We all recognize that riding a motorcycle can be dangerous – in some cases, more dangerous than riding in a car. However, if you know what to do, riding a motorcycle can give you the best possible circumstances to avoid an accident — incredibly powerful brakes, obstruction-free vision, excellent handling and very efficient tires. Knowing how to avoid common motorcycle accident situations can mean the difference between injury and death.
Be familiar with general motorcycle safety
The best way to reduce the risk of being injured in a motorcycle accident is to educate yourself on motorcycle safety in general. In fact, if you are a new motorcyclist, it is highly recommended that you complete a basic course in riding. Also, be sure to invest in appropriate safety gear. Bright colors will help other drivers on the roadway to see you, which could also help in avoiding some of the common motorcycle accident situations. Two of the most common situations are when a car turns left in front of you or changes lanes into you.
When a car turns left in front of you
Probably the most common motorcycle accident situation is when a car turns left in front of you. This typically happens because the other driver either does not see you, or fails to judge your speed correctly. There are many reasons for the failure to see you, including inattention, or blind spots, distraction. In some cases, a driver is simply looking for cars and only perceives the absence of cars, not noticing the presence of a motorcycle. Unfortunately, this is very common. Basically, the only way to avoid this situation is to see it coming. As a motorcyclist, you may need to be even more observant than the automobile and truck drivers on the road. Learn to recognize the signs that someone may turn in front of you and anticipate the possible danger.
Signs that a car may turn in front of you
Whenever there is a car at an intersection waiting to turn, or there is a gap in traffic near an intersection, driveway or parking lot, you need to be careful. Slow down, be prepared to brake and take evasive action, if necessary. A gap in traffic can always represent a serious threat to your safety.
When a car changes lane into you
Another very common motorcycle accident situation occurs when a car in another lane suddenly veers into your space. Remember, because of the size, motorcycles can easily fit into blind spots and drivers looking for cars typically don’t recognize motorcycles. The best thing to do, to avoid this dangerous situation, is to be aware of blind spots and stay out of them as much as possible. The rule is usually, if you can see a driver’s eyes in their mirrors, they can see you, if they look of course. One of the prime situations where lane changes occur is when highway traffic has slowed down and one lane is moving faster than then the others. Other signs of imminent lane changes are turn signals, wheels turning, a car swerving around in its own lane.
If you have questions regarding motorcycle accidents, or any other personal injury concerns, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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