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The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Looking At The Top Motorcycle Accident Causes

All motorcyclists know the pure joy and sense of freedom that comes with cruising on two wheels. However, it's essential to acknowledge the risks and be aware of the common causes of motorcycle accidents. By understanding these factors, we can take precautionary measures and ride safely on the open road. So, let's gear up and explore the most prevalent triggers of motorcycle accidents.

Left Turning Cars

One of the most notorious culprits of motorcycle accidents is left-turning cars. In fact, left-turn accidents make up almost 50% of motorcycle accidents, making this the number one cause of motorcycle accidents.

Picture this: you're approaching an intersection with the green light on your side, and suddenly, a car turns left right in front of you. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to notice or underestimate the speed of an oncoming motorcycle, leading to disastrous collisions.

To reduce the risk of accidents involving left-turning cars, always approach intersections with caution. Slow down and be prepared to brake if necessary. Maintain a conspicuous riding position and use your headlights, even during the day, to increase visibility. Make eye contact with drivers waiting to turn left to ensure they see you. Additionally, anticipate drivers' actions by looking for signs they may turn, such as wheels turning or drivers glancing over their shoulders. Being proactive and vigilant at intersections can save you from potential collisions.

Lane Switching

Lane switching can be a real hazard for motorcyclists. Oftentimes, drivers fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes, putting us at risk of getting sideswiped.

To avoid lane-switching accidents, when riding in traffic, stay in a lane position where you are most visible to drivers. Avoid riding in their blind spots, especially during peak traffic hours. Signal your intentions early and clearly when changing lanes, giving drivers plenty of notice. Make use of your motorcycle's horn as an additional alert when necessary. Defensive riding is key; assume that drivers might not see you and be prepared to react quickly if they suddenly switch lanes without signaling.

A Car Rear Ends You

Being rear-ended by a car is no fun, especially when you're on a motorcycle. A sudden stop by the vehicle ahead might not give you enough time to brake effectively.

To avoid these accidents, keeping a safe following distance between you and the vehicle ahead is crucial. Allow enough space to give you ample time to brake or maneuver in case of sudden stops. When stopped at a traffic light or in congested traffic, keep an eye on your rearview mirrors and be prepared to move out of the way if a vehicle is approaching too quickly. Applying your brake lights and hand signals early can help alert drivers behind you to your intentions.

A Car Hits You Head-On

The thought of a head-on collision is terrifying, but sadly, it's a reality for some motorcyclists. These accidents often occur when a car crosses into the oncoming lane, directly into the path of an unsuspecting rider.

Defensive riding is paramount to avoid head-on collisions. Stay within the speed limit and maintain a safe following distance to give yourself time to react to unexpected situations. On winding roads or blind curves, stay in your lane and avoid risky passing maneuvers. Always assume that oncoming drivers might not see you, especially during low-light conditions, and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting, the practice of riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic, can be a contentious topic. While it may be legal in some places, it poses significant risks. Drivers might not expect a motorcycle to pass between them, leading to sudden lane changes or door openings.

If lane splitting is legal in your area, exercise extreme caution when doing so. Ride at a speed that is not significantly faster than the surrounding traffic and stay within a safe speed limit. Be mindful of drivers' blind spots and avoid lane splitting next to large vehicles like trucks and buses. Keep an eye on the traffic ahead and be prepared to merge back into a lane if it becomes unsafe to continue splitting.

A Car Opens Their Door In Front Of You

Ever had a car door unexpectedly swing open right in your path? It's a classic situation where a driver doesn't check their mirrors or look out for motorcyclists before opening their door.

Always give parked cars a wide berth to avoid potential door-opening surprises. Leave enough space between you and the parked cars, and keep an eye on the driver's side mirrors. If you notice someone inside a parked car, be prepared for a potential door opening and adjust your speed and position accordingly.

Riding Under the Influence

We all love a good time, but riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a recipe for disaster. Impairments from substances can affect your judgment, reaction time, and coordination, significantly increasing the likelihood of accidents.

The simplest and safest solution is to never ride your motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you plan on drinking or using substances, always designate a sober friend or arrange for alternative transportation to get you home safely. Being sober and alert is essential to react swiftly to potential dangers on the road.

Weather-Related Accidents

Mother Nature can throw us some curveballs, and riding in adverse weather conditions can be tricky. Slippery roads, reduced visibility, and unpredictable winds make riding riskier. Consider waiting for the weather to clear up or take extra precautions, such as reducing speed and increasing following distance, when riding in unfavorable conditions.

Check weather forecasts before heading out and plan your rides accordingly. If possible, avoid riding during severe weather conditions. When caught in unexpected bad weather, slow down and increase your following distance to give yourself more time to react. Be gentle with your brakes and throttle to maintain traction on slippery surfaces.

Hazardous Road Conditions

Potholes, loose gravel, and uneven surfaces can quickly become a nightmare for motorcyclists. These hazards can cause loss of control and lead to accidents.

Scanning the road ahead is essential to spot hazardous road conditions early. Reduce your speed when approaching construction zones or areas with loose gravel and potholes. Stay away from the center of the lane where oil and debris tend to accumulate. Keeping your tires in good condition and maintaining proper tire pressure will also help improve your motorcycle's grip on the road.

Speeding and Reckless Riding

We all enjoy a bit of speed and excitement on our motorcycles, but reckless riding is never worth the risk. Excessive speed reduces your reaction time and limits your ability to handle unexpected situations.

Adhere to posted speed limits and ride at a pace that is safe and comfortable for the road conditions. Avoid tailgating other vehicles and allow yourself enough space to react to sudden stops. Practice self-discipline and avoid aggressive riding behavior. Remember, the thrill of riding can still be experienced responsibly.

Motorcycle Defects and Malfunctions

Even the most well-maintained motorcycles can experience defects or malfunctions that compromise safety. Regularly maintain your motorcycle by following the manufacturer's recommended service schedule. Pay attention to any unusual sounds, vibrations, or handling issues and have them promptly checked by a qualified mechanic. Periodically inspect your motorcycle's brakes, tires, lights, and other essential components to ensure they are in good working order.

Contact Curan & Ahlers Today For A Free Case Consultation

In the unfortunate event that you find yourself in a motorcycle accident, it's essential to have the right legal representation. At Curan & Ahlers, we specialize in motorcycle accident cases and are here to help you navigate through the complexities of legal processes. Don't hesitate to reach out for a free case consultation.

Remember, riders, staying safe on the road is paramount. By being aware of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents and taking necessary precautions, we can reduce the risks and enjoy our rides to the fullest. Ride defensively, stay visible, and always prioritize safety. Let's make the roads safer for everyone!

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