Motorcyclists are five times as likely to be involved in a crash than persons driving cars. Even more shocking, the rate of motorcycle fatalities is 3500% greater than car crash fatalities. Given the risk of driving a motorcycle, it’s vital that all drivers understand the causes of such accidents so that they can protect themselves from harm. By understanding these five common crash causes, you can avoid becoming a statistic.
- Changing Lanes: This can occur when a motorcycle is positioned in another automobile’s blind spot or when other vehicles fail to see that a motorcycle is about to change lanes. Motorcyclists are also at risk when they engage in lane splitting, which involves going between two lanes packed with stopped vehicles. Because lane changes lead to so many accidents, alertness is key to preventing disaster.
- Left Turns: Accidents typically may take place when a left-turning vehicle doesn’t see the motorcycle in the left-hand lane. This can occur at an intersection as a motorcyclist enters or attempts to pass a vehicle. To avoid danger, keep your distance and reduce your speed when coming upon any intersection.
- Head-on Collisions: Because of the force of such impacts, motorcyclists are often forced to endure severe injuries, and too often, these injuries prove fatal. Keep your speed in check and drive defensively to minimize the chance of such a collision.
- Speeding: It should go without saying that driving at high speeds increases the chance of disaster. Even posted speed limits could be too high if the rider doesn’t have experience, isn’t familiar with the motorcycle they’re currently piloting, or inclement weather or other hazards have compromised road conditions. Drive at reasonable speeds to mitigate the dangers of the highway.
- Chemical substances: Disappointing because of how easy such incidents are to avoid, drugs and alcohol are the catalyst for many motorcycle crashes. A motorcyclist is hindered severely by such substances, and drunk or drug-using passengers might pose a threat even if the motorcyclist is clean and sober. An inebriated passenger can throw a bike off-balance and cause an accident. If you or a potential passenger consumed alcohol or used any sort of recreational drug, then avoid hopping aboard a motorcycle.
By understanding these common causes of motorcycle accidents, you can prepare yourself to avoid such incidents. Safety should be every motorcyclist’s goal. Proactivity, alertness, and keeping informed can go a long way toward protecting both yourself and those motorists who share the road with you.
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