The frequency of motorcycle-related deaths in the United States has decreased over the last few years, but it’s still way higher than it ought to be. In fact, fatalities from motorcycle accidents occur 28 times more often than fatalities from vehicle accidents.
If you ride a motorcycle, it’s crucial that you take steps to stay safe on the road.
One of the best things you can do is to learn the most common issues that lead to motorcycle crashes. That way, you can make a more concentrated effort to avoid dangerous situations.
Read on to learn more about the most common causes of motorcycle crashes. You’ll also learn about the steps you can take to lower your risk of being involved in a crash.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
There are a number of different situations that can lead to a motorcycle crash. The following are seven of the most common causes:
1. Distracted Left Turns
Ask any motorcyclist (or any personal injury lawyer who represents motorcyclists) and they’ll tell you about the dangers of a distracted left turn.
Often, people in cars simply do not see motorcyclists when they’re making left turns at an intersection. Or, they may see the motorcyclist but misjudge their speed.
2. Turning Corners too Fast
Turning too fast around a tight corner is a surefire way to set yourself up for an accident. Many new riders make this mistake, often because they misjudge the tightness of certain corners.
3. Blind Lane Changes
If you’ve been riding for a while, chances are you’ve been in a situation where a car didn’t see you before trying to change lanes. It’s easy for motorcyclists to find themselves in a driver’s blind spot, especially on busy roads.
4. Getting Hit from Behind
Getting rear-ended isn’t just something vehicle drivers have to worry about. Motorcyclists can get hit from behind, too, and it’s much more dangerous for this to happen to a motorcyclist than to regular driver.
5. Locked Front Brakes
Some beginning riders unintentionally lock up their front brake when they’re trying to stop. The front brake is the most powerful component of your bike and has a dramatic impact on your speed.
6. Slippery Roads
As with cars, wet or icy roads are responsible for a number of motorcycle accidents each year. The likelihood of being involved in a weather-related motorcycle accident also increases if you’re riding around on a poorly maintained bike or worn tires.
7. Riding Under the Influence
Finally, riding while intoxicated significantly increases your risk of being involved in an accident. According to the latest data, 42 percent of motorcyclists who died in a crash were alcohol-impaired.
Preventing Motorcycle Crashes
Clearly, there are a lot of issues that can cause a motorcycle crash, and many of them aren’t in your control.
You can’t control what other people on the road do. But, you can take steps to make sure you’re safe and prepared in the event that they do make a mistake.
The following are some steps that will help you stay safe and avoid motorcycle crashes (or at least avoid the injuries they can cause):
Wear Proper Protective Gear
This includes long pants, a jacket, gloves, boots, and protective eyewear. You should also never get on a motorcycle without first putting on a helmet.
Make sure that other drivers can see you. Add reflective elements to your clothing to make them more visible, and use your headlight at all times, day or night.
Make sure you’re paying attention to other cars and motorcyclists on the road. Avoid riding while you’re tired or distracted. Focus on the road — everything else can wait.
It’s important that you’re totally comfortable and confident in handling your motorcycle. Enroll in a motorcycle safety class before you hit the road.
Avoid Riding in Bad Weather
Whenever possible, stay off the roads when the weather is less-than-ideal. Make sure your tires can handle wet or icy roads, too.
Never Drink and Ride
It ought to go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: Don’t drink and ride. Ever.
What to do if You’re Involved in a Crash
Of course, sometimes, motorcycle wrecks still happen. In the event that you are involved in an accident, you should take the following steps to prevent further damage and get the help you need:
Check for Injuries
Immediately after the accident, check to see if you’ve been injured. Take stock of how you feel and call 911 if you or anyone else has been hurt.
Take photos of the scene of the accident. Get pictures of your bike, the other vehicles involved, as well as your injuries.
Move Your Bike
Get your bike out of the road as quickly as possible. This reduces your risk of further injuries or damage.
Next, be sure to collect information from others involved in the accident, the same way you would if you were in a car accident. Get their names, phone numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information.
Call Your Insurance Agent
It’s important to reach out to your insurance agent as soon as possible, too. Be cautious about what you tell them, though. Avoid admitting fault and avoid providing specific information about the state of your motorcycle or your injuries until you’ve seen a doctor and a mechanic.
Call a Lawyer
It’s important to have a lawyer on your side.
This is especially true if your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company is hesitant about paying for the damage or covering the cost of your medical care.
A lawyer will advocate for you and ensure you get what you deserve.
Need Help Finding a Motorcycle Crash Lawyer?
There are a lot of steps you can take to avoid being involved in motorcycle crashes.
Understand the causes of these crashes and staying away from situations that are known to increase your risk of an accident is just the first step.
Sometimes, though, accidents can’t be helped, no matter how careful you are.
If you’ve recently been involved in a crash and need the help of a personal injury attorney, you need to make sure you’re working with an experienced professional.
Check out this article for some tips on hiring a reliable lawyer to help you win your case.