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4 Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and How To Avoid Them


Automobile

4 Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and How To Avoid Them

For many motorcyclists, riding is enjoyable. And it deserves to stay that way. But because motorcyclists are more exposed than other drivers, the consequences of collisions and accidents are severe.

With that in mind, here are some common reasons why most motorcycle accidents occur and how to avoid them. 

Left Turning Cars

Many motorcycle accidents happen because a left-turning vehicle didn’t see the motorcycle coming.

Because bikes are proportionately smaller than cars, they are harder to see.

Motorcyclists don’t have a monopoly on this kind of accident. They frequently happen between cars, too. Unlike cars, bikers are significantly more exposed. That’s why, when a left-hand turning car hits a biker, the result is often severe injury or death.

How to Avoid Left-Turning Accidents

No one wants to become a statistic about biking injuries and fatalities. So, what can you do to avoid these types of accidents?

Unfortunately, you have no control over other drivers. The best thing a biker can do in this situation is to be extremely vigilant. Always pay attention to your surroundings. And as you approach intersections, always look twice. A car might claim it can’t see a motorcycle, but you should be able to spot an oncoming car.

Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Cars with lit indicators
  • Traffic gaps
  • Cars pulling incrementally ahead of you

Distracted Driving

Talking of vigilance, another common cause of motorcycle accidents is distracted driving.

Anyone can become distracted by their phone, and that’s as true of motorcyclists as vehicle drivers. The difference is that when cars collide, their drivers have more to protect them.

The distraction may not even be text or phone-related. You might be looking at directions or eating lunch. All these things take your attention off the road and make you vulnerable.

Preventing Distracted Driving Accidents

The only way to ensure you don’t lose focus is to keep your eyes on the road. That means never texting, eating, or doing anything except driving.

If you need directions to get where you are going, avoid looking at the sat-nav map. Instead, enable audio prompts. You may still have to split your attention between what your GPS tells you and the road, but at least you can guarantee your eyes stay on the surrounding traffic. 

Cars Changing Lanes

Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is cars changing lanes. When they collide with motorcycles, it may be because:

  • They don’t see the motorcycle in a blind spot
  • Change occurs without signaling

Avoiding Lane-Changing Accidents

There are a few ways you can anticipate sudden lane changes. As you watch the traffic, look for:

  • Drivers checking mirrors
  • Drivers looking over their shoulder
  • Wheels turning
  • Indicator light on

Another rule of thumb is that if you can’t see the mirror of a nearby vehicle, they can’t see you. That puts you in their blind spot. If that vehicle is about to change lanes, you must try to make yourself visible to the driver.

A biker can attempt to remove themselves from a blind spot by speeding up or slowing down.

Open Car Doors

A surprising number of motorcycle accidents occur from cars opening their doors. It sounds like the Loony Toons sketch someone forgot to write, but it has serious implications for the biker.

These car door-induced accidents happen when bikers ride too close to parked cars or a stopped car fails to spot a cyclist before opening the door. So, how can you prevent the accident from happening?

Avoiding Crashes Caused by Open Car Doors

Drivers aren’t trained to spot motorcyclists, especially not when legally parked. If you want to avoid this type of collision, avoid riding between parked cars and the nearby traffic.

It’s not safe and leaves you vulnerable to drivers who don’t see you coming.

Final Thoughts

Accidents happen. Even the most cautious biker can find themselves in a motorcycle crash.

When that happens, the best thing you can do is contact the appropriate lawyer to help you navigate the fallout.

But until it does, stay alert, avoid distractions and pay scrupulous attention to the surrounding cars. Hopefully, you stay safe and won’t need a lawyer at all. 


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