Road Rage: 4 of the Most Common Accidents for Motorcyclists

When the hot summer sun comes out, a nice ride down the road on your motorcycle can be just what you need to rejuvenate yourself. It’s just you and the open road. However, when your bike is the only thing preventing you from wiping out on that open road, you need to make sure to keep it in good condition and obey safety regulations. Motorcyclists tend to be at a higher risk for injury than other motorists when an accident occurs.

Across the nation, the overall rate of fatal motorcycle accidents increased each year from 2004 (4,028) to 2008 (5,312), Armen Khoshoryan, a distinguished Torrance auto accident attorney, says. About 24% of motorcycle riders killed in California in 2013 had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher (the “legal limit” in California). That compares to a nationwide average of 28%.

Here are four of the most common types of motorcycle accidents that you should know about and work to avoid.

Unsafe Lane Changes
When it’s time to change over to that other lane, you should always check your blind spot. Both motorcycle riders and car drivers are guilty of forgetting to check their blind spots before making a lane change. Many drivers will make the lane change very abruptly, which significantly reduces that amount of time that the driver in the lane they are switching to has to react to the unsafe lane change. Motorcyclists especially switch lanes quickly because their vehicles are so much more maneuverable, which can take a car driver by surprise. Always assume that drivers haven’t noticed you, and take extra time in signaling to draw attention to yourself. By taking a few moments to double-check your blind spot and signal, you can help to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents that happen each day.

Lane Splitting
The practice of lane splitting is defined as when a motorcyclist goes in between two lanes of traffic. This practice is commonly seen when there is slow-moving traffic or a traffic jam that is blocking the vehicles from moving forward. There is some debate as to just how unsafe lane-splitting is, as it does protect motorists from another, more serious accident: rear ending. Regardless of how you feel, be sure to keep in mind that many vehicle drivers don’t expect to have a motorcycle in the middle of the two lanes and end up driving into the motorcyclist as they swerve or switch lanes. It’s important to know whether this maneuver is legal in your state or not, so that in the case of an accident a motorcycle accident attorney can help you to make a claim.

Left-Hand Turns
When it comes to making a left-hand turn, many vehicles tend to overlook motorcyclists who are in the other oncoming lane. This results in a collision between the two and can cause some serious injuries. Drivers should do their best to stop and check the oncoming lane before making a left-hand turn, but as a motorcyclist, you cannot rely on their safety precautions. Motorcyclists should approach the intersection with caution as it’s harder for a car driver to see a motorcycle than it is another vehicle. Even waving a hand and hesitating before you turn can make the difference between safety and an accident. Being cautious can help to ensure your safety on the roadway.

Excessive Speed
While speed plays a role in the majority of both auto and motorcycle accidents, the injuries tend to be more severe for those on a bike. This is because the bike offers much less protection than a vehicle. Following the indicated speed limit can ensure that you can safely maneuver your motorcycle. This is especially important when it is snowing or the roads are iced over. Make sure to get the right season-appropriate tires for your bike. Feel free to ramp up the speed on open country roads, but be careful on highways and in cities. As fun as it is to go fast, remember that other cars and drivers pose a very real danger to you.

As a motorcycle rider, you know that your safety on the roadway depends on your ability to drive correctly. The above four problems are ones that you should be performing prevention tactics for so that you can better protect yourself. Remember that a motorcycle tends to be harder to see than a vehicle, so do your best to drive defensively and to wear the proper safety gear.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. She recommends for businesses to look into IT consultant companies near them. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan