Motorcycles can be a lot of fun. There’s no replacing the feeling of driving on the open road as wind whips at your face. However, motorcycle accidents happen often. Because of these dangers, every motorcyclist knows some basic ways to stay safe when they ride. For example, helmets have been proven to prevent serious injury during an accident. Covering exposed skin by wearing a leather jacket is more than just a fashion choice—it creates a buffer between flesh and pavement. But even with these preventative measures, just like when driving a car, you can still get into an accident at some point while riding a motorcycle.
Here are seven of the most common motorcycle accidents, and some ways you can prevent them.
1. Lane Splitting
Lane splitting is when a motorcycle drives between two lanes, instead of sticking to one lane, usually during slow traffic or traffic jams. This is dangerous because the motorcyclist cannot easily gauge the distance between two cars, so they may struggle to maneuver between an unexpectedly narrow pass and get into an accident. Another reason lane splitting can be dangerous is that other drivers aren’t expecting a motorcyclist to drive between lanes.
The best way to prevent this kind of motorcycle collision is by not lane splitting. Traffic is frustrating for everyone on the road, so be a courteous driver. If an accident does occur, remember to collect all information, including the other driver’s insurance company and policy. Depending on the damage, you may need to consult a motorcycle attorney.
2. Left Turning Cars
A car turning left in front of a motorcyclist is one of the most common causes of crashes. The causes of these accidents can vary, but they often happen when a car goes straight through an intersection or when a motorcycle rider tries to pass a car. Motorcyclists have a higher risk of severe injuries in this kind of accident because their bodies are more exposed and vulnerable to impact.
These types of accidents often result in the car driver being at fault—especially if that driver hit another vehicle during the left turn. However, if the motorcyclist is found to have broken the law in some way—perhaps by driving under the influence—then assigning blame may not be as simple. Contacting a law firm would be the route to take in this scenario.
3. Head-On Collision
These types of accidents are the most deadly. A head-on collision occurs when two vehicles hit each other, straight on. When this happens to a motorcycle rider, it causes severe injuries and often results in fatalities. Depending on the speed in which the car and motorcycle collide, two things can happen: Either the rider will be crushed between the car and the bike, or the rider will be catapulted off the bike and land on concrete.
According to a motorcycle accident attorney in Orange County, 72% of the motorcycles involved in a two-vehicle accident were impacted from the front. If the accident resulted in serious injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury or even death, then the motorcyclist or their family should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer.
4. High Speeds
One of the thrills of owning and riding a motorcycle is the lure of speed. 33% of all motorcyclists that died in a motorcycle crash were in accidents caused by high speeds. Speed bikes are more commonly the cause of these accidents, as opposed to a traditional motorcycle. The majority of the owners of speed bikes are also young men under the age of 30. It’s statistically proven that young people are more dangerous drivers. The best way to prevent this kind of motorcycle collision is to drive the speed limit.
Another common motorcycle accident is caused by being rear-ended. It can happen quickly, without even noticing a car is quickly approaching from behind until it’s too late. A motorcycle rider could be stopped at a traffic light or stop sign, and all it takes is for another car to stop too short or not stop at all for the rider to be hit. The driver of the vehicle would be found at fault for this type of accident.
6. Taking a Corner Too Fast
Turning corners can be hard enough on a motorcycle, but taking them too fast can cause an accident. There could be gravel, dirt, or a patch of grass that isn’t visible before the turn, causing the tires to lose traction. If this happens, a way to prevent a crash is by trying to go with it and not slamming on the breaks. That’s what can cause the accident—not the loss of traction itself, but the motorcyclist’s reaction.
7. Road Hazards
It’s easier to spot hazards on the road when in a car. The driver has a higher vantage point. It’s easier to miss obstacles like potholes, man covers, or even debris in the road when riding a motorcycle. Slippery roads, construction, or even animals in the street all contribute to hazards that are more dangerous to a motorcycle rider than regular drivers. Accidents can be avoided by being aware of your surroundings.
The rules of the road don’t change just because of the vehicle you’re driving. Motorcycle drivers should still obey the laws, drive the speed limit, and be courteous to their fellow drivers. While you can do your part to avoid an accident, it may inevitably still happen. Be prepared with proper motorcycle insurance, and spend some time looking up local motorcycle accident lawyers.