Accidents involving motorcycles are hazardous because they frequently result in severe injuries or death. Because you have no surrounding protective structure other vehicles have, you’re at a greater risk of suffering severe or fatal injuries when you’re involved in an accident.
Motorcyclists are prone to this high risk. Therefore, if you’re riding a motorcycle, don’t be in a rush to take your eyes off the road to make a phone call.
The statistics on motorcycle accidents alone should convince any motorcyclist to learn about the common causes of motorcycle accidents and be prepared against them. But, many accidents are due to the negligent driving of other motorists on the road.
The number one cause of motorcycle injuries or death is failing to wear a helmet. However, many other reasons, such as speeding, riding without a license, and distractions (texting, talking on the cell phone), are just as dangerous.
Here are some causes of motorcycle accidents
Poor or zero visibility
Many drivers just don’t see motorcyclists, so they fail to notice the motorcycle until it’s too late and they crash into the rider. The reason is that there are so few motorcycles on the roads compared to cars, so the drivers aren’t accustomed to the visual difference of a bike.
Motorcycles are difficult to see on the road because of their size (compared to a car or truck), glare, being obscured by another vehicle, or simply not paying attention. The intersections are dangerous for motorcyclists.
Even the most skilled, safe motorcycle rider can’t avoid an accident if the other drivers on the road don’t see them.
Vehicles making a left-hand turn
When it comes to motorcycles, the most dangerous situation they’ll ever be in is when they run into cars making left-hand turns. That’s the second biggest cause of motorcycle accidents, accounting for almost 40%.
Motorcycle drivers are more likely to be involved in a crash when they follow behind a vehicle, drive faster than the other vehicle, or pass it. Car drivers tend to be more cautious around motorcycles because they know their chances of being hit are higher, but that’s not always the case.
A left-hand turn-related accident is likely to be blamed on the vehicle’s driver.
This is a deadly problem for bikers. It’s effortless for an SUV or other vehicle to easily navigate rough roads. Still, it is a very fatal problem for a motorcycle because they are more vulnerable to dangerous road conditions.
For the sake of their passengers, motorcycle riders must pay extra attention to the road conditions because motorcycles are much smaller and less stable than passenger vehicles.
Head-On Crashes Between A Motorcycle and Other Vehicle Make Up 56% Of Death From Motorcycle Accidents. 78% Of These Accidents Are Head-On Collisions. Many of these are fatal. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the motorcycle rider could be killed or thrown through the air.
Suppose your motorcycle hits another object at high speed. It is much more likely to go out of control, making it difficult to predict precisely how the situation will turn out for the driver.
Lane splitting is when a motorcycle is sandwiched by two cars on two separate lanes. Because the bike is so close to other vehicles, it has less space to maneuver around the cars. The cars do not expect a motorcycle to pass them in a traffic jam. This can easily lead to an accident.
It may appear that motorcycle riders always cause accidents, but this depends on their state’s lane-splitting laws.
Alcohol and drug use, speeding, and reckless driving
Any irresponsible behavior on the road is an accident waiting to happen. Coupled with alcohol and drug use, speeding, and reckless driving or riding, you have a perfect recipe for disaster. Accidents are even more likely to happen if the motorcycle or other vehicle is driving distractedly or aggressively.
A few motorcycle enthusiasts love reaching dangerously high speeds, especially if they own high-end supersport bikes. This isn’t safe.
A cornering motorcycle accident can be very dangerous for the bike’s personality. Motorcycles are built to have a lot of control over their surroundings. Still, it might be challenging to alter your trajectory while going around a steep bend.
Road debris is effortless to hit when you’re rounding a corner, so you need to be careful when driving on roads you haven’t gone before. It’s also easy to overestimate the tightness of a bend, mainly if you’ve never driven on the road before.
When riding a motorcycle, this accident can happen unexpectedly. You must be aware of the dangers of riding a bike and take proper precautions to avoid them.
Avoiding motorcycle accidents
You can take various things to stay safe on the road if you don’t want your relaxing weekend ride to turn into a fight for life.
1. Be a defensive rider. Indeed, you don’t want to be the one causing an accident, but you don’t want to get hit by another driver, either. Be aware of what is happening around you, pay attention to the traffic, and avoid being the first person in the situation.
2. Be aware of your surroundings. Know what is around you and what the road conditions are like. Are there any obstacles that you need to be mindful of? Are there any other vehicles that are speeding or driving erratically?
3. Slow down. It’s easier to stop your motorcycle when you have a controlled speed. It’s also easier to react to situations that might surprise you. Therefore, you will be safer if you slow down.
4. Know the road. You should be familiar with the road you’re driving on. You should know the speed limits, what the traffic is like, and what is in the way of your route. If you have never been on the road before, you should learn about it before taking to the streets.
5. Be careful. You need to watch for cars, other vehicles, pedestrians, and animals on the road. Pay close attention to your surroundings and keep an eye out for potential threats.
6. Watch out for road hazards. These include potholes, debris, animals, and other vehicles. If you don’t see something, don’t assume it’s safe.
7. Wear proper and complete riding gear; wear a helmet, gloves, booths, jacket, riding jeans.
8. Get yourself insured. Accidents can happen anytime. As such, insurance is critical. It’s great to have, but you never want to use it. You’ll be glad you have it when the time comes.
9. Avoid aggressive riding and overspeeding. Surprisingly, many riders think that these things are acceptable and even necessary. They aren’t. These are bad for you, your passengers, and others. More importantly, avoid riding under the influence.
10. Be careful when you ride at night. It’s easier to see other vehicles, people, and obstacles at night. Your bike should be equipped with lights and reflectors if you ride at night.
Riding a motorcycle is a great way to get around. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s fun. Unfortunately, it’s also dangerous.
Be aware of the dangers of motorcycles and do your best to avoid them. This will make your ride safer, and you’ll be able to enjoy it. On the contrary, if you ride recklessly, you might have a fatal accident.
Safety on the road is a conscious decision and effort of everyone involved. However, considering that you are a motorcycle rider without any shield to protect you from impact, you have to make the best effort to avoid an accident.
On the whole, the more you know about riding, the safer you’ll be.