Department of Public Safety Reveals Leading Causes of Motorcycle Crashes in Utah

The Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) releases yearly reports on auto accidents throughout the state.  The Department analyzes all sorts of safety topics and crash statistics, ranging from seatbelt use, to teenage drivers, to the reasons accidents occur.  In this article, our Salt Lake City motorcycle crash lawyers will look at the most recent DPS report to identify some of the most common driving errors that cause motorcycle accidents in Utah.  If you were injured by another driver’s careless mistakes, you could be entitled to compensation.

Utah Motorcycle Accident Statistics: Fatalities and Injury Crashes

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As of June 2016, the most recent motorcycle accident data available from the Utah Department of Public Safety is the 2014 report.  That year, Utah recorded a total of 1,179 motorcycle crashes, resulting in 45 fatalities and more than 1,040 injuries.

Though Utah car accidents occur with far greater frequency, they are substantially less likely to result in death or injury.  To get an idea of how dangerous motorcycling can really be, just consider the following statistics.  Out of the 54,036 vehicular accidents reported in Utah in 2014, a total of 23,364 resulted in injury, or about 43%.  By comparison, more than 88% of motorcycle crashes (1,040 out of 1,179) caused injuries to riders or passengers.

Additionally, despite accounting for only 1% of all people involved in Utah auto accidents, motorcyclists accounted for 18% of the fatalities.  Moreover, bikers were nearly 12 times more likely to be killed in crashes than the operators or passengers of other types of vehicles, like trucks and SUVs.

Of course, that doesn’t mean motorcyclists are to blame for the high numbers of injuries and wrongful deaths.  On the contrary, it’s the drivers of passenger vehicles who are frequently at fault for crashes.

Tailgating, Failure to Yield Among 10 Most Common Driver Errors in Motorcyclist Injuries

Out of the 1,179 motorcycle crashes that were documented in Utah in 2014, only 475 involved the motorcyclist alone.  By comparison, more than 700 – about six out of ten accidents – involved at least one other vehicle.

When multiple vehicles were involved, the top 10 most common driver errors that contributed to motorcycle injury crashes were:

  • Failing to Yield the Right of Way 
    • Injury Accidents – 206 (40.2%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 9 (39.1%)
  • Making Improper Turns  
    • Injury Accidents – 50 (9.7%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 1 (4.3%)
  • Obscured Driver Vision  
    • Injury Accidents – 48 (9.4%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 2 (8.7%)
  • Following too Closely (Tailgating) 
    • Injury Accidents – 45 (8.8%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 1 (4.3%)
  • Distracted Driving  
    • Injury Accidents – 23 (4.5%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 2 (8.7%)
  • Improper Lane Changes  
    • Injury Accidents – 23 (4.5%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 1 (4.3%)
  • Failure to Stay in the Correct Lane 
    • Injury Accidents – 15 (2.9%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 2 (8.7%)
  • Ignoring Traffic Lights/Signs 
    • Injury Accidents – 11 (2.1%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 1 (4.3%)
  • Speeding 
    • Injury Accidents – 8 (1.6%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 1 (4.3%)
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)  
    • Injury Accidents – 7 (1.4%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 2 (8.7%)

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The DPS also tracked the most common driving maneuvers by other motorists prior to multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents.  According to the same report, the top five maneuvers most frequently involved in crashes were:

  • Making Left Turns 
    • Injury Accidents – 187 (32.4%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 9 (28.1%)
  • Driving Straight Ahead  
    • Injury Accidents – 179 (31%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 15 (46.9%)
  • Stopping in a Traffic Lane 
    • Injury Accidents – 63 (10.9%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 3 (9.4%)
  • Decelerating in a Traffic Lane  
    • Injury Accidents – 29 (5%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 3 (9.4%)
  • Changing Lanes  
    • Injury Accidents – 28 (4.8%)
    • Fatal Accidents – 1 (3.1%)

Overall, driving errors by other motorists were contributing factors in nearly 61% of the motorcycle wrecks reported in Utah in 2014.  If you were injured while riding your motorcycle in Salt Lake County – for example, maybe you were cruising down Interstate 215 or Interstate 80 on your Harley-Davidson – the driver who hit you may be liable for the losses and expenses resulting from your accident, including your medical expenses, lost earnings, and your pain and suffering.

Were You Hit by a Car While Riding Your Harley on I-80 in Salt Lake County? Call Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

If you sustained a preventable injury because of another person’s negligence, you should strongly consider talking to an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer about getting compensated for your accident.  Utah personal injury attorney Darwin Overson has more than 20 years of experience handling motorcycle accident claims in Salt Lake County, Wasatch County, Summit County, Tooele County, Cache County, Weber County, and locations throughout the state of Utah.  He has experience representing the victims of Utah intersection accidents, rear-end collisions, accidents caused by left turns, and other types of crashes.  He can also assist if you think you have been the victim of bad faith insurance in Salt Lake City.

We understand that you’re going through a hard time right now, and Darwin wants to make the legal process as simple and easy as possible for you. If you cannot travel due to your injuries, Darwin is more than happy to come to your location.

To set up a free legal consultation with Utah motorcycle wreck attorney Darwin, call the law offices of Overson Law right away at (801) 895-3143.  Darwin can help determine whether you might have a personal injury claim, and if so, advise you on your possible options for proceeding.

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