Motorcycles offer freedom and adventure for riders wanting to experience the thrill of the open road; however, riding a motorcycle does come with significant risks. More than 5,000 people are killed in motorcycle accidents annually, some of which may have been avoided. Please continue reading to learn more about the different types of motorcycle accidents and some tips on how to avoid them safely.
Sometimes drivers make sudden stops to turn left without warning or use their turn signal. In some cases, the motorcyclist is caught off guard causing them to veer off to the side or crash into the rear end of the vehicle in front of them. To avoid this type of accident, ensure there is enough space in the event of a sudden stop and always pay attention to the surroundings and traffic on the highway in front of the rider.
More than 50 percent of all motorcycle accident-related deaths are caused by a motorcycle versus vehicle head-on crash. To avoid a head-on collision, it is best to follow the Four Rs from the National Safety Council:
- Reduce speed
- Read the traffic ahead of the motorcycle
- Drive to the Right
- If necessary, Ride off the road
Riding a motorcycle offers more flexibility than driving, allowing the driver to move freely between lanes. Freedom also offers more opportunities to speed without realizing how fast a person is going. When speeding on a motorcycle, it is more challenging to stop on sudden notice, especially when traffic in front comes to a halt. To avoid this type of accident, follow all posted speed limit signs and reduce speed when traveling in high-congestion areas.
Driving While Intoxicated
Drugs and alcohol can significantly impair a person’s judgment and slow their reaction time. Therefore, the best way to avoid a fatal motorcycle accident is not to drink and ride. Additionally, others on the road may be intoxicated and should be avoided. Signs that another driver on the road might be intoxicated include speeding, weaving, tailgating, and erratic driving.
Repetitive Lane Changing
When a motorcycle darts in and out of traffic, the rider is in danger, especially when maneuvering between parked and slow-moving traffic. Sometimes the space between vehicles is smaller than the rider expected, causing an accident when the motorcycle attempts to pass through.
Additionally, drivers who repeatedly change lanes to get through traffic faster put motorcycles at risk. With constant lane changes, drivers do not always pay close attention to their surroundings and may not see a bike in their blind spot.
Corner Turning Accidents
Corner-turning motorcycle accidents occur when a motorcycle makes a turn and contacts road obstacles, such as a pothole, water, sand, and gravel. The best way to avoid this motorcycle accident is to ride at a moderate speed and maintain proper balance when turning.
Car Doors Opening
When traveling along traffic and parked cars, there is a risk of someone suddenly opening their vehicle door in the motorcycle’s path. Unfortunately, this incident is common, occurring when a car door opens when dropping off a passenger or to see what is going on in stopped traffic.
Crashing into car doors is a difficult one to prevent, especially when it happens on the highway. To avoid this type of accident, a motorcycle rider should maneuver slowly through stopped traffic and keep an eye out for others in anticipation. When in a vehicle, look all around before opening the door to prevent not only hitting a biker.
Engaging in Dangerous Stunts
Motorcycle riders without proper training or experience who attempt to do crazy and dangerous stunts put themselves and other drivers at risk of being involved in an accident. Even if motorcycle riders believe they can do a stunt while driving on the highway, it is best to resist temptation. As the driver of a vehicle, if someone is performing stunts and risky maneuvers on a motorcycle, try to move over a few extra lanes or slow down, allowing the motorcycle to get far ahead to avoid hitting them.
Poor weather, such as heavy rains and snow, can cause slippery roads, resulting in motorcycle accidents. Poor visibility during heavy rains can also cause a problem, leading to an accident. If the weather and road conditions are too poor, it is best to pull over and wait for the storm to pass. Watch out for slippery roads from water puddles and ice even after the storm.
Those involved in a motorcycle accident and have sustained severe injuries should contact a motorcycle accident attorney for assistance. Regardless of whether the client was the motorcycle rider or the driver of the vehicle and regardless of fault, hiring a motorcycle attorney can help work with insurance companies, present the case in court, and ensure their client receives the best representation.