We all know the basic safety rules—wear protective eyewear, a helmet, boots, gloves, vests, and pants. You take the classes necessary to receive your motorcycle endorsement and keep your eyes scanning for potential hazards. You believe you are safe, but then you aren’t.
You are cruising down the road a couple of miles from home, and the next thing you know you open your eyes to see ceiling tiles in a hospital. For the next several months your life focuses on recovery.
You are 29 times more likely to die in motorcycle wrecks than in a car. Why is this? What are the most common motorcycle accidents?
Left Turning Cars
One of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes happens when a car makes a left-hand turn in front of the motorcyclist. This accounts for about 42% of all vehicle-motorcycle collisions.
The accident happens with an automobile hitting the motorcycle when it is:
- Trying to overtake the car
- Passing the car
- Going straight through an intersection
To avoid this type of accident, try to anticipate the other vehicle’s movements. Watch for indicators the other driver is planning to turn in front of you. Their front tires will begin to turn or rotate as they prepare to move.
They may also do the final left-right-left head turn checking traffic. Another danger is a gap between you and traffic in front of you the vehicle may try to move between.
Automobile Lane Changing
A common accident is when a motorcycle owner is riding beside a car and the car moves into their lane. The bike may be in the vehicle’s blind spot, or the car driver is not paying attention. Make sure you can see yourself in the outside mirror of the vehicle because that means they can see you.
Try to not ride beside vehicles for extended periods of time. If you are in heavy traffic, ride an outside lane where you have a shoulder to provide you with space to maneuver into if necessary.
Indicators a driver may be planning to move in your direction include turn signals coming on, their wheels beginning to turn, they check their mirrors, and you see their head turn to look for vehicles.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
Lane splitting is illegal in many states, but in California is a popular practice. This happens when a motorcycle owner drives between the lanes of slow-moving or stopped vehicles. This causes many accidents due to:
- Narrow space between two vehicles where the motorcyclist is driving
- Vehicles not anticipating anything between them and the vehicle next to them
To avoid an accident, the most logical solution is to not do lane splitting. If you do, make sure there is a wide enough space for your bike to pass through without hitting side-view mirrors. Watch for openings in the stopped vehicles where they may be allowing another vehicle to enter.
All vehicles on the road must exercise road safety, which includes being aware of all vehicles around them. If you are the victim of a motorcycle accident, one of your first calls needs to be to a motorcycle accident attorney. They will concentrate on getting you the compensation you deserve while you concentrate on your recovery.
Avoiding Motorcycle Wrecks
You must always be on the lookout to avoid motorcycle wrecks. Remember that automobile drivers often do not notice motorcyclists because they are looking for larger moving vehicles. When you combine drivers psychologically tuning you out with your smaller size, you are a prime target.
We hope these road safety tips help the next time you hit the pavement to enjoy the wind in your face and bugs in your teeth. Until then, we invite you to check out our other blogs for more great tips.