What is the number one cause of motorcycle accidents?
Motorcycles have a dangerous reputation due to the higher number of deaths and accidents their riders are involved in relative to car owners. According to the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration, motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in an accident than those in a passenger car.
Many of these crashes happen because drivers can’t see the motorcyclist. If you ride a motorcycle, wear safety gear and use smart riding practices that will increase your chances of being visible. Understanding the causes of these accidents can help you to avoid becoming a victim of one yourself.
The Main Cause of Motorcycle Accidents: A Lack of Visibility
Motorcycles are much smaller than cars, and they can engage in more maneuvers on the road. This means drivers often have a hard time seeing a motorcycle is in until it’s too late. For this reason, crashes during left-hand turns in intersections account for 42% of motorcycle accidents.
However, there are some commonalities to these types of crashes that riders can work to mitigate. Knowing the types of left-hand turn crashes can help you avoid the likelihood that you’ll become another statistic.
Types of Left-Hand Turn Collisions
There are some common types of left-hand turn crashes to which motorcycle riders are especially vulnerable.
- Drivers running stop lights: A motorcyclist may be making a turn left through an intersection without waiting at the stop light, hitting a motorcycle in the oncoming traffic lane.
- Sharp turns: A driver could turn left and hit a motorcyclist in the next lane over who is waiting at their own red light.
- Yellow light: A motorcyclist could be waiting in the middle of an intersection during a yellow light and could be hit by a motorist who is turning.
- Lack of caution: A driver could turn left and into a passing motorcyclist in the opposite lane while trying to cut them off.
Ways for Motorcyclists to Avoid Left-Turn Accidents
While left-hand turns can be highly dangerous for motorcyclists, there are a few key steps that you can take if you’re on the road to make them safer.
Get Your License
It should go without saying, but it’s vital that you obtain a motorcycle license before operating your motorcycle on the road. To get this license, you’ll learn how to safely operate your vehicle in traffic to avoid accidents. With adequate training, you’ll know which maneuvers are too risky and what your local laws are governing behaviors such as lane splitting.
Increase Your Visibility
Motorcyclists can be hard to see, so the simplest thing you can do to improve your safety on the road is to increase your visibility. Add reflectors to your bike and consider wearing a reflective vest, or at the very least highly-visible clothing.
Be Aware of Road Conditions
Stay vigilant to watch for any hazardous road conditions while you’re riding. Debris, ice, or oil can make a routine turn dangerous, increasing your chance of getting into an accident.
Check Your Bike Before You Ride
Make sure your bike’s tire pressure, oil, brakes, and lights are adequate and functioning properly before getting on the road. When riding with a passenger, make sure they can safely mount the bike when it is running.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident and you weren’t at fault, you can visit this website to seek professional advice about what to do next. The cost of a non-fatal motorcycle accident can be as high as $1.4 million. You may be able to receive a settlement that will help you pay the bills so you can recover.
Riding a motorcycle carries with it inherent risks, but you can take steps to reduce the likelihood that you fall victim to an injury or even a fatal accident. By learning about the threats and ways they can affect you, you can ultimately enjoy a safer ride.