the scene of an accident with text: "Step 2 take pics"

Capture images (or video) of the accident scene, your motorcycle, and any injuries you sustained.

Step 3: Gather Information and Medical Records

An infographic showing the sources of medical records

Collect the other party’s contact and insurance information, and note down the details of the accident while they’re still fresh in your mind. Then in the following days, weeks, and months, keep track of (document) every doctor’s visit, physical therapy appointment, testing, or other medically related activity.

The Importance of Immediate Medical Attention

image of a motorcyclist rubbing his neck showing the strain of rider fatigue

Photo Credits – Physio Inq Sutherland

Even if you feel fine after an accident, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Not only is this important for your health, but it also establishes a record of your injuries, which can be vital when you’re filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.


Why You Should Consider Hiring a Lawyer

A watercolor splash painting of a motorcycle crash with mostly grayscale capturing the somber mood, but red around the motorcycle crash site indicating the physical and mental toll of the crash

Dealing with insurance adjusters can be daunting, especially when you’re recovering from an accident. A lawyer can negotiate on your behalf, ensuring that you’re treated fairly and that you get the compensation you deserve. They can handle the paperwork, deal with the insurance companies, and let you focus on your recovery.


What’s next?

If you’re unsure about how to handle the insurance adjuster or feel you’re not being treated fairly, consider hiring an attorney. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf and help you get the compensation you deserve. 

Don’t navigate this process alone. If you’re dealing with an insurance claim after a motorcycle accident, contact The Biker Lawyers for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We’re here to help you ride through this tough time. Call today or click here to get started.

Watercolor splash painting of a motorcycle on a highway with the biker lawyers logo and text.

Ride safe, and remember, we’re here for you.

Riding in Iowa: From Motorcycle Laws and Licensing to Lane Splitting and Beyond

Riding in Iowa: From Motorcycle Laws and Licensing to Lane Splitting and Beyond

Navigating the Roads and Laws of Iowa: From Licensing to Lane Splitting and Beyond

Motorcycling is more than just the thrill of the open road. It’s about understanding the machine, the laws, and the community. From Iowa Motorcycle Laws to Safety, we’ve got all of your questions answered in this comprehensive rider’s guide.

In this article:

Ever found yourself pondering some of the more intricate details of the biking world? We’ve got you covered. Before we dive into the most burning questions riders have about motorcycling, we should remind you to check your local laws before riding in a new state or if you’re a new rider. 

One great thing about these United States is that each State sets its own laws, so you might want to make sure you understand yours before you ride.

Your Top Motorcycle Questions Answered

After a chat with our community and audience on various platforms, we’ve gathered some of the most intriguing and frequently asked questions about motorcycling. Let’s break them down.


Licensing & Legality: The Basics

A man studying to get his motorcycle license

“What are the steps to getting a motorcycle license and how hard is it to get one?”

Just like driving a car, you need a special license for motorcycles. The process might differ slightly depending on where you live, but generally, you’ll need to pass a written test, show off your skills in a practical test, and ensure your eyes are road-worthy with a vision exam. Let’s dive a bit deeper.

Steps to Getting a Motorcycle License

Note: Laws and requirements may vary from state to state. Make sure you know yours before you hit the road!

  1. Age Requirement: Ensure you meet the minimum age requirement, which varies by state. In many places, it’s 16 or 18 years old.
  2. Motorcycle Learner’s (AKA Instruction) Permit: Before obtaining a full motorcycle license, many states require new riders to first get a motorcycle learner’s permit. This permit allows you to practice riding under certain restrictions. In Iowa, riders must be at least 14 years old to apply for a motorcycle instruction permit.
  3. Motorcycle Safety Course: Enroll in a state-approved motorcycle safety course. These courses typically include classroom instruction and hands-on riding exercises. Completing a safety course can provide valuable riding skills, and safety techniques, and in some states, can waive the riding test requirement for the license.
  4. Written Test: Schedule and take the written knowledge test at your local DMV or equivalent agency. This test covers motorcycle-specific traffic laws, safety rules, and best practices.
  5. Skills Test: After passing the written test and gaining some practice (often with a learner’s permit), you’ll need to take a skills test. This is a practical examination where you demonstrate your ability to safely operate a motorcycle. The test might include maneuvers like turning, stopping, accelerating, and navigating obstacles.
  6. Vision Test: Some states require a vision test to ensure you can see adequately while riding.
  7. Fees: Pay the necessary fees for the motorcycle endorsement or license.
  8. Receive Your License: Once you’ve met all the requirements and passed the necessary tests, you’ll receive your motorcycle endorsement or license. This might be a separate license or an endorsement added to your existing driver’s license.

How Hard Is It to Get a Motorcycle License?

A biker takes a motorcycle driving test

The difficulty of obtaining a motorcycle license largely depends on your preparation and prior experience. For someone new to motorcycling, the skills test can be challenging, but with adequate practice and training, it’s entirely achievable. 

The written test, on the other hand, requires a good understanding of the motorcycle manual provided by the state’s DMV or equivalent agency. Completing a motorcycle safety course can significantly help in preparing for both the written and skills tests.

“What happens if you drive a motorcycle without a license?”

Think twice before hopping on your bike without a license. You could face some hefty fines or even spend a night or two behind bars.

“Is it illegal to run a motorcycle or an auto repair business out of your house?”

A man in a motorcycle repair shop teaches a young boy about repairing engines

Dreaming of turning your garage into a motorcycle repair shop? Check your local laws first. Some places might be cool with it, while others have strict rules against running businesses in residential areas.


Ownership & Costs: The Real Deal

A biker contemplates the pros and cons of owning a motorcycle

“What are the pros and cons of owning a motorcycle?”

Bikes are awesome. They’re fuel-efficient, give you a unique sense of freedom, and let’s be honest, they’re cool. But they also need regular maintenance, and there’s always the safety aspect to consider.

Pros of Owning a Motorcycle:

  • Fuel Efficiency: Motorcycles typically get much better gas mileage than cars, making them more economical for commuting and traveling.
  • Cost-Effective: Initial purchase, insurance, and maintenance costs for motorcycles are generally lower than for cars.
  • Parking: Due to their size, motorcycles can be parked in smaller spaces, and some cities offer free or discounted parking for motorcycles.
  • Traffic Navigation: In some areas, motorcycles can lane-split or filter through traffic, reducing commute times.
  • Environmental Impact: Motorcycles produce fewer emissions than most cars, making them a more environmentally friendly option.
  • Freedom and Thrill: Many riders love the sense of freedom and the thrill of being on the open road with a motorcycle.
  • Community: There’s a strong sense of camaraderie among bikers, with numerous clubs, groups, and events dedicated to motorcycle enthusiasts.
  • Less Space: Motorcycles require less storage space than cars, which can be beneficial for those with limited parking options.
  • Emotional Benefits: We touched on this before, but the social community aspect and camaraderie is amazing for a rider’s mental health and emotional well-being. Now, this may sound biased, but we’ve found that people who ride motorcycles often experience more stress relief, are more focused in many situations, and overall have a higher quality of life.
  • Physical Benefits: Riding a motorcycle can be physically taxing in that it works your core muscles and helps with posture which in turn (see what we did there?), helps with circulation.

Image of a motorcycle rushing down an open highway in the Autumn

Cons of Owning a Motorcycle:

  • Safety Concerns: Motorcyclists are more exposed and, therefore, more vulnerable to injuries in the event of an accident.
  • Weather Dependency: Although the purists and most experienced may say that it’s riding season all year, we all know our riding experience is tied closely to the weather. As much as we may hate to admit it, riding in adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, or extreme heat can be uncomfortable and risky.
  • Limited Storage: Motorcycles don’t offer much in terms of storage space, making grocery trips or transporting larger items challenging.
  • Passenger Limitations: Most motorcycles can only comfortably and safely carry one passenger.
  • Learning Curve: Riding a motorcycle requires a different skill set than driving a car. New riders need to invest time in learning and practicing.
  • Maintenance: While maintenance might be cheaper, motorcycles often require more frequent attention, especially if ridden regularly.
  • Seasonal: In areas with harsh winters, motorcycles might only be usable for part of the year.
  • Insurance Rates: While generally cheaper, insurance rates can be high for sport bikes or for riders with little experience.
  • Theft: Motorcycles can be easier targets for theft due to their size and accessibility.
  • Profiling: Motorcyclists are often pulled over simply for riding a motorcycle or wearing a cut. Don’t believe us? Check out the Motorcycle Profiling Survey.

“At what age are you too old to ride motorcycles?”

Age is just a number, right? When it comes to motorcycling, what’s more important is your physical ability and sharpness of mind. So, whether you’re 18 or 80, if you feel fit and alert, the road is yours!


Safety & Risks: The Hard Truths

A motorcycle rider fully decked out in protective gear takes to the open road.

Motorcycling comes with its risks, but being informed can make a world of difference. From understanding the odds of an accident to the protective power of gear, knowledge is your best defense.

“I’ve heard many riders say ‘it’s not if you go down, it’s WHEN.’ Is this true, do all Motorcyclists crash eventually?” 

This is a common saying in the biking community, emphasizing the importance of always being prepared and cautious.

“What are the odds of surviving a motorcycle crash?”

The odds can vary based on numerous factors, including the severity of the crash, the protective gear worn, and the immediate medical response.

“How do you not get killed on a motorcycle?”

Safe riding practices, continuous learning, and always being alert can significantly reduce the risks.

image of a motorcycle crash scene with a helmet

“Is it possible to survive a 50 mph crash?”

While it’s possible, the severity of injuries can vary. Protective gear and immediate medical attention play crucial roles in survival.

“Why do people ride motorcycles when it is so dangerous?”

The thrill, the sense of freedom, and the community are just a few reasons why many are drawn to motorcycling, despite the risks.

“Why are motorcycles legal if they are so dangerous?

 Like many activities, motorcycling comes with risks, but it’s up to individuals to make informed decisions. Laws are in place to ensure safety standards are met.

“How protective are motorcycle protective suits?”

High-quality protective gear can significantly reduce the risk of severe injuries in the event of an accident.


Accidents & Aftermath: Navigating the Tough Times

Three images of crashes with the text "Crash Aftermath"

Accidents happen, and when they do, it’s essential to know your rights and the best steps to take. Whether it’s understanding the complexities of lane splitting or navigating the aftermath of a crash, we’ve got insights to guide you.

“What is lane splitting and is it legal in Iowa?”

Lane splitting involves a motorcyclist riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. Its legality varies by state, and in Iowa, it’s currently not permitted.

“Who is at fault in a motorcycle accident when lane splitting?”

This can vary based on local laws and the specifics of the accident. In places where lane splitting is legal, the fault might be shared between the motorcyclist and other involved parties.

“How is the family notified after a person dies in a car accident?”

When a person tragically dies in a car accident, the task of notifying the next of kin is typically carried out by local law enforcement or the coroner’s office. The process is handled with utmost sensitivity and care.

Officers are trained to deliver such news in person, rather than over the phone, to provide immediate support and ensure the family’s privacy. They often arrive in pairs and will usually ask to enter the home and ensure that the family is seated before delivering the news. 

Officers also provide information about the incident and guide the family on the next steps, such as identifying the body and retrieving personal belongings.

“How do you survive a motorcycle crash?”

Image of first responders working to save a biker after a crash

Surviving a motorcycle crash often depends on a combination of preparedness, quick thinking, and sometimes, sheer luck.

Here are six tips to increase your chances of survival while on the road:

1. Wear Protective Gear

Always wear a DOT-approved helmet, which can significantly reduce the risk of fatal head injuries. Additionally, wear protective clothing like jackets, gloves, boots, and pants made of abrasion-resistant materials.

2. Stay Alert

Be aware of your surroundings, anticipate potential hazards, and always keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

3. Defensive Riding

Assume that other drivers might not see you. Be prepared to react to their actions.

4. Avoid Target Fixation

Focus on where you want to go, especially in turns or when avoiding obstacles, rather than on the obstacle itself.

5. Practice Emergency Maneuvers

Regularly practice emergency braking and evasive maneuvers to be prepared for unexpected situations.

6. Stay Calm

If a crash is imminent, try to stay as relaxed as possible to reduce the risk of injury. Tense muscles can lead to more severe injuries.

“How does a person survive the aftermath of an accident- physically, emotionally, and financially?”

A police officer investigates the scene of a motorcycle accident

Physically

Seek immediate medical attention, even if you feel fine. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately. Follow all medical advice, attend follow-up appointments, and undergo physical therapy if recommended.

Emotionally

Traumatic events can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other emotional challenges. It’s essential to seek counseling or therapy to process the trauma. Joining support groups can also help, as sharing experiences with others can be therapeutic.

Financially

If the accident was due to someone else’s negligence, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and potentially seek compensation. Ensure that all medical expenses, repair bills, and any loss of income are documented. Additionally, reach out to your insurance company to understand the coverage and benefits available to you.

“How does insurance typically handle motorcycle accidents differently than car accidents?”

In my nearly 40 years of practicing law in Iowa, I’ve observed that insurance companies sometimes treat motorcycle accidents differently than car accidents, primarily due to the perceived risks associated with motorcycling. Here are some key differences:

  • Bias Against Motorcyclists: There’s an unfortunate stereotype that motorcyclists are “risk-takers” or “reckless.” This bias can influence an insurance adjuster’s perception of the accident, potentially placing more blame on the motorcyclist than warranted.
  • Severity of Injuries: Motorcycle accidents often result in more severe injuries compared to car accidents. This can lead to higher medical bills, which insurance companies might be hesitant to cover in full.
  • Total Loss: Motorcycles are more likely to be declared a total loss after an accident compared to cars. This can affect the payout from the insurance company.

Riding & Maintenance: Keeping Your Bike Happy

A dedicated rider with arm tattoos cleans and maintains his motorcycle.

A well-maintained bike is a joy to ride. From understanding the dynamics of group rides to the simple steps of regular upkeep, we’ll ensure your motorcycle stays in tip-top shape.

“What is the best way to make sure my motorcycle is well maintained?”

Maintaining your motorcycle is crucial not only for its longevity but also for your safety on the road. 

8 expert tips to ensure your bike is always in top condition:

1. Regular Inspections 

Before every ride, do a quick visual inspection. Check for any leaks, ensure lights and signals are working, and look over the tires for any signs of wear or damage.

2. Oil Changes

Just like cars, motorcycles need regular oil changes. Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended intervals and type of oil.

3. Tire Pressure

Check the tire pressure regularly. Riding with improperly inflated tires can affect the bike’s handling and can lead to premature tire wear.

4. Brake Checks

Ensure that the brake pads and discs are in good condition. If you hear any unusual noises or feel any changes in the braking performance, get it checked immediately.

5. Chain Maintenance

A well-lubricated and adjusted chain ensures smooth rides. Clean and lubricate the chain regularly and check for proper tension.

6. Battery Care

Ensure the battery terminals are clean and free from corrosion. If your motorcycle has a lead-acid battery, check the fluid levels.

7. Seasonal Care

If you’re storing your motorcycle for the winter, make sure to winterize it. This includes adding a fuel stabilizer, disconnecting the battery, and covering the bike to protect it from dust and moisture.

8. Professional Service

While many maintenance tasks can be done at home, it’s essential to have your motorcycle serviced by professionals at the intervals recommended in the owner’s manual. They can spot potential issues that might be missed during regular home inspections.

Remember, a well-maintained motorcycle not only ensures a smooth ride but also keeps you safe on the road. Regular maintenance can also save you money in the long run by preventing major issues.

“Should motorcycles ride side by side?” 

No. Riding side by side does not allow motorcyclists enough space to avoid dangers. While riding side-by-side may not be a great idea, riding “staggered” is much safer. 

How to Ride in Staggered Riding Formation

In a staggered riding formation… 

  • The first rider would ride close to the center line. 
  • The second rider would ride close to the fog line, and at least 1.5 seconds behind the lead rider. 
  • The third rider would be close to the center line, and at least 3 seconds behind the lead rider and 1.5 seconds behind the second rider. 

Image demonstrating the proper way to ride staggered formation on a motorcycle

In staggered formation, the bike directly ahead of you must be at least 3 seconds ahead. The bike in the “staggered” lane should be at least 1.5 seconds ahead of you. This allows for better visibility and more space for maneuvering.

“Can a motorcycle slip on a banana peel?” 

Cinematic image of Mario from Mario Kart driving a motorcycle about to hit a banana peal. AI Art by Bing AI and Canva AI

It might sound like a scene from a cartoon, but in reality, any small object or slick spot can pose a hazard. Always be alert!


Wrapping It Up

From the fun and quirky to the serious and technical, motorcycling is a world filled with questions. And as we’ve seen today, it’s not just about the ride. It’s about understanding the bigger picture, from the laws that govern the roads to the community that makes it all worthwhile.

Join the Conversation!

Did this guide spark more questions? Or maybe you’ve got some insights of your own to share? Dive into the comments and join the conversation. And if you’ve got a fellow rider who could benefit from this knowledge, spread the word. Until next time, keep the rubber side down and ride safe!

If you’ve been injured in an accident, ride with us. Contact The Biker Lawyers for a free consultation.

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Iowa

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Iowa

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

Listen to this article:

Table of Contents

  1. Motorcycle Accidents Statistics at Iowa
  2. Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Iowa

2.1 Speeding

2.2 Riding while Impaired

2.3 No Helmet Law

2.4 Distracted Car Drivers

2.5 Lost Control

2.6 Angled Collisions

  1. Conclusion

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

2.1 Speeding

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

Close up image of a motorcycle helmet on the ground

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

a woman in a yellow shirt texting while driving

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

Image of a motorcycle after being T-boned by a car

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.

3.    Conclusion

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.