Motorcycles are a fun way to get around, giving riders a sense of freedom they won’t find in a car. Riding a motorcycle, however, can be dangerous. Motorcyclists need to be hyperaware of their surroundings, protecting themselves from their own mistakes as well as the mistakes of others.
Here are some of the most common motorcycle accidents, and ways to avoid them.
Lane Splitting and Sharing
Many motorcycle accidents involve lane splitting and lane sharing.
Lane sharing is a potentially dangerous practice that involves two motorcyclists riding side by side in the same lane. While it is legal in Maryland, it is a maneuver best left to experienced motorcyclists.
Lane splitting involves riding the bike between two vehicles in traffic in an attempt to pass them. It is a dangerous practice, and it is illegal in Maryland.
When lane sharing, always ensure there is enough room between you and your partner as well as between your bikes and other vehicles.
Part of the draw of motorcycles is the social aspect, with weekend warriors heading to favorite restaurants and bars. Unfortunately, this can lead to drunk driving. Motorcycles do not provide any physical protection for the rider, meaning that accidents are far more likely to be serious or even fatal.
Limit yourself to one drink per hour, and set a hard stop on alcohol after three drinks. To keep everyone safer, consider having a designated driver with a car available. If you suspect you may be impaired, call Uber or Lyft.
Some motorcyclists can’t resist the urge to drive fast, and lightweight sportbikes make it even harder to resist. Sports motorcycles are four times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than their more traditional, heavier counterparts.
Make sure to pay attention to posted speed limits, and know your bike’s limitations. A lightweight bike may be more likely to slide at high speeds, for instance, but are easier to control than heavier models. Traffic, rain, and weather concerns should always be factored into your speed.
Head-on collisions are frequently fatal for the motorcyclist. Drivers can be catapulted from the bike onto a hard surface, dragged, or crushed by the other vehicle and vehicles passing by.
To avoid head-on collisions, make sure you are visible with reflective clothing, that your headlight is on day and night and that you are staying to the right of your lane. Situational awareness is key; be aware of oncoming vehicles making a turn across your lane and pay attention to vehicles that are being driven erratically.
Turning and Cornering
Motorcyclists turning corners may find themselves hitting patches of debris, gravel, or even puddles of standing water. Once the front wheel makes contact with these obstacles, you may lose control of the bike.
Stay in your lane, not the shoulder, when making turns or navigating curves on the road, and always maintain a safe speed.
Always Maintain Situational Awareness
When driving a car, we understand that situational awareness is the key to safety. This is even more relevant for bikers, who not only must be aware of their own safety practices but also be aware of the actions of every vehicle around them.
Dress appropriately in heavy, approved gear, and always wear your helmet. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, and that you check your bike thoroughly, especially if you don’t drive it every day.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the law offices of Arthur Crum, PA, and let’s talk about your case.