That exhilarating feeling of freedom you feel while riding a motorcycle is due in large part to the very things that make riding dangerous. For example, your tremendous acceleration is due to your light weight compared to your engine power. That light weight means you bear the brunt of injury when colliding with a two ton car. Your exceptional maneuverability is possible because of your two wheels. This makes you less stable than four-wheeled vehicles and vulnerable to potholes and small road debris. That wonderful unencumbered feeling comes from your lack of a protective cage, seat belt, and airbag. Their absence increase the risk of a serious injury or fatality in an accident.
There is no doubt that riding a motorcycle has its dangers, and the most you can do is ride defensively and watch for common hazards that cause motorcycle accidents. Here are four of them:
- Cars cutting you off at intersections. Motorists are often distracted and don’t notice motorcycles because of their small size. This is why it’s not uncommon for them to make a left turn at intersections and cut you off as you’re driving through from the opposite direction. When going through intersections, assume the motorists can’t see you and ride accordingly. Slow down and be prepared to stop or take evasive action.
- Bad weather. Wet pavement reduces your tires’ traction with the road. This means you can’t lean hard when making turns or brake hard without landing on the pavement. Therefore, making a last second emergency maneuver to avoid an accident is not an option. Slow down, increase your following distance, and look further down the road. This allows you to spot dangers in advance and plan accordingly instead of relying on quick reactions to get you out of trouble. If you’re in the mountains, lightning often accompanies bad weather. Get inside a building with plumbing and an electrical system. These will channel a lightning bolt safely to the ground. Other types of shelters (other than inside a car or truck) are not safe.
- Cars changing lanes. Motorists often don’t signal or check their blind spots when lane changing. Avoid lingering in a lane beside a car on multilane roads. When passing a car, ride on the far side of the lane to its left. Pass it quickly and stay aware of the car’s movements.
- Getting rear ended. This can happen when stopping at any intersection. Be especially alert at toll gates when motorists behind you are busy looking for toll money instead of looking at the road. Allow plenty of room for a quick escape and pay attention to the traffic behind you.
If you were injured in an accident by a negligent motorist, don’t hesitate to contact us at Hogan Injury.