7 Common Motorcycle Crashes and How To Avoid Them
You must exercise extreme caution when riding a motorcycle. Although virtually all types of motor vehicle accidents have the potential to cause serious harm, motorcycle accidents can be particularly devastating.
On a motorcycle, you aren’t protected by the steel frame of a car or truck. This is just one of the reasons motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than drivers or passengers of other motor vehicles to die when they’re involved in accidents.
Motorcycle accidents can take many forms. Some are more common than others. If you ride a motorcycle, it’s essential that you be familiar with common types of motorcycle accidents. This is key to knowing how to avoid them.
Left-Turn Motorcycle Crashes
Left-turn motorcycle accidents occur when drivers make left-hand turns in front of motorcyclists. In this scenario, a motorcyclist often doesn’t have enough time to stop their vehicle before colliding with the one turning in front of them.
How To Avoid a Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident
The best way to avoid this type of accident is to maintain a safe distance between yourself and other motorists and to look for signs that someone is preparing to make a left turn. These include:
- A car is apparently waiting to turn at an intersection
- Someone appears to be waiting to turn when there’s a gap in the traffic in front of you
- A driver appears to check their blind spot
It’s also important to prioritize motorcycle maintenance. You need to be confident your brakes can stop you in time if a driver makes a left turn unexpectedly.
Lane-Switching Motorcycle Collisions
This accident involves a driver colliding with you while switching to your lane. Sometimes, this happens because drivers fail to check their blind spots. It can also happen because motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, and are thus more difficult to spot.
How To Avoid a Lane-Switching Motorcycle Accident
If you can’t see another driver’s side view mirrors or their face, you’re likely in their blind spot. Slow down or speed up to get out of a driver’s blind spot whenever you’re in it.
You must also pay attention to signs that a driver is preparing to change lanes, such as putting their turn signal on or checking their mirrors.
It’s sadly not uncommon for motorcyclists to lose their lives when other vehicles collide with them head-on. You must be very aware of what you can do to avoid this type of accident.
How To Avoid Head-On Collision Motorcycle Accidents
The National Safety Council recommends guarding against head-on collisions by practicing the “Four Rs.”
- Read the road
- Drive to the right whenever possible
- Reduce your speed
- Ride off the road if necessary
Be careful when riding off the road. It’s still possible to be injured even if you avoid a collision.
Lane-Splitting Motorcycle Accidents
Lane splitting is the dangerous practice some motorcyclists engage in that involves driving between slow or parked vehicles. It’s something motorcyclists often do when traffic is stopped at a red light.
This is unsafe for various reasons. The close proximity of other vehicles and the lack of space for a motorcyclist to maneuver put them at risk.
How To Avoid Lane-Splitting Motorcycle Accidents
Do not engage in lane-splitting except when necessary to avoid another accident. In Massachusetts, lane-splitting is actually illegal.
Intoxication-Related Motorcycle Accidents
Driving any motor vehicle when under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely unsafe. Sadly, this fact has not stopped many from doing so.
How To Avoid Intoxication-Related Motorcycle Accidents
Naturally, you should never ride a motorcycle when intoxicated in any capacity. You should also pay attention to signs that other motorists are intoxicated. They include:
- Drifting into another lane
- Quickly speeding up or applying the brakes
- Coming close to striking objects or other vehicles
If you see a driver who appears to be intoxicated, avoid them, and report them to the police when you’re parked in a safe spot.
Corner-Turning Motorcycle Accidents
Maintaining your vehicle’s balance when turning can be relatively difficult on a motorcycle. Sometimes, motorcyclists are injured because they lose control of their vehicles while turning at corners.
How To Avoid Corner-Turning Motorcycle Accidents
Turning corners slowly is the best way to limit your chances of being injured. You should also check for any hazards around a corner that can impact your ability to control a motorcycle, such as patches of gravel.
High-Speed Motorcycle Accidents
The faster you operate a vehicle, the more difficult it can be to avoid a hazard on the road in time to prevent an accident. It’s no surprise that high-speed motorcycle accidents are fairly common.
How To Avoid High-Speed Motorcycle Accidents
Never ride a motorcycle above the posted speed limit. If a driver is speeding, avoid them and report them. You may also want to plan routes that allow you to stay on safe, low-speed roads.
Again, you’ll hopefully never be involved in a motorcycle accident. You can minimize the odds of that happening by applying these tips.