The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Missouri

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience. However, motorcycle riders also face serious risks every time they get on their bikes. In Missouri, there are thousands of motorcycle accidents each year, often leading to severe or fatal injuries. Understanding the most common causes of motorcycle crashes can help riders stay safe on the roads. This article will examine the top factors leading to motorcycle accidents in Missouri and provide tips for prevention.

Driver Inattention

One of the biggest dangers to motorcyclists is other distracted or inattentive drivers. Motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to see than cars and trucks. If a driver is not fully focused on the road, they may fail to notice a motorcycle and cause a collision. Some common forms of driver inattention include:

  • Using cell phones or other mobile devices
  • Adjusting the radio or other vehicle controls
  • Eating, drinking, or attending to children/pets
  • Daydreaming or being lost in thought

Even just glancing away for a few seconds can be disastrous if a motorcycle is present. Drivers should avoid distractions and scan carefully for motorcycles in all directions before changing lanes or turning. Motorcyclists should ride defensively, assume other drivers do not see them, and avoid blind spots. Wearing high-visibility gear can also help.


Excessive speed is a major factor in many Missouri motorcycle crashes. Speeding reduces a rider’s ability to react and maintain control. High speeds also increase the severity of injuries in a crash due to the physical forces involved. Some causes of speed-related motorcycle accidents include:

  • Riders exceeding the posted speed limit
  • Drivers speeding and losing control around a curve
  • Passing other vehicles unsafely at high speed
  • Showing off or thrill seeking behavior

The consequences of speeding can be tragic. Riders should obey speed limits, allow extra following distance, and ride at speeds appropriate for conditions. Drivers should be alert for motorcycles suddenly appearing at high speeds.

Impaired Riding

Riding while impaired by alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous for motorcyclists. Even small amounts can negatively affect balance, coordination, and reaction times – skills vital to safely operating a motorcycle. Common motorcycle crash scenarios involving impaired riding are:

  • Colliding with stationary objects while unable to maintain balance
  • Failing to navigate curves properly and running off the road
  • Delayed reactions leading to collisions with other vehicles
  • Overconfidence leading to excessive speed or aggressive maneuvers

To prevent needless tragedies, riders must never drink and ride. They should also avoid riding while fatigued or under the influence of certain medications. Drivers who cause motorcycle crashes while impaired should face serious legal consequences.

Road Hazards

Road conditions and hazards are another major reason for motorcycle crashes in Missouri. Issues encountered by riders can include:

  • Slippery surfaces from rain, sand, gravel, oil spills, etc.
  • Potholes, cracks, uneven road surfaces
  • Debris such as tire tread, fallen branches, garbage, etc.
  • Railroad/trolley tracks running parallel to the roadway
  • Animals darting across the road

These hazards require extra caution from both motorcyclists and drivers who share the road with them. Riders should scan ahead, allow room to maneuver, slow down in hazardous areas, and avoid sudden braking/swerving when possible. Drivers should give motorcycles space and be aware they may need to change speed or position to avoid road hazards. Proper maintenance and improvements to high-risk roadways can reduce dangers.

Driver Aggression

Aggressive driving behaviors directed at motorcyclists also contribute to accidents. Actions like tailgating, unsafe passing, improper lane changes, and deliberately crowding motorcycles put riders at risk. Some reasons drivers may behave aggressively include:

  • Frustration or anger at motorcycles slowing traffic
  • Underestimating motorcycle speed
  • Trying to “teach a lesson” to riders perceived as reckless
  • Road rage from an incident with a different motorcycle

To prevent aggression-related crashes, drivers must share the road responsibly with motorcyclists. Never pass unsafely, allow extra following distance, and avoid confrontation. Motorcyclists should ride defensively, avoid antagonizing drivers, and safely position themselves away from aggressive motorists.

Lack of Rider Training

Finally, insufficient rider training is a major factor in many motorcycle collisions. Handling a motorcycle requires a special skill set. Riders need training on:

  • Special turning/leaning techniques
  • Balancing at low speeds and stopping
  • Braking with only front/rear tires
  • Using clutch and gears correctly
  • Safely swerving and maintaining control

Beginners should enroll in a motorcycle safety course before riding on public roads. Even experienced riders benefit from periodic refresher training. Properly preparing and practicing motorcycle handling skills can prevent many crashes resulting from lack of ability.

Preventing Motorcycle Accidents in Missouri

While motorcycle riding comes with risks, many crashes can be avoided through safe riding practices, driver awareness, and proper training. Following defensive driving tips, obeying traffic laws, avoiding distractions and impairment, and wearing full protective gear greatly improve safety for motorcyclists sharing the road.

Some other tips for preventing motorcycle accidents in Missouri include:

  • Get regular maintenance and safety inspections on your motorcycle to reduce mechanical failures or tire blowouts.
  • Install additional mirrors and use turn signals for every maneuver to maximize visibility.
  • Wear high-visibility and reflective gear, especially at night, to stand out to other drivers.
  • Take an advanced motorcycle riding skills course every few years to sharpen hazard avoidance abilities.
  • Equip your motorcycle with anti-lock brakes and advanced stability control systems for added stopping power and traction.
  • Avoid riding in hazardous weather conditions like heavy rain, dense fog, or icy roads.
  • Join a motorcycle advocacy group to stay informed on legislative safety initiatives and driver awareness campaigns.

Taking proactive measures for motorcycle accident prevention saves lives and reduces injuries. No rider should feel powerless against common crash risks.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver’s negligence in Missouri, protect your rights by contacting the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Monge & Associates today. Call (888) 477-0597 now for a free case evaluation. With 32 offices located in 19 states, including Missouri, Iowa, and Tennessee, our legal team understands the unique causes and injuries related to motorcycle crashes. We will fight to recover the maximum compensation you deserve while you focus on healing and getting your life back on track after this hardship. Do not delay – call our office 24/7 for help getting the justice you deserve.