Some Typical Motorcycle Accident Causes

Even though motorcyclists face numerous dangers out on the road, careful preparation can ensure that you’re ready for hazards and engaging in safe driving practices that can curb potential disaster.

Here are just a few of the most common reasons for motorcycle accidents:

  • Poor visibility-  A motorcycle’s relatively small stature can often mean that it gets hidden in the blind spot of other vehicles.  Many crashes occur because an automobile operator simply doesn’t know the bike is there.  To avoid danger, motorcyclists should drive defensively and know potential blind spots so that they can avoid driving into them.  Headlights should be used constantly to increase a motorcycle’s presence on the road.
  • Inexperience- Proper training can go a long way toward preventing calamity.  Knowing the limitations and capabilities of your bike, as well as your own abilities, is crucial.  Practice in familiar environs and learn all you can about your bike before taking it on a long trip.
  • Speeding- This is a chief cause of single vehicle motorcycle accidents.  Posted speed limit signage should be obeyed.  Drivers should also understand their own skills and be ready to slow down when road conditions warrant an increase in caution.
  • Lane changes- This means lane changes by the motorcycle or other vehicles that a rider shares the road with.  Motorcyclists need to be aware of their environment at all times, especially when switching lanes.  Knowing when other vehicles might potentially switch lanes is also critical.
  • Impairment- Drug and alcohol use are key factors in many motorcycle accidents.  Such substances make it difficult if not impossible to exert the physical control and balance necessary to properly pilot a vehicle.  Drivers and passengers alike should refrain from motorcycle riding if they’ve consumed alcohol or drugs.
  • Road conditions- Loose gravel, oil slicks, and scattered debris can all play a part in an accident.  Paying close attention to the road ahead can help you avoid these hazards and the potential accident that can ensue
  • Tailgating- An accident can occur when the motorcycle is driving too close to a vehicle in front or another vehicle is following a motorcycle without maintaining a safe distance.  All it takes is a sudden stop or unexpected maneuver to cause a crash.  To avoid such a disaster, motorcyclists should be one car length back from the vehicle in front of them for every ten miles per hour they travel.

Safety-conscious motorcyclists should be well-versed in the many common hazards on the roadway and know how to readily identify a potential threat.  For more information on motorcycle safety, please consult this free publication from the NHTSA.

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