Motorcycles are small, fast, and fun—so what could go wrong? Unfortunately, most of the characteristics that make motorcycles so attractive also make them dangerous. So before you hit the road, make sure to stay safe. Wear a helmet and other protective gear, follow speed limits and other traffic laws, and only drive when in complete control. Now that you’re prepared, just look out for the five most common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Left-hand turns This is the most common type of accident and accounts for 42 percent accidents between a motorcycle and another vehicle. To avoid this, look for signs that a vehicle is about to turn. Try to make eye contact—if you can see them, chances are better they can see you. Always remain observant and ready for evasive action.
- Merging cars When a car moves into your lane, it can be unexpected and dangerous. Try to stay out of other vehicle’s blind spots by staying abreast of the driver or mirrors. Brace yourself if you see turn signals, blinkers, tires or wheels turning, or the driver swiveling around.
- Head-on collisions Close to 60 percent of motorcyclist deaths result from collisions between themselves and another vehicle. The National Safety Council advises drivers to follow these four R’s: Read the road, drive to the Right, Reduce your speed, and Ride off the road to avoid accidents, if possible.
- Lane splitting Lane splitting is when motorcycles drive in the same lane as other vehicles or drive between lanes on the road lines. Besides being illegal in Virginia, this is extremely dangerous. Motorcycles are in close proximity to other vehicles, have a limited ability to maneuver, and run the risk of startling other drivers.
- Turning corners When preparing to turn a corner, initially reduce your speed until you have a clear line of sight. If the front wheel loses traction, steer to a better area, if possible. If you turn too fast, lean into the turn and trust in the bike. No matter what, remain calm and continue driving.
As an increasingly popular form of transportation, motorcycles are a common sight on the road. However, they also come with an increased risk of accidents. To combat these dangers and have as much fun as possible, make sure to follow all safety precautions and procedures. If you or someone you know is hurt in a motorcycle accident, call the Brothers in Law at (757) 330-3425.