Motorcycles are fun to drive and have a different feel than riding in a passenger vehicle. Unfortunately, the extra freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle does mean that drivers and passengers are at a higher risk of injuries.
There has long been an issue with drivers of other, larger vehicles not seeing motorcyclists or pulling out in front of them. This, along with other causes, results in motorcycle crashes with serious and fatal injuries.
What are the leading causes of motorcycle collisions?
Some of the leading causes of motorcycle crashes include:
- Reckless driving behaviors
- Left-hand turns
Looking closer at each of these, there are some things motorcyclists can do to avoid crashes.
The first issue that usually causes problems is speeding. Drivers who want to pass motorcyclists but cannot may try to speed around them or get too close to their rear. The motorcyclists may speed up to try to avoid a crash, but that just increases the risk of injuries. If another driver is speeding around you or close to you, back off your speed and wait for them to pass.
Moving into a new lane without checking their blind spots or entering into a new lane too close to another vehicle is reckless. As a motorcyclist, you may notice other drivers wanting to merge over. If you can, speed up or back away, so they can merge with plenty of space. If they don’t see you in a blind spot and begin to move over, use your horn to alert them and move over to the next lane (or use the shoulder) when it’s safe to do so. At the least, this will help you avoid a crash.
Intoxication is a big problem, but it’s normally only a significant issue at night. Plan to travel during times when people are less likely to be intoxicated when you can.
With left-hand turns, drivers sometimes cut off motorcyclists’ paths. If you see a driver getting ready to turn, it’s a good idea to slow down preemptively and to try to make eye contact. If you can’t get their attention and believe they’re going to pull out, slow or stop before an accident is imminent.
These are a few tips to help you avoid a crash. While not all crashes are avoidable, paying attention and taking preventative actions before drivers make serious mistakes may help you stay safe.