The comedian Norm MacDonald does a routine about people worrying about death. A lot of people get on an airplane and immediately start to worry the plane will crash. Ridiculous, says Norm, and he’s right. Airplanes are extremely safe. He explains that some people obsess that they will be attacked and killed by terrorists! Also, highly unlikely. But, he asks, “what are the chances you will be attacked and killed by your own heart? About 100%.” The point is, if you take time to take care of your heart and your body you’ll surely live longer.
Motorcycles are obviously a lot of fun to ride for many people. I know many motorcycle enthusiasts who would never give up the experience no matter how dangerous it may or may not be. Being aware of the most common causes for motorcycle accidents and ways to avoid them is the key to enjoying motorcycles for many safe years. So what are the 10 most common causes for accidents? We’re going to cover 5 in this article, and 5 more later.
NOTE: These are tips. We are not motorcycle safety experts. We encourage all motorcyclists to take regular safety training from certified safety instructors. In south Florida contact the Safety Council of Palm Beach County or Motorcycle Safety of Florida.
Avoid Motorcycle Accidents
1 – Someone Turns Left in Front of You.
How to avoid: You must see it coming and anticipate it. If there is a gap in traffic coming the other direction, watch carefully for someone who might try to turn left. Don’t count on a turn signal since most people just don’t use them. See if the person seems to have locked on to you with their eyes. Are they focusing on you or on the direction they want to go? Usually it’s the latter. Are their wheels turned left already? Is there someone behind you? What is the road surface? All this data streams into your brain as you have less than a millisecond to make a decision. It’s just a good idea to reduce speed and stay focused. Also, is your headlight on?
2 – Hitting Gravel in a Blind Curve.
How to avoid: Reduce speed at blind curves. If you don’t see the gravel you can’t avoid it, and slowing down will help. The general rule for curves is “slow in, fast out.”
3 – Entering a Corner Too Fast.
How to avoid: Once again, speed is the key. As you approach a corner from a distance you may think you can cut the turn wide. But as you’re almost there, a car has pulled up and stopped at a 90 degree angle to your line-of-travel and since you have commenced the turn it’s too late to realize you should have slowed down. You hit the side of the car. Once again, speed. Assume there will be a car in that spot where you are “cutting it wide” and slow down.
4 – A Car Changes Lanes into You.
How to avoid: Stay out of blind spots! If you cant see the car’s mirrors, the driver can’t see you. Also, be aware of slowing traffic, that is when people tend to feel the urge to change lanes.
5 – A Car Hits You From Behind.
How to avoid: This is a really bad one. But in this case, a motorcycle has a far better ability to get out of the way than a car, if you see it coming, because they are faster and more maneuverable. You may be able to use a car as a “crumple zone.” In other words if you are pulling up to a stop and there is a safe distance between two cars (front and back) move into that space. Be nice and wave as you do it. A fender-bender for a car can be fatal to a motorcyclist. Some motorcyclists keep their bike in gear and hand on the throttle in case they see a car coming up fast from behind.
Obviously you always stand a much better chance of having a safe experience on the road and avoiding motorcycle accidents when you are physically and mentally able and alert. Never operate any motor vehicle if you impaired in any way and never attempt to text or talk on the phone when you are driving.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Our law practice deals with victims of serious accidents in south Florida, and many of them involve motorcycles. We stress safety all the time because we would really like to never see an inured person again. But accidents do occur and so we work very hard to get the victims the maximum compensation they are entitled to under the law. We want them to have the best medical care, rehabilitation, and the ability to move on with their lives without pain and suffering. Please call us if you have any questions at 954-356-0006, and thank you.