Motorcycle riding is a passion for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, a motorcyclist’s chances of injury or death still hover around 26 times above drivers of passenger vehicles. Head-on collisions are the most common and fatal type of motorcycle accidents, and they represent 56 percent of motorcycle deaths. Educating yourself on the common causes of accidents is your first line of defense in avoiding this kind of tragedy.
The most frequent scenario leading to collision is when a car makes a left-hand turn onto a busy road. Approximately 42 percent of crashes involving both motorcycles and cars occur under these circumstances. The motorcycle’s small size makes it easy to “disappear” in blind spots (even more so when visibility is poor due to rain or fog). While the vehicle making the turn is usually at fault, the action and intent of the motorcyclist is also taken into consideration. Many times, motorcycle riders trying to pass in the wrong lane or traveling at high rates of speed will contribute to the collision. Safety lies in defensive, sensible driving, for both motorcyclists and drivers of other motor vehicles.
When a motorcycle drives between two lanes of cars, “lane splitting” occurs. This is most common during periods of slow or stopped traffic. However, some motorcyclists occasionally attempt lane splitting in fast moving, highway situations. Because the two vehicles are dangerously and unexpectedly close, the driver of the car is usually taken by surprise. With tight proximity, maneuvering becomes difficult for both parties. Once again, defensive, sensible driving prevents the chances of this kind of collision.
While dangerous road conditions pose problems for drivers of all vehicle types, motorcycles are particularly susceptible. Due to the smaller size and decreased stability of motorcycles, chances of losing control are significantly higher. Construction, uneven lanes, debris, and weather are all cause for extra caution. Darting animals, especially deer, can cause traumatic wipeouts. Rough or gravel roads make navigation extremely difficult. The combination of curvy roads and slick conditions also increase the risk of an accident. Elements like wet leaves, mud, and oil drippings can appear with very little warning. Be sure to slow down and pay particular attention to your surroundings when you ride.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Playing it safe does not mean you can’t enjoy riding a motorcycle. The knowledge of common risks and the utilization of safe driving practices significantly decrease your chance of serious injury or death. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Wear a helmet. An average of 37 out of 100 motorcycle fatalities could be avoided if drivers and passengers wore helmets.
- Take a course in riding. Professional training provides knowledge that statistically saves lives.
- Wear bright, protective clothing.
- Make motorcycle maintenance a priority.
- Know your limits. If you are fairly new at riding, stay safe by avoiding risks.
Carey, Danis & Lowe – St. Louis Motorcycle Attorneys
Being involved in a motorcycle accident can be devastating. If you have experienced the death of a loved one or have suffered a personal injury in a motorcycle or auto accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced motorcycle attorney immediately. Serving St. Louis and the surrounding area, the Law Offices of Carey, Danis & Lowe have extensive experience with personal injury and accident cases. Our team will help establish a legal plan based on your unique situation. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.