Victor C. Hawk | March 10, 2023 | Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle crashes can be extraordinarily dangerous – in fact, 80 percent of these wrecks end in injuries or death. There are several common situations that tend to lead to motorcycle accidents. Knowing about these situations can help you avoid them and stay safe on the roads.
Read on to discover the top seven common motorcycle crashes and how you can avoid them.
Often, motorcycle accidents happen because the cars around them aren’t aware of the smaller vehicles they share the road with. When cars turn left, they may not see a motorcycle that’s going straight through the intersection. In fact, a staggering 42 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents that involve another vehicle happen when a car is turning left.
The best way to avoid these accidents is to use extra caution when you’re going through intersections. Always keep an eye out for left-turning cars that may not see you, and never try to run an intersection.
It’s also best to avoid passing cars on the left through intersections in case they decide to turn.
Lane shifts also present a very dangerous situation for a motorcycle.
Drivers who aren’t as vigilant may not see a motorcycle in their blind spot when they get ready to shift lanes. They may change lanes into the passing motorcyclist, either colliding with them or pushing them into oncoming traffic.
When you’re passing cars, it’s best to use the same strategy that cars do when passing large trucks: if you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you. In fact, it’s best to make sure you can see the driver’s face in their mirrors if at all possible. If you are stuck in a blind spot, try to speed up or slow down to get out of it, and use extra caution when passing cars on the right.
Sadly, head-on collisions are the single deadliest type of crash for motorcyclists. These collisions account for 56 percent of motorcycle accident fatalities. A motorcyclist may be launched off their bike and hit the road or another hard surface, or they may be crushed by the force of the impact.
Experts recommend you remember the four R’s to help avoid head-on collisions.
- Read the road – Read the road ahead of you, keeping an eye out for potential hazards, including distracted drivers.
- Stay to the Right – Stay toward the right side of the right lane as often as possible. This helps you avoid collisions with oncoming traffic and can give you a potential escape route if a car does veer into your lane.
- Reduce Your Speed – If you notice a driver weaving or heading into your lane, slow down immediately. Slowing down by even 10 or 20 miles per hour could mean the difference between life and death.
- Ride Off the Road – If a car veers into your lane and you have the opportunity to do so, ride your motorcycle off the road. Moving off the shoulder or even off into the grass will be much safer for you than a head-on collision.
Practicing defensive driving and keeping a constant awareness of the road around you could help you avoid a head-on collision.
Lane splitting is the practice of driving between lanes of cars, particularly at stop lights or in stop-and-go traffic. While there are times this practice can actually be safer than staying in one lane, it must be used in the proper circumstances only. Lane splitting at inappropriate times can turn deadly.
Of course, the simple solution to avoiding lane splitting accidents is to avoid lane splitting. This is best anyway, since lane splitting is illegal in Georgia. It’s best to stay in your lane and leave extra space between you and the car in front of you.
It should come as no surprise that driving your motorcycle drunk can result in devastating crashes. Operating a car while drunk is a bad enough idea, but motorcycles tend to have lower margins of error and much worse consequences if you are involved in a crash. About a third of motorcycle fatalities involve the motorcyclist being drunk.
You should never, under any circumstances, ride your motorcycle when you’re drunk or buzzed. Limit yourself to one drink (beer, shot, cocktail, or glass of wine) per hour, and drink water between every drink.
Call a friend for a ride, use a rideshare service, or take plenty of time to sober up before getting on your motorcycle.
In some cases, a motorcycle crash may not involve another vehicle at all. Instead, these crashes are caused by loss of traction, especially when turning a corner. If your front wheel hits a patch of water, ice, gravel, or leaves, you could wind up losing control of your bike and sliding.
The best way to avoid corner crashes is to slow down, especially when you’re coming into turns. If you’re driving on roads you don’t know, slow down even more – you never know when the road might curve.
If you do find that you’ve gone into a turn too fast, stay calm, keep your eyes on the road ahead of you, and lean into the turn. Your motorcycle can handle more than you may think, and staying calm can allow you to pull out of the turn safely.
Perhaps the single biggest factor making motorcycle accidents more dangerous is speeding. Almost all the crashes we’ve talked about here could be made less dangerous if the motorcyclist was going even a little slower. Not only does speeding reduce the amount of time you have to react to dangerous situations, but it also makes impacts more devastating.
It’s best to always follow the posted speed limits, especially in areas you’re unfamiliar with. If the weather is bad or it’s dark, it’s a good idea to slow down even more. And make sure you slow down going into turns or any time a dangerous situation appears on the road.
Get Compensation for Your Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can be incredibly dangerous, and they are often the result of cars failing to see the smaller vehicles around them. Always use extra caution when going through intersections, passing cars, or turning corners. Never, under any circumstances, drive drunk, and remember the four R’s to avoid a head-on collision.
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident, you could be entitled to compensation. The Augusta personal injury lawyers at Hawk Law Group have over seventy years of experience fighting for the citizens of Georgia, and we’re ready to go to bat for you, too. Schedule a free consultation with us today to get the representation you deserve.
Contact the Motorcycle Accident Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and its surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.