A motorcycle accident can have serious consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 80% of motorcycle crashes result in an injury or death to the motorcyclist.
These accidents are not as rare as one would think, and it’s important to know about their common causes if you ride a motorcycle regularly. By knowing the causes, you can prevent doing something dangerous and learn to identify when there’s a potential risk for a crash.
Knowledge is safety
Motorcycle accidents happen all the time. In fact, there were more than 1,800 motorcycle crashes in Virginia in 2020. Because the possibility of a crash always exists, you must know its causes and what you can do to prevent getting hurt. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents are:
- Inexperience and inattention: many motorcycle crashes are attributed to driver inexperience and inattention. You must only use your motorcycle when you feel ready to do so, and while driving, you must not get distracted with your phone or with the people or objects on the street.
- Excessive speed: speeding is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. It may be tempting to try out your motorcycle’s speed limits, but doing this can only have bad consequences. Respect the speed limits and avoid going faster than you should.
- Car doors: many motorcyclists get hurt because a driver opens up the door of their car right in front of them. To avoid this, never ride between a row of parked cars.
- Lane splitting: A motorcyclist splits lanes when they drive between two lanes of traffic. Not only is this illegal in Virginia, but it is also hazardous because a car can hit you if they turn, change lanes or swerve.
- Dangerous road conditions: poorly lit roads or roads with defects, gravel or excessive vegetation impose a high risk on motorcyclists. These conditions can make you lose control of the vehicle, especially if you drive at high speeds. Because of that, always drive slowly when the road is dangerous. Snow, rain or ice can also cause bad road conditions, so be careful.
- Left-turn accidents and unsafe lane changes: a driver can easily hit a motorcyclist if they don’t see them before making a left turn. The same applies when you change lanes. To avoid getting into an accident like this, leave plenty of space between your bike and the car in front of you. Also, make sure you always look both ways and signal before turning.
- Sharp turns: taking a turn too fast at high speed can make you lose control of the motorcycle, so you must avoid doing this at all costs.
- Driving under the influence: drugs and alcohol impair our judgment, coordination, balance and ability to shift gears. They also reduce your reaction time. You must always be drug and alcohol-free before riding your bike
These safety measures will reduce your probability of getting into a severe accident. Ultimately, they can save your life.
Your rights as a responsible driver
You must keep in mind that you cannot control what others do. Even if you take all the safety measures and obey all the traffic laws, someone else can still hit you. Because of that, you must know that if a negligent driver hits you, you’d have the right to ask them to compensate you for your injuries. No one deserves to pay for another’s mistakes, and you can make the driver at fault pay for your injuries and losses by filing a legal claim against them.