In the event of a motorcycle accident, you shouldn’t wait to contact an experienced motorcycle accident law firm. These professionals can help you seek medical attention, understand the intricacies of your case—and if applicable—see that you receive any financial compensation you’re entitled to.
But preventing motorcycle accidents should always be your top priority. While there are thousands of motorcycle accidents every year in the United States, there are strategies you can use to prevent motorcycle accidents and stay safer while being able to enjoy the open road. Many of these safety tips are common sense.
Here, we’re taking a closer look at the common causes of motorcycle accidents and where they’re most likely to occur. We then offer a few practical tips that every motorcyclist should keep in mind before hitting the road.
COMMON CAUSES OF MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2018 alone. As most of these accidents involve collisions with motor vehicles, motorcyclists are much more prone to serious injuries due to high speeds and the lack of protection.
While each accident is unique, there are common causes of motorcycle accidents. Being aware of these factors can help you stay safe on the road.
1. Unsafe lane changes and lane splitting.
Just because a motorcycle can fit between two lanes of traffic, it doesn’t mean that you should navigate this narrow strip of road. Lane splitting is dangerous and even illegal in some states. Motorcyclists should treat lane changes as if they were a car and obey all pertinent traffic laws.
A major factor in all types of highway crashes, speeding is particularly hazardous for motorcyclists who have little protection between themselves and the road. Always obey all posted speed limits and don’t be afraid to go even slower if traffic or road conditions warrant it.
3. Sudden stops.
Stopping suddenly can result in a rear-end accident, especially if the driver behind you isn’t paying attention. Avoid the need to stop suddenly by keeping your eyes on the road and scanning ahead to predict any changes in the flow of traffic.
4. Driving under the influence.
Whether under the influence of drugs or alcohol, operating any type of vehicle while impaired is incredibly dangerous. Even after just a few drinks, your reaction time is slowed, ability to focus is deterred, and your decision-making falters.
5. Dangerous road conditions.
Unsafe road conditions, whether caused by poor maintenance or hazardous weather, are a common cause for highway accidents for any vehicle. If possible, avoid riding your motorcycle through hazardous weather such as rain or snow. If you’re heading out on a long road trip, look ahead for a reliable forecast that can help you avoid poor weather. Additionally, always take extra precautions when riding through construction zones or poorly maintained roads.
6. Left turn accidents.
Traffic intersections are a hotspot for motorcycle accidents because drivers often fail to check their blind spots when crossing through. This can lead to “left turn accidents” caused by right of way errors and simply not seeing the motorcycle.
WHERE DO MOST MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS OCCUR?
The roads are a notoriously unpredictable place and accidents can occur at any time. However, years of data point out that there may be a few common factors in the majority of motorcycle accidents and where they are most likely to occur.
In fact, almost half of all motorcycle accidents occur at traffic intersections and involve a motorcycle and a motor vehicle or truck. But why are intersections so dangerous—especially for those on a motorcycle? In many cases, it comes down to blind spots. A motorist may attempt a left hand turn at an intersection and completely fail to see an oncoming motorcyclist.
A car could also easily sideswipe a motorcyclist who is also attempting to turn left at the intersection. The high rate of these types of accidents highlights the fact that motorcyclists should never assume a driver sees them. Always proceed with caution, especially at an intersection, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
HOW TO PREVENT MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
It’s the responsibility of every driver on the road (cars, trucks, and motorcycles) to be aware of their surroundings and practice safe driving skills. By staying focused on the road and free of distractions, you can better predict changing traffic conditions, a sudden stop, or even an accident.
Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe on the roads and do your part to prevent motorcycle accidents:
- Never split lanes by riding between two cars (even if there is bumper-to-bumper traffic).
- Always obey the speed limit.
- Look behind you when stopped at intersections.
- Never operate your motorcycle under the influence (even if it’s just one drink).
- Always wear your helmet and safety gear.
- Wear bright colors (and reflective materials if riding at night).
- Never assume that a car can see you.
- Avoid riding during adverse weather conditions if possible (this includes snow, sleet, rain, or hail).
- Keep up with regular maintenance and repairs on your motorcycle.
CONCLUSION – HOW TO PREVENT MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
The roads can be an unpredictable space—especially for motorcycles. This is why it’s crucial to always be aware of your surroundings, practice safe driving habits, and make sure that you follow up with regular maintenance. While there’s no way to completely guarantee you’ll never be involved in an accident, these strategies can help prevent motorcycle accidents and greatly reduce your risk while on the road.
If you own a motorcycle in Colorado, hopefully you’ll never need to call a motorcycle accident attorney in Denver. But if you do, make sure you choose one with the experience and expertise for this unique type of personal injury case. Choose a personal injury attorney who not only has experience with motorcycle accidents, but who has a proven track record of winning these cases and isn’t afraid to fight for you in court.