Every year, there are millions of motorcycle accidents in the United States alone. Compared to collisions between motor vehicles, a motorcycle accident can cause much more serious injuries and property damage since there isn’t much protecting the motorcyclist from the road or other vehicles.
This, of course, is why it’s so important to practice safe driving habits when operating a motorcycle. However, accidents still occur. Even the safest motorcyclists can’t always account for the actions of other drivers. If you’re involved in a Colorado motorcycle accident, calling a Denver personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure your rights are protected and that you receive the fair and full financial compensation you deserve.
But ideally, you’ll never be in an accident in the first place, which is why we’re taking a closer look at the common causes of motorcycle accidents. We then offer tips to help you prevent motorcycle accidents and to stay safer while on the open road.
What are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
While each accident is unique, there are common causes of many motorcycle accidents that account for a large portion of the overall crashes.
- Speeding: exceeding the posted speed limit, whether on a highway or rural road, can dramatically increase the potential for a motorcycle accident. Speed limits exist for a reason and you should always obey the posted limits. When you exceed these limits, it’s much more challenging to effectively respond to changes in road conditions or other drivers.
- Lack of experience: experience is critical whenever you operate any type of vehicle. This is especially true when it comes to riding and operating a motorcycle as your margin for error is that much slimmer. Ideally, motorcyclists should spend dozens of hours training and practicing before hitting the open road on their bike. However, this isn’t always the reality. Additionally, you must also take into account the potential inexperience of motorists. They say that practice makes perfect, right? This rule certainly holds true for motorcyclists.
- Driving under the influence: even just one or two alcoholic drinks can significantly impact your ability to safely operate a motorcycle (or any type of vehicle). It’s never worth the risk to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even one drink can slow your response time, inhibit your motor skills, and affect your critical thinking ability.
- Left-hand turns: believe it or not, but roughly 40 percent of all fatalities in motorcycle accidents occur during left-hand turns when they’re either passing, overtaking another vehicle, or traveling straight.
- Distracted driving: it’s easy to get distracted while operating a motorcycle. Whether it’s music, a passing billboard, other motorists, or simply daydreaming, any form of distracted driving can be extremely dangerous and increase your risk of being involved in an accident.
How to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep our roads and highways safer. While you can never be in total control of changing road conditions and other motorists, there are steps you can take to help prevent motorcycle accidents and keep yourself safe. Being aware and staying focused on the road is critical. When you’re distracted, it becomes that much more difficult to respond safely to changing road conditions. When you’re traveling at 50 or 60 miles per hour, road conditions can change in an instant.
Here are some simple ways that you can work to prevent motorcycle accidents and keep yourself—and others—safer.
- Slow down and observe all posted speed limits.
- Never ride between active traffic (known as “lane splitting” or between parked cars.
- Never operate your bike under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Look behind you when stopped at intersections.
- Never assume a driver can see you.
- Wear proper protective equipment, including goggles or safety glasses, and always wear a helmet.
- Keep your full focus on the road.
- Never share a lane with another car.
- Perform regular maintenance on your motorcycle.
What to Do if You’re Involved in a Motorcycle Accident
Even the most cautious motorcyclists can’t always account for the driving behaviors of other motorists or cyclists on the road. This is why even the safest motorcyclists may still be involved in a motorcycle accident with time—even if it’s of no fault of your own. Thus, it’s important for everyone to know what to do if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident.
After you’ve received medical attention and contacted your insurance company, the next call you make should be to an experienced personal injury lawyer. By contacting a personal injury attorney, you’ll have someone in your corner to help you navigate the inherent complexities that arise after a motorcycle accident.
They can help you understand your case, assess it’s true value (which may be lowballed by your insurance company), and if needed, they’ll fight for your case in court. They may even be able to help you find the appropriate medical care you need and help you with property damage and repairs. When you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, you should never take those next steps alone.
Conclusion – What are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Whenever you hit the road, it’s your responsibility to practice awareness and safe driving habits. Whether you’re operating a motorcycle, motor vehicle, bicycle, or even simply walking alongside the road as a pedestrian, it’s up to you to work to make our roads safer and avoid accidents. Motorcycle accidents are particularly hazardous because the nature of operating a motor vehicle leaves the driver more exposed to other vehicles and the road itself.
By understanding common causes of motorcycle accidents, we can better prevent these collisions from occurring. As a motorcyclist, always obey posted speed limits, be cautious with left-hand turns, and never jump on your bike after you’ve consumed any amount of alcohol. You should also ensure that you’ve received enough training and adequate experience before taking your bike onto the open road. By adhering to these tips and safe riding practices, you can enjoy the unmatched thrill of taking your motorcycle out into the world.
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