It is a well-known fact that driving a vehicle on the road poses some inherent risks. Sadly, despite taking all of the best precautions, you may still find yourself in an accident. An unintended accident may occur in bumper-to-bumper traffic or out on country roads. Certain precautions should be taken when driving, especially if you are driving a motorcycle. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents happen often and may change the lives of you and your loved ones instantly. Annually, more than five thousand individuals die from motorcycle accidents. When it comes to fatal crashes, deaths occur in motorcycle accidents nearly 28 times more often than any other fatal vehicle accident. Therefore, being aware of the leading factors contributing to motorcycle collisions is a large part of motorcycle safety. As many know, it is riskier to drive a motorcycle than a car or truck. We have compiled a list of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents to help you stay safe on the road.
Almost 50% of all motorcycle accidents involve a left-turning vehicle that fails to see the biker when turning at an intersection. Drivers risk colliding with a motorcyclist when switching lanes without checking their blind spot. This can also occur when a motorcyclist tries to pass the car without the driver being aware of the cyclist. Although these accidents frequently happen with all types of drivers, they become increasingly dangerous between a motorcycle and a car. This type of accident can be avoided by being very aware of your surroundings and anticipating any dangers. Be on the lookout for signs that someone may turn in front of you. Watch for signs that vehicles may be inching over to your lane or waiting to turn at an intersection. If any of these signs occur, it is best to slow down and prepare to act. In addition, you should also look ahead to see clues as to whether the vehicle in front of you is planning to turn and if they have acknowledged you. You should also ensure that you slow down steadily and do not brake suddenly, as it is just as dangerous for a car to hit you from behind.
Cars switching lanes are another top cause of motorcycle accidents, especially when a motorcycle is in the car’s blindspot. If possible, avoid driving in the other vehicles’ blind spots by either speeding up or slowing down to remain out of danger. You should also look for signs that the car will attempt to change lanes by watching out for turn signals, wheels turning, the driver turning their head, or checking their mirrors. If you observe any of the above, you should be proactive and ensure that you get out of the car’s way.
No matter the vehicle you are in, speeding is the number one cause of all accidents on the road. The faster the speed, the less reaction time someone else may have to stop or slow down. Always maintain an appropriate pace when riding a motorcycle and adjust your speed in relation to weather conditions and traffic density. Be observant of other risks, such as other speeding motorists or haphazard pedestrians.
The highly unsafe act of driving between two lanes is called lane splitting. Unfortunately, many motorcyclists choose to take up this space between lanes instead of driving behind another car. Alternatively, a motorcyclist may decide to move up next to a vehicle to pass the car and get in front of them, which is highly unsafe. Although many motorcyclists may choose to lane split to weave around cars to avoid congestion or get to their destination quicker, it is a dangerous method that is a catalyst for accidents. Lane splitting inherently reduces the available space motorcyclists have to ride and increases their proximity to a vehicle. In addition, in many states, lane splitting is illegal. Often cars will not expect someone to be passing them in this manner and will not be anticipating it, as cars never lane split.
A rear-end accident will occur when a driver is not focusing on driving or driving too closely to the vehicle in front of them. When driving your motorcycle, you should always ensure that you remain a safe distance behind the car in front of you. Alternatively, if you suddenly stop or if the vehicle behind you is driving too close, you may get into a fender bender, which frequently kills motorcyclists. In inclement weather or low visibility conditions, it will be even more challenging for drivers coming up quickly behind you to spot your motorcycle.
Dangerous road conditions are another leading cause of motorcycle accidents. Dangerous road conditions include crumbling pavements, potholes, gravel roads, road obstructions, and construction areas. If you observe that the road is not fully paved or appears bumpy and full of potholes or other obstacles, slow down so that you will not lose control of your motorcycle. Severe injury or death can occur from losing control of your bike.
Unfortunately, alcohol plays a huge role when it comes to motorcycle injury and death statistics. Not only does driving under the influence put you at risk, but it puts everyone else on the road at risk as well. To avoid an alcohol-related crash, don’t drink and drive. Plan ahead and get a ride home from a partner or friend, or get a Lyft, Uber, or taxi. Paying for a ride is better than paying for a DUI or severe accident.
On occasion, there may be a defective part on your bike. First, ensure that you have regular maintenance done on your motorcycle and be on the lookout for any signals that something may be malfunctioning. Additionally, many manufacturers allow you to register with them to receive any notifications of recalls. Finally, suppose there is a defective part on your motorcycle. In that case, you may sue the manufacturers for any injuries the bike has caused.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle collision, your life could be changed forever. After sustaining any injuries from a motorcycle crash, you should first go to the hospital or see a doctor immediately. After you have received treatment for your injuries and wonder what to do next, contact Tatum & Atkinson: The Heavy Hitters today at 800-LAW-0804 or contact us online to receive a free case evaluation and discuss your options.