Motorcyclists have long been at much greater risk of accident and injury on the nation’s roadways, with a fatality rate more than 30 times that of other motorists. Some of it comes with the territory—the freedom that you feel on a bike also puts you at greater risk of serious injury. But many accidents are caused by recognizable behaviors by other drivers. Knowing those behaviors can help you drive more defensively and may keep you safe. Here are the common causes of motorcycle accidents,
Failure to Look Ahead
The vast majority of car-motorcycle crashes (78%) involve motor vehicles that either turn into the path of a bike or fail to yield to a motorcyclist who’s turning. These collisions are more often than not deadly, accounting for nearly 60% of all motorcycle accident fatalities. Additionally, more than 50% of these collisions occur when the driver of a truck or car turns left into the path of an oncoming biker. Though the motorcycle has the right of way, many of the drivers questioned after such an accident swore they never saw the bike coming.
Roadway Defects or Hazards
In a car or truck, when you hit a pothole or loose gravel, you may spin out, but you can usually regain control without too much difficulty. It’s much more difficult on a bike. As a result, you have to pay very close attention to the roadway in front of you and be prepared to take evasive action, if necessary.
A controversial driving technique employed by many bikers, lane splitting accounts for a significant number of motorcycle wrecks. Lane splitting involves driving between cars and trucks, and essentially, between lanes of traffic. Many potential problems can arise when bikers lane-split. A motorist may make a sudden lane change or veer into the next lane. The biker may be in the driver’s blind spot, and may not be visible in the side or rear-view mirror.
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