According to statistics gathered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, 4,381 motorcyclists lost their lives as the result of accidents in 2013–the latest year data was available. When you ride a motorcycle, avoiding injury or possible death involves driving defensively at all times and anticipating what the cars around you might do. Being able to recognize and watch out for some of the most common motorcycle accident causes could help keep you safe on the road:
- Rear-End Collisions
Rear-ending a car while riding a motorcycle can have devastating consequences. Not only could your bike tumble end-over-end, resulting in you being thrown to the pavement, it could also throw you over the handlebars unexpectedly. Avoid this common motorcycle accident by leaving plenty of space in between you and the vehicle in front of you. Always be ready to slow down in case of a sudden stop in traffic, even if that means going under the speed limit.
- Driver Turns in Front of You
This accident occurs most often when a driver is heading toward you and attempts to turn left. You are either not visible to the driver, or they believe there is enough time to make the turn when there is not. Your best bet is to assume that a vehicle will take advantage of any gaps in traffic, and take evasive action accordingly.
- Open Doors
While this type of accident is most often an issue in urban areas where street parking in tight spaces is the norm, it is also a concern in residential areas and parking lots. In congested areas that have parked cars lining either side of the street, reduce your speed and increase your awareness of any sudden movements, such as car doors opening. Even in your most vigilant state, you might not be able to stop in time to avoid striking an open door. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney to learn about your options should you become injured.
- Fender Bender From Behind
A fender bender between a car and motorcycle can crumple your bike in seconds. If you are stopped at an intersection, be aware of what is going on around you. It is likely that a driver pulling up quickly from behind has not seen you and could crash right into you. Instead of stopping in the middle of your lane, stop to the side, making it easier for cars to avoid you. Keep your throttle hand ready to move your motorcycle out of harm’s way should you see a vehicle approaching you too quickly.
- Blind Corners Hold Surprises
Loose gravel, a tree branch, wet leaves. These objects all have the potential to cause you to lose control of your motorcycle. Be proactive and enter a curve–especially a blind curve where your visibility is limited–at a reduced speed. This allows you to gently swerve to avoid obstacles in the road, if needed. Once you have assessed the situation, you can gain a bit more speed as you leave the curve. Remember that each state has its own laws and regulations concerning motorcycle accidents, but it is always safer to wear a helmet, protective eye gear, and appropriate clothing when riding a motorcycle. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Edward & Kautz Law Firm at 866.795.5087 to schedule a free legal consultation. We are dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle accident.