What Are The Most Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycles often cause a lot of anxiety among other drivers, who worry about all the ways that driving alongside them could end in tragedy – and they’re not wrong to be concerned. Though motorcycle accidents are down in recent years, they’re still 28 times more likely to be fatal than other motor vehicle accidents. These tragedies raise the question, what causes motorcycle accidents? A quick look reveals that the majority of accidents are caused by one of these four causes, and all drivers should practice due caution to keep our roads safe.
Drinking And Driving
As is often the case on the road, things go wrong when drivers don’t follow the rules, and actions like darting in and out of traffic or tailgating other drivers can put motorcyclists in danger. That being said, perhaps the most dangerous behavior any driver can engage in is drinking and driving. In fact, of all the motorcyclists killed in 2016, 30% of fatalities involved drinking and driving. Simply staying off the road when you’ve been drinking, then, is one of the easiest ways to prevent accidents.
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is poor visibility – but we’re not talking about rain or fog. Rather, about a third of accidents are caused by larger vehicles turning into a motorcyclist. This happens for a variety of reasons, including distracted driving, but often the cause is much more mundane: as Tate Law Offices, P.C. explains, drivers aren’t conditioned to look for these smaller vehicles and simply don’t register motorcycles when scanning the road. They may then try to shift the blame to the motorcyclist, despite their own negligence.
Motorcycles tend to appeal to thrill seekers, those with a need for speed, but you need to be careful when speeding along on two wheels since you don’t have nearly the degree of protection you would have in a standard vehicle. It’s especially important for drivers to slow down when entering a blind corner because you never know what will be on the other side. When drivers hit gravel, wet leaves, or other debris on a turn, the front wheel can slip and send you flying.
The key to preventing this kind of accident is to follow one simple rule – “slow in, fast out.” This allows you to see what’s ahead of you before you speed up again. Going fast is exciting, but you’ll be glad you took your time on that turn when you find a sand or gravel patch on the other side.
Stay In Your Lane
Finally, a significant number of motorcycle accidents when motorcyclists attempt to beat the traffic. Stuck behind larger vehicles, many drivers engage in lane splitting, in which they weave in and out of the lanes around the cars. Lane splitting is legal in some places, and impermissible in others, but it’s always dangerous. The cars could start moving at any moment and driving in this way means that you give yourself less space to navigate, put yourself too close to the cars, and doesn’t allow you to anticipate other vehicle’s movements. Stay in your lane and wait your turn – the traffic will start moving again.
Driving a motorcycle doesn’t need to be excessively dangerous. In fact, when it’s done right, it doesn’t need to be much more hazardous than driving a car. Unfortunately, a combination of carelessness on the part of other drivers and among motorcyclists themselves raises the risk factor significantly. If you practice safe riding habits, though, you can lay the groundwork for a better experience for everyone on the road.