7 Common Motorcycle Crashes and How to Avoid Them

Thousands of riders are killed and injured in motorcycle crashes each year. Motorcycle accidents often involve human error and negligence. 

Riders may not be able to prevent all accidents, but they can reduce their risk of injury by wearing motorcycle helmets, gloves, and other protective gear. They can also learn defensive driving techniques that can help them avoid a serious motorcycle accident. 

How to Avoid the Seven Common Types of Motorcycle Crashes

You might not be able to force everyone on the road to drive safely and obey traffic laws. 

However, there are things that you can do to try to avoid the seven of the most common motorcycle crashes, which are:

1. Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident

Other motorists failing to yield the right of way is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Left-turn accidents occur when another vehicle turns left at an intersection or turns left into a driveway, alley, or other private entrance.

Avoiding this type of motorcycle crash requires the rider to anticipate the other motorist’s move. Pay close attention when approaching intersections. Watch for vehicles in the left turning lane or the intersection and be prepared to stop suddenly. 

2.  Head-On Collisions

Frontal crashes are extremely dangerous for motorcyclists. Riders often sustain life-threatening injuries in a head-on collision. Riders can reduce their risk of a head-on crash by riding to the right of the lane and focusing closely on the road ahead. Reducing your speed gives you additional time to react if a car enters your lane. 

3.  Drunk Driving Accidents

Never operate a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You cannot stop other drivers from driving under the influence, but you can avoid this dangerous driving behavior yourself. DUI accidents are avoidable.

Just two alcoholic beverages can negatively impact your ability to operate your motorcycle. A decline in your visual function could result in missing a car turning left in front of you or a car swerving into your lane.

4.  Switching Lanes

Here, a driver changes lanes next to a motorcycle, causing a sideswipe accident. Riders cannot be sure if a driver sees them, but they can take steps to reduce the risk of motorcycle crashes caused by lane changes.

Riders should avoid riding in a vehicle’s blind spots. They should also watch for turn signals or the wheels on a vehicle beginning to turn toward their lane. If the driver starts checking mirrors or swivels their head, it could indicate they are about to change lanes.

Allowing for extra following distance between your motorcycle and the vehicles in other lanes can reduce the risk of this type of motorcycle wreck.

5.  Entering Corners Too Fast

Speeding while entering corners increases the chance of a motorcycle accident. If you are unfamiliar with the road, drive slower and watch for curves and sharp corners. Brake smoothly in curves and corners and never exceed the recommended speed posted for corners and curves.

6.  Rear-End Accidents

A rear-end accident may be considered a minor “fender bender” for two cars. However, a motorcyclist who is rear-ended by another vehicle may sustain fatal injuries.

When you are stopped, check your mirrors for cars approaching you at a high rate of speed. Flash your brakes often to make motorists “see” you on the road in front of them. Make sure you always use hand signals to let drivers know that you intend to slow down, stop, or turn.

7.  A Person Opens a Car Door in Front of You

This type of motorcycle accident occurs in urban areas where riders may be riding close to parked vehicles. Someone slings open the door into the traffic lane causing the motorcyclist to wreck. 

Avoid riding between parked vehicles and an active traffic lane. Slow your speed when riding next to parked cars and watch for signs that someone might be getting out, such as the tail lights going off or a person moving around in the car gathering items.

Do You Need a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Crash?

Motorcycle accidents can result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. A rider may sustain multiple injuries, including brain damage, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, road rash, and internal organ damage. The motorcyclist may require extensive medical treatment and personal care, all while being out of work and not earning any money.

Insurance companies like to blame motorcyclists for causing accidents. If the insurance provider demands a formal statement, raises allegations of contributory fault, or refuses to pay a fair value for your motorcycle accident claim, you may need to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer to protect your rights and best interests.