Most motorcycle accidents are caused by collisions with other vehicles. Fortunately, many of these accidents can be prevented. Although you are unable to control the actions of the vehicles around you, you can heighten your own awareness and be extra defensive while driving on the road. Rideapart.com, a website created by and for motorcycle enthusiasts, offers some common accident scenarios and tips for preventing them in the future.
1.) T-Bone Accidents
One of the most common motorcycle accidents occurs when a car turns left in front of an oncoming motorcycle. Drivers on the road sometimes forget to look for motorcycles and fail to notice them when they recognize an absence of oncoming cars. Whether because the car’s driver is inattentive, distracted, or otherwise cannot see the motorcycle, these accidents happen too often.
Prevention Tip: The simple answer is that you need to take responsibility and understand the oncoming car may not see you. Look for signs that indicate the car may be turning. Ask yourself: where are their wheels pointing? Are they watching you? How fast are they going? Slow down, concentrate, and get ready stop or avoid the collision. Watch out for gaps in traffic as that could mean somebody could be coming.
As you approach the vehicle, do not skid or slide to avoid the accident. “Your best chance of survival comes from shedding as much speed as possible pre-collision, and you’re going to be able to do that best with the bike completely upright, using both brakes.”
2.) Obstacles on the Road
Obstacles on the road are a lot more difficult to manage or avoid on a motorcycle than when driving a car. Stay away from the edges of the road, as that is where debris or roadkill can be found.
Prevention Tip: Slow down. This will help you avoid the obstacles in the first place. Maximize your vision by seeing the whole width of the road. Look at the whole picture, taking in as much in front of you as you can. “Vision equals safety equals speed.”
3.) Riding Corners Too Fast
While you are out riding, be wary of blind corners. As stated above, you may find that beyond the corner you could hit a patch of sand or gravel or other debris. But you also run the risk of misjudging the turn.
How To Avoid It: Ride at a speed where you feel comfortable reacting. You can speed up once you have rounded the turn, but be sure to slow down when going into it. If you find that it is too late and you have already hit a corner faster than anticipated, try to “ride it out,” or in other words, do not make any sudden movements, whether speeding up or slowing down.
4.) A Car Changes Lane Into You
When you are riding in traffic, it is common for cars to cut you off, and they may come suddenly from a different lane. This is not the time to get angry, but to remember that your bike is smaller and can easily get lost in drivers’ blind spots.
How To Avoid It: Be aware cars’ blind spots. If you are a motorcycle driver, you have driven a car before. Try to make yourself be as visible as you can. Make sure that you can see drivers in their mirrors. Keep your distance from other drivers.
Photo courtesy of: Dave_S