Most motorcyclists love the idea of the weather clearing so they can hit the open road, feel the sunshine and cool wind on their skin and enjoy their ride. Many new bike enthusiasts hit the streets annually and it's important for every rider (new or seasoned) to be aware of safety concerns and risks associated with riding. Between 2011 and 2015, 765 motorcycle fatalities occurred in Ohio, of those, 224 were helmet-related deaths. For that reason, it's critical for every rider to know some of the top causes of motorcycle crashes and to take every safety precaution in order to prevent accidents this riding season. Here are seven common causes of motorcycle accidents to keep in mind:
1. Vehicles making left turns
A vehicle turning in front of a biker is one the most dangerous causes of motorcycle crashes. These kinds of accidents cause 42 percent of motorcycle related crashes annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). When riding, sometimes it's possible to predict what the cars are going to do even when they're not using signals, but certainly not always. Therefore, try to avoid this type of crash by staying out of other drivers blind spots, maintaining a safe speed and not attempting to overtake other vehicles.
2. Making turns too quickly
When a motorcyclist is driving too fast and loses control of his or her bike when making a turn, a crash may be the likely result. For that reason, it is important to avoid speeding and slow down when making a turn.
3. Hitting gravel when rounding corners or bends
If the front tire of a motorcycle hits gravel, unfortunately, it's difficult to stay in control, and an accident is likely. The best way to avoid this type of accident is to keep ride paces steady so reaction times can meet the range of vision.
4. Lane splitting
In some states, this is a permissible driving technique whereby the motorcyclist uses the centerline as a driving lane. However, due to the proximity of vehicles, particularly in a traffic jam or if a vehicle stops short in front of the biker, a crash is likely to occur. While it saves driving time, the best way to avoid this accident is to avoid lane splitting.
5. Fixed object crashes
Upwards of 25 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents occur from motorcyclists crashing into fixed objects. A rider does not have protection from larger vehicles in the way that vehicle occupants do, and severe or fatal injuries are the all too common result. The causes of these crashes vary from speed to the use of alcohol and other dangerous activities.
6. Road hazards
When a motorcyclist isn't prepared for road hazards such as potholes, slick pavement, road kill or uneven lane grades, they could become the victim of a crash. Motorcycles are considerably less stable in comparison to a car, so they are less tolerable to these types of road conditions. Therefore, the best way to avoid crashing is to maintain a safe speed to increase reaction time.
7. Vehicles changing lanes in front of the motorcyclist
When a vehicle suddenly changes lanes in front of a motorcycle, it sets off a series of negative events. The motorcyclist could be rear-ended for having to stop short. The rider could swerve and hit the car or another vehicle. No matter the circumstance, a crash could occur. The best way to avoid this situation is to stay out of blind spots, stay away from vehicles on the highway as much as possible and be aware of turn signals.
Contact an experienced attorney
If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses suffered. Contact experienced personal injury attorney at Jeffries, Kube, Forrest & Monteleone CO. L.P.A. We can evaluation your case, help you understand your rights and help you pursue compensation for your injuries.