Can you guess what the number one cause of motorcycle crashes is in Utah? We will try to answer that question--and we say "try" because the statistics are somewhat muddled and dated.
Left Turns Cause Motorcycle Crashes
In 2016 the Utah Department of Public Safety Highway Safety Office states that nearly one-third (28%) of drivers who hit motorcycles were turning left. We suspect that when a motorcycle is crashed into by another vehicle it is because the driver of the vehicle is making a left turn--there should be no doubt about this.
Cell Phones Increasingly Cause Motorcycle Accidents
But this where it starts to get muddled. We have represented hundreds of motorcyclists in cases where they have been hit by other drivers--cars and trucks and semi-trailers. We routinely gather cell phone records of the offending drivers. In the vast majority of cases the offending driver was using their cell phone at the time of the crash. Even though we find this out the crash report by police (the DI-9 report) does not mention cell phone use at all. We suspect that cell phone use may be the leading cause of motorcycle crashes.
The National Safety Council found that 3,142 people died in distraction-affected crashes in 2020. Distracted driving includes all kinds of distraction--not only cell phones. Overall the hand-held use of cell phones while driving has actually decreased but the use--what the NSC calls "manipulation" of cell phones has soared. People looking at maps, vides, Facebook or whatever while driving has increased over 1300% since 2005 to 2020.
Please, try not to make left turns without looking and making sure motorcycles are in your path of travel. Never ever make a left turn while "manipulating" your cell phone.
Utah Bike Law is a law firm and its lawyers who ride represent motorcycle riders and their families across Utah including the counties and cities of Beaver, Box Elder, Cache, Carbon, Daggett, Davis, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Juab, Kane, Millard, Morgan, Piute, Rich, Salt Lake, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Summit, Tooele, Uintah, Utah, Wasatch, Washington, Wayne, Weber, American Fork, Beaver, Bountiful, Brigham City, Cedar City, Delta, Draper, Duchesne, Fillmore, Heber, Kamas, Kanab, Kaysville, Layton, Lehi, Logan, Moab, Murray, Nephi, Ogden, Orem, Park City, Price, Provo, Richfield, Riverton, Roy, Salt Lake City, Sandy, South Jordan, St. George, Tooele, Vernal, West Jordan, and West Valley City. Utah Bike Law and its attorneys are licensed to practice law only in the State of Utah and maintain offices in Salt Lake City, Utah. No attorney client relationship is established by simply visiting this website.