How To Avoid the 10 Common Motorcycle Accidents
Thousands of motorcycle deaths happen every year in the United States. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics indicate that over 5,000 motorcyclists are killed yearly. When motorcycle accidents do not cause deaths, they result in catastrophic personal injuries that can lead to broken bones, paralysis, and traumatic brain injuries. The following are the 10 most common types of motorcycle accidents and how to avoid them.
- Car Changes Lanes. Drivers often fail to check blind spots or fail to signal their lane changes. As a motorcyclist always ride defensively and try to stay in a driver’s blind spot as minimally as possible. Always assume that a driver can’t see you.
- Car doors. Drivers often fling their car doors open without thinking into the oncoming path of a motorcycle. This especially happens when there is a gap between a line of active traffic and a line of parked cars. As a motorcycle rider, never ride between these two lines. This area is called the “Death Zone” for good reason.
- Speeding. Shockingly, half of all motorcycle accidents involve speeding. While you can not control the other drivers on the road, you can control how fast you ride. Maintain a safe speed, and drive defensively.
- Driving Under the Influence. Even more shockingly, almost the entire other half of motorcycle accidents are connected to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The 1981 Hurt Report was the largest study conducted on motorcycle accidents. This study indicated that accidents relating to driving under the influence were devastating to motorcyclists. As a motorcycle rider, never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and always drive defensively around motorists who appear impaired.
- Lane splitting. Lane splitting is when a motorcycle rides between two lanes of traffic on the roadways. This is a catastrophic disaster waiting to happen. Never drive between lanes of traffic. This practice is not only illegal in many states, but it is also highly dangerous.
- Sudden stops. Oftentimes, when a car rear-ends another car, it is called a “fender-bender,” but when one of the parties is a motorcycle rider, it can be deadly. Make sure to give space around your motorcycle to ensure that other cars do not run into you accidentally. Try to always drive defensively and even flash your brake lights to let drivers know that you are stopped ahead of them.
- Inexperience. Those more inexperienced motorcycle riders without official training are statistically much more likely to be involved in accidents. As a motorcycle rider always take every opportunity to gain experience through motorcycle riding lessons. Additionally, always ride with other motorcycle riders that are experienced and careful on the roadways.
- Left Turn Accidents. One of the most common causes of a motorcycle accident is a car turning left into a motorcycle. Drivers oftentimes forget to check their blind spots, or simply may not be thinking of motorcycle riders. Always drive defensively, and make sure to use caution when riding into left-hand turns.
- Dangerous road conditions. Other drivers are not the only reason for accidents. Dangerous road conditions such as construction zones, gravel, or objects in the roadway can easily take a motorcycle down and cause severe injuries. Make sure to avoid any dangerous areas if possible, and always drive as safely and slowly as possible.
- Motorcycle defects. Last but not least is the motorcycle itself. Manufacturers can make defective parts or components of a motorcycle that can lead to an accident. Always make sure that none of your motorcycle parts are recalled. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a website that monitors each safety recall. Visit it often to ensure that your motorcycle and its parts are as safe as possible.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Even with all the preparation, safety, classes, gear, and caution, accidents can still happen. If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident you may be facing medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering as well as property damage. Contact an experienced Columbia motorcycle accident attorney at The Stanley Law Group at 803-799-4700 and set up a consultation today.