Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in D.C. and How to Avoid Them

Motorcycle riding, while offering a distinct sense of freedom and thrill on the roads of Washington, D.C., also presents unique hazards. With safety as a primary concern, it’s essential to examine common factors contributing to motorcycle accidents and consider strategies for prevention, with the help of a Washington D.C. motorcycle accident attorney

Distracted Driving

The proliferation of smartphones has led to an increase in incidents where drivers engage with distractions like texts or calls instead of paying full attention to the road. For motorcyclists, being constantly vigilant is key; be aware of your surroundings to identify distracted drivers (for example those swerving or not keeping steady speed) and always maintain safe distances from other vehicles so that you have enough room to react if needed.

Left-Turn Accidents

These are particularly common as drivers making left turns may fail to notice oncoming motorcyclists due to their smaller size or a momentary lapse in attention. 

Motorcyclists can combat this by increasing visibility through use of headlights, reflective gear, and strategizing road position. Always anticipate that a driver might turn without noticing you, preparing yourself for evasive action and maneuvering safely.

Lane Splitting

This practice involves motorcycles moving between lanes of traffic or riding along the dividing line. It’s often controversial as it poses risk of close-proximity accidents and is not permitted in many jurisdictions.

Motorcyclists in Washington, D.C. should avoid this action entirely to ensure their safety and compliance with traffic laws.

Poor Road Conditions

Environmental factors like potholes, wet or icy roads, and heavily trafficked construction zones can all add considerable risk to motorcycle riding.

To mitigate these risks, you should practice defensive driving techniques such as adjusting speed to road conditions and maintaining increased following distances. Always keep an eye on the road ahead for potential hazards.

Blind Spots

Motorcycles can easily disappear into a car’s blind spot due to their compact size, which might result in dangerous situations if vehicles decide to change lanes without noticing motorcyclists.

As a rider, it is crucial that you stay aware of other vehicles’ blind spots and attempt to avoid them as much as possible. Position yourself where drivers can see you clearly either through their windows or mirrors, never assume that drivers have seen you, and ensure visibility via constant use of signals when changing lanes or making turns.


Given a motorcycle’s nimbleness and quick acceleration, it might be tempting to test its speed limits, but speeding amplifies risks significantly by reducing the time you have to react to unexpected road situations.

Adhering strictly to posted speed limits and adjusting speeds further downwards based on traffic density or poor road conditions can greatly increase your safety while riding.

Inexperienced Drivers

Novice drivers either behind the wheel of a car or handlebars of a motorcycle are often contributors in accidents, lacking knowledge about proper driving etiquette or unawareness about handling crisis moments.

This underlines the importance of comprehensive training and adequate practice hours for novice motorcyclists before venturing onto public roads. Driver’s education courses focusing on defensive driving strategies should not be overlooked as well.

Riding motorcycles in D.C., while exhilarating, comes with inherent risks that riders should be aware of and take steps to avoid. 

Contact Lightfoot Law today

Contact An Experienced Attorney From Lightfoot Law Today

If you’re involved in an accident due to another’s negligence, it’s essential to know your rights and to contact an experienced Washington D.C. personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Call or contact us today to schedule a free consultation.