If you are a motorcyclist, motorcycle accidents are probably the last thing you would think about. However, it's a reality that every rider should consider. Motorcycle accidents occur out of nowhere, with very disastrous outcomes. The lack of any supporting side structure makes motorcycle injuries a lot more severe than in other vehicle accidents.
According to Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys at the Barnes Firm, "Motorcycle accidents are nothing short of devastating and often result in life-changing circumstances for everyone involved. Regardless of how responsible and safe the motorcycle rider is, all it takes is one wrong move or one distracted driver to cause a serious accident."
In order to avoid motorcycle accidents, you should be aware of the reasons that usually lead to such deadly accidents. We have rounded up the 7 most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Make sure to be watchful of these scenarios next time you are riding a bike.
1. Left-Hand Turns
This is one of the most dangerous yet common causes of motorcycle accidents, contributing to around 42% of motorcycle collisions.
Many drivers fail to see motorcyclists while navigating traffic on the road, causing such T-bone collisions. While making a left turn, the car typically collides with a motorcycle if it is traveling straight through an intersection or attempting to overtake it.
To avoid left-hand turn accidents, you can determine whether the car is turning or not by looking at its tires. Moreover, use your own turn indicators or drive more animatedly in order to draw attention to yourself.
2. Unsafe Lane Changes
Motorcycles typically have a smaller profile than other vehicles driving on the road. Therefore, other drivers often fail to register them. Motorcyclists risk colliding with another vehicle when they fail to check their blind spot or give a signal when changing lanes.
When you change lanes, do not depend on other drivers to increase the gap you're moving into. If you don't see a wide opening, it is best that you remain in your lane. Moreover, always use proper turn signals when changing lanes.
Speeding is natural for most bikers; however, high speeds can turn into a death ride. That's because motorcycles become unstable and harder to control at higher speeds.
The best way to prevent speed-related motorcycle accidents is to have balanced control over your ride. Regardless of excellent conditions or clear roads, never go beyond the speed limit.
4. Lane Splitting
Lane splitting refers to the action of driving between two different lanes of traffic. Many motorcyclists do this to avoid traffic, but it can lead to severe accidents. That's why this driving hazard is illegal in many parts of America.
You can easily prevent lane splitting by complying with the basic traffic rules. Make sure to drive in a single lane without interfering with the traffic flow in other lanes.
5. Car Doors
Many car drivers often fail to check their side-view mirrors before opening the door. It could get in an oncoming motorcycle's way, obstructing its path. Even worse, if the motorcycle does not stop in time, it could crash directly into the car door.
In order to avoid car door accidents, car drivers should always check their side-view mirrors before opening the door, especially when it is parked on the side of a road.
6. Inexperienced Drivers
New motorcycle riders are likely more prone to road accidents. Due to lacking the experience of riding on the road, they often fail to understand the dynamics of a motorcycle, which often results in dangerous accidents.
Motorcycle riding is a tough skill that may take time to master. As a new rider, make sure to follow all the safety rules on the road and always stay within the speed limit.
7. Hazardous Road Conditions
With a small structure and tricky center of gravity, motorcycles are more vulnerable to hazardous road conditions as compared to cars. Slippery surfaces, potholes, uneven road structures, and other unsafe conditions can cause very serious accidents.
If possible, avoid driving on roads with unfavorable conditions. Moreover, keep the speed low and be very careful when driving on such roads. Follow a defensive driving strategy, wear a helmet, stay calm, and don't be hasty.
There are many other reasons that cause motorcycle accidents, including roadway litter, unexpected stops, distracted drivers, mechanical faults, and more. These accidents can be really dangerous, resulting in severe physical injuries or even death. Fortunately, they can be easily avoided with proper training, safety measures, vigilant driving, and knowing how to respond to possible hazards.