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Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them

motorcycleIt’s Spring Time!

Longer days, warmer weather, bugs coming out to do whatever it is that bugs do, cabin fever in full effect , and, oh yeah, motorcyclists on the road. You’ve been cooped up all winter; casually strolling by your bike and waiting for this glorious time of year to approach, only to endure a disappointing first few weeks of spring [insert wrong answer game show sound effect here]. Well I am here to tell you that I have confidence that in the next two weeks, Mother Nature will give us spring back. So get ready to ride! But first, let’s take a look at the most common causes of motorcycle accidents involving drivers on the road, and how to prevent them.

Car Turning Left in Front of You

These types of accidents account for 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and a car. Most of the time a car fails to see you or judges your speed incorrectly, usually the turning car strikes the motorcycle when the motorcyclist is either passing a car or going straight through the intersection. Of course, there are several other reasons for this sort of collision happening, one of them being as simple as your mind playing tricks on you. Maybe some of you have gone to the fridge and opened it up and put your phone in the fridge instead of the milk [guilty]. If a driver is looking for cars he/she may simply only notice the absence of cars and not the presence of a motorcycle. Your best defense against this happening is that you just need to see it coming. Part of your job as a motorcyclist is to develop a sixth sense; you need to see danger where you usually wouldn’t if you were driving a car. You need to take something as simple as a car waiting to change lanes or a car waiting to exit a parking lot as an immediate threat to your life. The faster you learn to ride defensively the better off you will be.

A Car Changes Lanes into You

You’re riding in traffic, scratch that you are riding period. When a car in the lane next to you decides that, right at that moment, it would be a good time for him/her to switch lanes. There’s only one way to help you avoid a collision in this situation and that is, to keep in mind that motorcycles are much smaller than cars, making it that much easier for you to be in someone’s blind spot. You need to be aware of how different cars have different blind spots. A car’s blind spot size will be considerably different than that of truck. Know the blind spots and spend as little time in them as possible. Be extra cautious when you see situations that are going to favor lane changing. Chances are if you would change lanes; know that someone else is having the same thought. People are going to want to be in the lane that is moving at a faster speed. When riding, look for signs that a car is about to change lanes. A blinker, a car speeding up or slowing down, and my favorite tell-tale sign, a driver looking over his or her shoulder. Be aware of this at all times, and your chances of not getting into an accident will be strongly diminished.

A Car Hits You from Behind

You come to a stop, a yield, the car in front of you hits his/her breaks unexpectedly warranting for you to hit your breaks and come to speedy stop.  Brace for impact! This type of accident in a car would usually result in a “fender bender” meanwhile on a motorcycle, a “fender bender” can have drastically worse consequences. How can you avoid this? Instead of stopping in the center of the lane, try coming to a safe stop on the side of the lane if possible. When coming to a stop, pay attention to what’s coming up behind you. Use your side mirrors to observe the cars behind you, and determine if they are coming up too fast and could possibly collide with you. Always keep your bike in first gear and right hand on the accelerator in order to be ready to take action in a moment’s notice. Be particularly vigilant in situations where there’s bad visibility, bad weather, poor lighting etc.

When ridden safely, motorcycles are a great option to get around; they are fun, fast and fuel-efficient, and did I mention fun? As stated above, the key to making sure your experience remains enjoyable is to respect the road and remain vigilant. Being vigilant and wearing the right equipment will go a long way in helping prevent bumps and bruises or worse consequences that come along with accidents. Enjoy motorcycle riding responsibly, while you feel the pavement underneath glide on by.

In the unfortunate event that you, or a loved one, are involved in a motorcycle accident don’t hesitate to contact the motorcycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Mazow McCullough.

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