Someone revving their motorbike

Understanding What Counts as a Motorbike Rider Error

Find out more about what counts as a rider error as a motorcyclist

Motorbike riding is an exhilarating experience that offers a sense of freedom unlike any other. The wind in your hair, the open road ahead – it’s an adventure waiting to be explored. However, like any form of transportation, motorbike riding comes with its own set of challenges and potential pitfalls. One of the crucial aspects to consider is the possibility of rider errors that can lead to accidents. In this article, we will dive into the world of motorbike rider errors, explore what they entail, and discuss the various scenarios in which they can occur. We will also point out the best way to start a road traffic accident claim.

What Counts as a Motorbike Rider Error?

When we talk about motorbike rider errors, we’re referring to mistakes made by the rider that result in accidents or dangerous situations. These errors can range from minor lapses in judgement to more significant mistakes that have severe consequences. Some of the common rider errors include:


Riding at excessive speeds can significantly reduce a rider’s reaction time, making it harder to navigate unexpected obstacles or sudden stops. Going too fast around corners can also lead to loss of control.


Following other vehicles too closely limits the rider’s visibility and reaction time. This practice can be particularly dangerous on a motorbike, where sudden stops by the vehicle in front can lead to a collision.

Failing to Yield Right of Way

Disregarding traffic rules and failing to yield the right of way can lead to collisions at intersections or when merging into traffic.

Distracted Riding

Just like distracted driving in cars, using a cellphone, adjusting the radio, or engaging in other distractions while riding can divert a rider’s attention from the road.

Improper Lane Changes

Changing lanes without proper signalling or checking blind spots can result in collisions with other vehicles.

Riding Under the Influence

Riding while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs impairs a rider’s coordination, judgement, and reaction time, significantly increasing the risk of accidents.

Inadequate Protective Gear

Not wearing appropriate safety gear, such as helmets, gloves, and protective clothing, can increase the severity of injuries in case of an accident.

Can a Motorcyclist Be at Fault?

Absolutely, just like any other road user, motorcyclists can be at fault in accidents. It’s important to recognize that the responsibility for road safety is shared among all road users, regardless of the type of vehicle they’re operating. While motorbike riders are undoubtedly more vulnerable due to the lack of structural protection, they must still adhere to traffic rules and exercise caution.

For example, imagine a situation where a motorcyclist is weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds, ignoring lane markings and traffic signals. If this rider were to collide with another vehicle or cause an accident, their reckless behaviour would likely place them at fault for the incident. This demonstrates that rider errors can stem from a lack of respect for road rules and a disregard for the safety of themselves and others.

Who Is Most Often at Fault in Motorcycle-Car Crashes?

When it comes to motorcycle-car crashes, determining fault can be complex and dependent on the specific circumstances of each accident. However, studies and statistics do shed some light on common patterns.

Research indicates that in many motorcycle-car collisions, the fault often lies with the driver of the larger vehicle, such as a car or truck. This is due to factors like:


Motorcycles are smaller and can be harder to spot, especially in blind spots or adverse weather conditions.


Drivers might misjudge the speed or distance of an approaching motorcycle, leading to unsafe manoeuvres.

Left-Turn Collisions

Left-turn accidents, where a car turns left in front of an oncoming motorcycle, are a common scenario where the car driver is often at fault for not yielding the right of way.

However, it’s essential to note that motorbike riders are not absolved of responsibility. They must also exercise caution, adhere to traffic rules, and stay vigilant to avoid potential accidents.

Someone riding their motorbike down a forest road

Making a Road Traffic Accident Claim

When a motorbike rider error leads to an accident, it can result in damage to vehicles, injuries to riders and passengers, and potentially even loss of life. In such unfortunate circumstances, understanding the process of making a road traffic accident claim becomes crucial. Whether you’re the rider who made the error or the victim of someone else’s mistake, seeking compensation for damages and injuries can help alleviate some of the burdens that arise from these incidents.

Gather Evidence

If you find yourself involved in a motorbike accident, it’s essential to gather as much evidence as possible. Take photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, and the damage to your bike. Collect contact information from any witnesses present. This evidence will be crucial when you file a claim.

Contact the Authorities

Regardless of the severity of the accident, it’s advisable to contact the police and report the incident. A police report can serve as an official record of the accident, providing objective details that can be beneficial when pursuing a claim.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries might not manifest immediately and could worsen over time. Medical records will play a significant role in demonstrating the extent of your injuries for your claim.

Exchange Information

Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident. This includes not only other drivers but also pedestrians or cyclists, if applicable.

Consult National Claims

If you believe that the accident occurred due to someone else’s negligence or if you’re facing difficulties with your insurance claim, it’s best to consult with us at National Claims, as we’re experienced in road traffic accident claims. Our claims specialists can provide valuable guidance throughout the claims process and ensure that your rights are protected.


As motorbike enthusiasts, the thrill of the open road is something we cherish. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the responsibility that comes with operating such powerful machines. Motorbike rider errors can have far-reaching consequences, not only for the riders themselves but also for other road users. By understanding what counts as a rider error and recognizing the potential pitfalls, we can take proactive steps to ensure our safety and the safety of those around us.

From speeding and failing to yield right of way to distracted riding and improper lane changes, each of these errors can contribute to accidents. It’s important to remember that both motorbike riders and other vehicle drivers share the road, and responsible behaviour benefits everyone. While fault can lie with either party in motorcycle-car collisions, prioritising safe practices and adherence to traffic rules can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents.

In the unfortunate event of an accident, the process of making a road traffic accident claim can provide a pathway to compensation and support. By following the necessary steps and seeking legal guidance from National Claims when needed, you can navigate the complex world of claims more effectively.

As we embark on our motorbike journeys, let’s embrace a culture of safety, mindfulness, and respect on the road. By doing so, we can continue to enjoy the freedom and excitement that motorbike riding offers while minimising the risks associated with rider errors.

Contact us and start your claim with us today and find out more about how National Claims deal with road traffic accidents.

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