No matter how skilled the rider, there will always be risk factors that can potentially lead to an accident. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
Any motorcyclist knows the thrill of two wheels and an open road. Still, even the most skilled and experienced riders know that riding a motorcycle can be highly dangerous, from distracted drivers to those who just simply aren’t paying attention. To avoid motorcycle accidents, riders must take extra precaution.
When a car, truck, or any other vehicle strikes a motorcyclist, the results can lead to severe accidents and injuries by no fault of the motorcyclist. Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently attempt to argue that the rider was speeding, should have been wearing a helmet, should have been able to avoid the accident, etc.
Here are 10 common causes of motorcycle accidents to be aware of when you hit the road:
High-speed performance and flexibility are key advantages of riding a motorcycle. While many motorcyclists buy sport motorcycles for their lightweight and fast acceleration, it’s important to remember that higher speeds mean higher risk. You’ll have less time to react to an obstacle or sudden danger on the road if you’re going too fast. Speeding is still the leading cause of most motorcycle accidents, so maintain safe speeds while operating your bike
2. Distracted or Inattentive Drivers
Compared to most cars and trucks, motorcycles have much lower profiles and stay closer to the ground. This makes them harder to see for most drivers, especially if they’re not actively looking. Since there is no way to know if other drivers are paying attention, it’s safest to assume that every car you come in contact with is negligent to your visibility as a motorcyclist. Drive and ride with caution!
3. Road Hazards
Any kind of debris on the road is not ideal for a motorcyclist. While state and local governments are ultimately responsible for maintaining safe conditions on the roadways, it’s important for motorcyclists to look out. Even seemingly minimal things like loose gravel or potholes could pose a threat.
4. Poor Weather Conditions
In Colorado, we know how dangerous certain weather conditions can be. Snow, ice, and rain all make for slippery roads beyond just winter months. Even strong winds can cause a motorcycle to wobble. In certain instances – primarily when bad weather occurs without warning – it may be difficult for riders to make necessary adjustments until they are off the road. Especially in Colorado, it’s important to be prepared for the changing road conditions.
5. Other Less Experienced Riders
In order to obtain a motorcycle license, riders spend several hours in training courses before operating a motorcycle on any public roadway. It’s important that all riders practice good communication – especially when riding in a group. Proper communication with other riders will help prevent collision and riding into another rider’s lane.
6. Left Turn Accidents
Automobile drivers often face challenges with left turns – threatening both pedestrians and bikers alike. Some drivers falsely believe that they have the right of way or misjudge the distance of oncoming traffic. For motorcyclists, it’s important to be aware of these errors to preemptively avoid a distracted driver.
7. Unsafe Lane Changes
Unanticipated lane changes put motorcyclists in danger all of the time. A lot of drivers make a lane change by barely checking their blind spots, signaling, then turning out of habit. Since motorcycles are small and quick, they may not have been noticed by a driver further up the lane. Motorcyclists should be aware that cars may change lanes abruptly and without signalling.
8. Abrupt Stops
Anyone in Colorado is familiar with bumper to bumper traffic. Following too closely or tailgating a vehicle is a leading cause of accidents across all vehicle types. Make sure to maintain a safe distance – ideally around 3 seconds of travelling on good roads – from the vehicle in front of you.
9. Driving Under the Influence
Driving or riding under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other kind of impairment continues to be a leading cause of accidents. Given the amount of mental attention and physical ability it takes to safely ride a motorcycle, you should not even think about getting on a bike after drinking.
10. Motorcycle Defects
Some accidents can simply be caused by the failure of a part or system on the bike itself. If this is the case, the manufacturer can be held legally responsible for the injuries that result from a crash due to a faulty part. For the motorcyclist, it’s important to upkeep the maintenance on their bike for safety. Check your motorcycle’s tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels before you ride. You should also check under the motorcycle for signs of oil or gas leaks.
The motorcycle attorneys at Galperin & Associates have represented many riders who have sustained serious and life-changing injuries at the hands of those who were not paying attention while operating their automobiles. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed while on a motorcycle, contact Galperin & Associates at 720-501-3451 so that we can help you take the immediate steps necessary to preserve essential evidence and protect your rights.