Idaho crash statistics released in December had some sobering news: In 2017, the number of motorcycle fatalities jumped 18 percent, while the overall number of motorcycle crashes decreased 4 percent. Some 44 percent of those fatalities were single-vehicle crashes.

In the spirit of encouraging safety among motorcyclists, we turned to our friends at The Advocates Injury Attorneys for details on the five common causes of motorcycle crashes:

1) Head-on collisions: These account for almost 80 percent of motorcycle crashes, according to The Advocates. "Head-on collisions are typically the result of drivers getting distracted, drivers trying to race past traffic signals before they change, drivers or motorcyclists passing on a two-lane highway, or driving while intoxicated," according to an article from The Advocates.

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2) Lane splitting: Sometimes, motorcyclists avoid traffic jams by going between vehicles in their respective lanes, according to The Advocates, but this also reduces the amount of time any of these vehicles has to respond to avoid a collision.

3) Left-hand turns: Left-hand turns are among the most common causes of crashes for both motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles. "This usually happens when cars don’t adequately yield their left turn to passing motorcycle drivers or when motorcyclists try to pass the car from behind who is waiting to make a left turn," according to The Advocates.

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4) Speeding: Some find it exhilarating to test the limits of their engine, but speeding comes with extra risk.

5) Collisions with fixed objects: As we mentioned above, some 44 percent of the 2017 motorcycle fatalities didn't involve a vehicle other than the motorcycle the victim was riding. "Minding your speed while riding as well as ensuring you’re never driving distracted can reduce your risk of this type of accident," The Advocates advise.

To avoid an accident and reduce the risk of serious injury, The Advocates suggest always wearing protective gear and staying mindful of common accidents riders have.

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Getting the right lawyer is integral to making sure that you get what you’re owed, so turn to The Advocates Injury Attorneys, who have been successfully representing motorcyclists for years. Learn more at idahoadvocates.com or call 208-995-2444 to schedule a free case review.