Motorcycle accidents are a serious problem across the USA, with 4,612 bike-related deaths registered in 2011 alone. While many of these accidents were unavoidable, it is true that some accidents can be prevented by practicing proper safety tips when out riding. As such, here are three common causes of motorcycle accidents and how to prevent them:
Overtaking Other Vehicles
Many car drivers believe that bikers have it easy when it comes to overtaking, but this simply isn't the case! Overtaking can be a major nightmare for bikers, especially when they have to calculate whether or not it is safe to overtake multiple vehicles. Oftentimes, bikers make split decisions with fully analyzing the situation, leading to unnecessary accidents and the potential for serious collisions.
The most important thing when it comes to overtaking is to fully understand your bike's capability. By knowing the true acceleration potential of your bike, you will be able to make sound judgements without running the risk of injury.
Additionally, you should only overtake on an entirely straight stretch of highway where you can return to your own lane without impinging other traffic. Remember that the traffic behind you is just as important as that ahead of you; too many bikers try to cut out in front of cars that are also preparing to overtake. By keeping your wits about you and appreciating that your bike has limits, you'll be a much safer rider.
Negotiating Difficult Bends
This type of accident is one that involves no other traffic and really shouldn't occur at all if proper precautions are taken. However, navigating tricky bends at sharp angles does lead to a high number of accidents that are highly dangerous to the rider.
The main cause of these accidents is failing to appreciate the size and shape of the bend. Many bikers will approach a bend at high speed, failing to decelerate and putting themselves in a difficult situation. If you emerge from the bend and realise that the road wasn't as straight as you thought, your first reaction will be to press harshly on the brakes in order to control your vehicle. However, harsh deceleration coupled with your angular momentum going round the bend will likely be more than enough to throw yourself off of the bike.
The best way to avoid these accidents is simply to stay aware of your surroundings at all times. If there are no signs on the road showing a harsh bend is ahead, have a look at the trees road markings that run alongside the bend. This should give you a good idea as to the severity of bend ahead; however if in doubt always assume the worst and slow right down.
Cars Turning Left at Junctions
These collisions are by far the most dangerous as it is usually down to drivers' negligence rather than a motorcycle handling error. Typically, cars turning left are a major hazard to motorcyclists as the driver may not indicate or look in his mirrors prior to performing the maneuver. If you are attempting to overtake the vehicle or are travelling straight through the intersection, there is a high chance that the driver won't see you coming, resulting in a collision.
In most cases, the driver who is turning left is at fault for the accident and your case will stand up in court. However, if you are travelling in the wrong lane or riding at an excessive speed, the court may not be so favourable to your argument.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident that wasn't your fault, it's important that you get the justice you deserve. Auto accident attorneys are fully qualified law professionals who can help assess your case and quantify any damages you may be entitled to. As such, you should contact a professional lawyer from a firm like Hardee and Hardee LLP for more information about laws in your area.