Top Ten Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
A motorcycle accident can result in severe injuries and, in the most serious incidents, death. Protecting yourself when you ride your bike is about more than just wearing the right safety gear; it’s about knowing how and when an accident may occur. In that vein, here are the top ten causes of motorcycle accidents and what you may be able to do to avoid them.
1. Car Turning Left
This is the most common cause of motorcycle collisions in the United States. You are driving along, and a car in the lane to your right decides to make a left turn. You may have been in the vehicle’s blind spot or the driver may not have been paying attention. No matter the cause, you end up hitting the pavement.
The easiest way to avoid this accident is to know it’s about to happen. Stay out of a driver’s blind spot when you can and look for any signs that a driver intends to turn. If you believe that a vehicle may be getting ready to turn left, slow down and get ready to brake in case you need to take action.
2. Debris in the Road
You’re turning a blind corner and come across a patch of sand, leaves or gravel. Your front tire hits the loose debris and you put your bike down. The way to avoid this is to not hit the debris in the first place. Follow the rule of slow in, fast out. Enter a corner as wide as you can so that you have a wider visual area.
3. Too Fast Into a Corner
At times, you are driving along not really paying attention. In truth, it has happened to all of us, whether on a bike or in a car. Your mind is simply somewhere else and before you know it, you are entering a corner too fast. You quickly realize that you aren’t going to make it safely.
Slow down. If you can’t do that, trust your bike. Hang off to take as much of the lean out as you can, and keep your eye on where you hope to end up. Don’t make any jerky motions, either on the clutch or the brakes.
4. Car Changing Lanes
You are on the highway and a vehicle changes lanes right into you. You have no option but to take the hit. Sadly, this can cause you to incur severe injury. The best way to avoid this type of accident is to remember that you and your bike can easily tuck into a driver’s blind spot.
If you can’t see a driver’s eyes in their side mirror, they can’t see you at all. Stay out of the blind spot and try to pay attention to any moves a vehicle may make.
5. You Get Rear-Ended
You’re sitting at a red light when, all of a sudden, you are flying forward over the handlebars. You’ve just been struck from behind. While this type of fender bender may not cause serious injury to the driver of a vehicle, it can result in devastating injury to a motorcyclist.
When you are at a red light, stay to the outside of the lane if you can. Try to get in front of another vehicle to create a sort of crumple zone. Flash your brakes by tapping on the lever repeatedly to ensure that the vehicles behind you are aware of your presence.
6. Bad Riding Partners
Riding a motorcycle in a group can be a great way to spend the day. Unfortunately, not all riding partners are good ones. Before you head out in a group, make sure everyone is aware of group riding etiquette and understands the best and safest ways to ride together.
7. Locking the Front Brake
Something darts in front of you in the roadway and you instinctively grab the brake levers, mashing them down. Now your brake is locked and you are going end over end down the street. Learn how to use your front brake properly. Start by practicing in an empty lot before moving onto streets with lower speed limits.
8. An Open Door
This is a danger for bicyclists as well. You are driving down a neighborhood street when all of a sudden a driver who didn’t see you throws their door open. You can’t avoid the collision. The best way to avoid this? Don’t drive next to parked cars. If you are forced to do so, leave at least three feet of space between you and the line of cars that are stopped.
9. Inclement Weather
You may have all the rain gear in the world, but it won’t save you if you don’t know how to drive on slick roads. Pay attention to the weather reports and stay out of the rain and snow if you can. If you can’t, keep your speeds down and remember that it will take you longer to brake.
10. Drinking and Driving
Driving while intoxicated isn’t only an issue for people in cars and trucks. If you are operating a motorcycle, do not drink. It really is that simple and straightforward. Nothing good can come of impaired driving and you are the one in control. If you do stop off to have an adult beverage, find another ride home.
The consequences of a motorcycle accident are often more serious for the motorcycle rider than they are for the driver of a car. While you can’t control other drivers, you can certainly control yourself and how you respond to situations. The best way to avoid an accident is to see it coming.
Contact a DeKalb County Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in DeKalb County and suffer injuries, you have legal options. If another driver was at fault, reach out to our office to learn more about your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more.
Don’t assume that you have to suffer financially due to someone’s negligence or error, and keep in mind that an insurance company may not have your best interests in mind. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.