Topic: Motorcycle Accidents
Although riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating, it can also be quite dangerous. Motorcycles are less visible for cars and offer far less protection that and car or truck. Additionally, motorcycles are often built for high performance and may outperform the capabilities of the rider.
Given these factors, motorcycle crashes are likely to produce severe injuries and death. The federal government estimates that per mile traveled in 2013, the number of deaths on motorcycles was over 26 times the number in cars.
To reduce the risk of injury on a motorcycle, riders should complete a basic rider course. They should also make themselves easier to see by wearing brightly colored clothing. Also, wear protective gear including helmets, boots, and jackets.
Common Motorcycle and Car Crashes
A car turns left in front of a motorcycle – drivers may not see the motorcycle or accurately estimate the distance of the motorcycle and may pull turn in front of an oncoming bike.
In an effort to avoid this situation, a motorcycle rider should get into the habit of looking for indications that a car may turn. Look for gaps in traffic where a car may turn and prepare for a car to fill the gap. Pay attention to cars in turn lanes or cars waiting to turn out of a parking lot. Watch for movement of the tires and be prepared to take evasive action into the safest escape route. This requires that you have been aware of your surroundings leading up to this point.
A car moves into the motorcycle’s lane of traffic – Blind spots trouble every driver. Motorcycles in blind spots are tough to see. Drivers may miss motorcycles in their blind spots and change lanes into an oncoming bike.
Motorcycle riders should avoid traveling in a car’s blind spot. If you can see the driver in their side view mirror, they can see you. Be aware of situations where cars may look to change lanes. For example, open lane or lanes traveling faster than others during rush hour.
Riders should pay attention to signals from the car that a lane change may be coming, including, blinkers and wheels turning, or a driver looking in mirrors and over their shoulder indicating a lane change.
Car hits a motorcycle from behind – distracted driving is a common concern. Drivers may be consumed in a phone call or texting a friend and may rear-end a motorcycle. Although this may be a simple fender bender when two cars are involved, this may be a serious accident when a car hits a motorcycle.
Motorcyclists may try to stop in between a line of cars to create a cushion zone and avoid a direct rear-end impact. If there are no cars to use as a cushion, riders can stop on the side rather than in the center of a lane. Riders should keep the bike in gear to move away quickly if needed.
In the event that a crash is unavoidable, attempt to slow down as much as possible before impact. Laying the bike down prohibits you from being able to slow down before impact. Hitting a car at 30mph versus 10mph can make a big difference in terms of the injuries that you sustain. Staying upright allows you to continue to brake.