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What Is a “No-contact” Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle accidents often lead to devastating injuries for drivers and passengers on the back of the bike. Unfortunately, motorcyclists do not have much protection against the force of another vehicle slamming into them. But what about motorcycle accidents that occur without any contact with another vehicle?

Even though this may seem impossible, this happens more often than most people realize. “No-contact” motorcycle accidents are often the result of the careless or negligent actions of other drivers on the roadway. They can also occur due to hazardous roadway conditions. Here, we want to define no-contact motorcycle accidents and discuss how they can be just as dangerous as traditional motorcycle crashes.

Common Causes of Arizona No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents

According to data from the Arizona Department of Transportation, we can see that there were more than 2,300 total motorcycle collisions across the state during the latest reporting year. Unfortunately, these incidents led to 1,921 injuries and 160 fatalities.

When most people think of motorcycle accidents, they think of collisions with other vehicles. Yes, motorcycle versus traditional vehicle accidents often result in severe injuries, but there are times when there is no direct collision between a motorcyclist and another vehicle on the roadway, but a crash occurs anyway.

A no-contact motorcycle accident can happen in a variety of ways. Motorcyclists in Arizona face a higher risk of being involved in no-contact motorcycle accidents due to the very nature of the type of vehicle they are operating. The size, shape, and weight of a motorcycle mean that the rider has to maintain a certain speed and operate the bike in a certain way to ensure that both wheels remain on the ground and that they keep forward momentum.

If the actions of other drivers on the roadway compromise a motorcyclist’s ability to stay upright or maintain a forward motion, this can lead to a no-contact accident. These incidents usually occur in much the same way that actual “contact” accidents occur, but the motorcyclist reacts before the actual collision. The reaction can still cause an accident.

Some of the most common actions of other drivers that cause no-contact accidents include the following:

  • Failing to check blind spots
  • Unsafely changing lanes
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Violating regular traffic laws
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Operating while distracted by a phone or another device
  • Running through a stoplight or stop sign

No-contact motorcycle accidents can also occur if another motorcyclist, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian walk or ride in front of a motorcyclist. Additionally, poorly maintained roadways or obstacles in the roadway can cause a motorcyclist to need to take evasive actions to avoid a collision.

Examining a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident Scenario

In order to envision how a no-contact motorcycle accident could affect Arizona motorcyclists, we want to look at a potential scenario involving a motorcyclist and a vehicle driver at a stoplight.

Suppose a motorcyclist is going through an intersection and they have a green light. Because they have a green light, this means they have the right of way, and they do not have to stop. However, what if the driver in another vehicle coming perpendicular to the motorcyclist has a red light but does not stop because they are in a hurry. Suppose this vehicle comes into the intersection and the motorcyclist performs evasive maneuvers in order to avoid a collision. Even if the motorcyclist is able to avoid a direct collision, it is entirely possible for them to lose balance or control and crash anyway.

This would be considered a no-contact motorcycle accident.

Even though there was no contact made between the vehicle driver and the motorcyclist, it is very likely that the vehicle driver would be at fault for the incident. This is just one scenario of how a no-contact motorcycle accident collision can occur.