If you love riding your motorcycle, you aren’t alone. Driving a motorcycle instead of a car can be an adrenaline rush and even a bit more economical. No matter the reason you choose to drive a motorcycle instead of a car, it’s important to understand the risk. Riding a motorcycle can be more dangerous than driving a car, simply due to its power and the fact that you aren’t as protected. When you know the most common motorcycle accidents and how to avoid them, you can keep yourself and any passenger you choose to have ride along safer.
Without a doubt, the number one cause of motorcycle accidents involving cars is when cars turn left in front of bikes. There are a variety of things to blame, ranging from distracted driving to a failure to judge distance.
Avoiding this type of accident depends largely on you seeing it coming. Look for signs that a vehicle in front of you may be getting ready to turn. Be particularly careful at intersections and in parking lots. If you aren’t sure what the car in front of you may be getting ready to do, assume that they don’t see you and slow down.
You round a corner and find yourself traveling over a patch of loose gravel, leaves or whatever lies in your path. Your front tire rolls through it and you find yourself laying down your bike. Like cars turning left, your best chance of not being in this type of accident is to avoid it in the first place. A good rule of thumb is this: slow in and fast out. That means slow it down as you get ready to turn a corner and hit the gas on the way out.
So what do you do when you enter a corner too quickly? While you shouldn’t be driving faster than the current road conditions allow, you may not be able to avoid this accident unless you simply trust your bike. Hang off the bike to take the lean out and try to ride out the curb. Let off of the throttle but be careful to not hit the brake too hard. In fact, you may be better off to not hit the brake at all. You don’t want to do anything that is going to cause your bike to lose traction.
It’s not always distracted driving that will cause a car to travel directly into your lane. If you are in a car’s blind spot, the driver may not realize you’re there. The best way to avoid this type of accident is to be aware of where blind spots are located and stay out of them. If you can’t see a driver’s face in their side mirror, they can’t see you either.
Be especially vigilant around big rigs. These trucks are virtually surrounded by a blind spot. Stay away from the rear of a semi truck and don’t cruise alongside its trailer. In fact, try to avoid driving near a semi altogether.
You stop at an intersection, look in your side mirror and see a vehicle coming up from behind that doesn’t appear to be stopping. You don’t want this to ever happen. If you are coming to an intersection and there is a car in front of you, pull in front of it if there is room. This will create a sort of crumple zone. If there is no car you can pull in front of, stay out of the center of the lane. Instead, pull over to the side of the lane and stop. Pay attention to any vehicles coming up behind you and get out of the way if you have time.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in San Luis Obispo, reach out to our team of personal injury attorneys for a free case evaluation and discover more about your legal rights.