There’s nothing quite like the thrill of zipping down the highway on a motorcycle. But unfortunately, it’s also one of the most dangerous forms of transportation. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were more than 10,000 individuals involved in motorcycle accidents in the state in 2012. Of those, 470 were killed and more than 6,000 were injured.
Despite these unsettling statistics, there’s no need to “tiptoe through life to arrive safely at death,” as the saying goes. If you live to ride, you should enjoy every minute you can on your motorcycle. Just be sure to make safety your top priority and be aware of the top causes of motorcycle accidents.
1. Taking a corner too quickly
A sharp turn can take even an experience rider by surprise. If you head into a corner too quickly, you might not have enough road to brake and/or you’ll be at too tight an angle to lean—and the result can be dangerous, if not deadly.
2. A car makes a left turn
This is one of the most dangerous scenarios for motorcyclists: a car makes a left turn and collides with your bike, either as you were passing or trying to overtake the car or as you were driving straight through an intersection. Left-hand-turns are the cause of many accidents between two cars as well, but being in the open air on a motorcycle makes you especially vulnerable.
3. A car hits you from behind
Unfortunately, many drivers are less aware of motorcycles than they are of other vehicles. If you slow down or have to make a sudden stop and the car behind you doesn’t notice, you could end up being hit from behind and, possibly, seriously injured—or worse.
4. A car changes lanes and hits you
Similarly, if a car is changing lanes and doesn’t see you in the next lane over, you could be sideswiped, which is especially dangerous if you’re on the highway going at a high rate of speed.
5. A fellow motorcyclist hits you
Though cars may not be watching out for you, you’d expect your fellow riders to being paying closer attention. But that’s not always the case. Even the friends you’re riding with can pose a threat if they are not being mindful and end up hitting you from the side or behind.
6. Lane splitting
It may seem like one of the perks of riding a motorcycle, but driving in between two lanes of cars during a traffic jam is dangerous—and in Texas, it’s illegal. Lane splitting reduces your road space and puts you too close to the cars, and if other drivers don’t see you coming, you could end up in a serious accident.
7. Colliding with a fixed object
Whether you don’t see it coming or you’re going a little too fast and can’t break in time, fixed objects like sign posts and trees can pose a great danger for motorcyclists.
8. Poor road conditions
Things like rain-slicked roads and patches of gravel can be extraordinarily dangerous for motorcyclists. Worst of all, poor road conditions are unpredictable and can seemingly come out of nowhere, so it’s important for riders to always be aware of the road ahead of them.
When the road opens up in front of you, it’s sometimes irresistibly tempting to see what your bike is made of. But speeding is one of the top causes of motorcycle accidents. It’s particularly dangerous for motorcyclists to speed because the unexpected bumps in the road or changes in lane evenness that a speeding car could easily navigate can be deadly for a rider.
10. Riding under the influence
Last but most important, alcohol is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. The good news is, those accidents are pretty much entirely preventable: just don’t drink and ride.
Some wrecks are unavoidable, but you can reduce your risk of being injured in a motorcycle accident by taking all the precautions you possibly can. Wear a helmet, avoid alcohol before going for a ride, be aware of the other cars and motorcycles on the road, and try your best to obey the speed limit. And if you or someone close to you does end up in an accident, know that the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Farah Law Firm are here to help.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, contact our office today. We’ll make sure your rights are defended and that you receive the medical treatment and compensation you deserve.
Need a few more reasons to be as safe as possible while riding your motorcycle? Check out this compilation of some very close calls.