dIf you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, you know exactly how exhilarating – and just plain fun – it is to ride. There’s just something about it that’s hard to explain to those who don’t. It’s even better when you ride with friends. The sense of camaraderie can’t be topped. Unfortunately, far too many motorcyclists are injured or killed in accidents that could have been avoided.
The attorneys with Jones Law Group know the special challenges that motorcyclists can face when they’re involved in an accident. There can sometimes be biases against people who love to ride, and that can result in them not receiving full compensation for their injuries – even if they did nothing wrong. But we will do everything we can to make your case as strong as possible, and we’ll fight passionately for your rights.
The following information covers some of the more common types of motorcycle accidents, and steps you can take to keep from ever being involved in one.
Left Turn Accidents
This is quite possibly the kind of motorcycle accident that happens most often. The driver of a car doesn’t see the rider coming, and makes a left turn directly in front of the bike. It can occur when the rider tries to pass the car or goes through an intersection. Considering the size of a motorcycle versus a passenger vehicle, this can be an especially devastating kind of accident for a rider.
How to Avoid a Left-Turn Accident
Motorcyclists need to be good at anticipating what drivers will do in just about any instance. This will especially be true when it comes to avoiding left-turn accidents. Begin slowing down when you see a car making a turn at an intersection, or if there’s a gap in front of you that a driver will likely try to fill. If possible, make eye contact with the driver so they know you’re there.
Lane switching is another common cause of motorcycle accidents. A car will start to move into a motorcycle’s lane and the driver doesn’t know the bike is there. Either that driver isn’t paying attention, or the bike is in their blind spot.
How to Avoid a Lane Switching Accident
A good rule of thumb is to simply assume that no one driving a car, truck or SUV can see you on your motorcycle. If you can’t see the mirror or the driver’s face, then they probably have no idea you’re there. Either slow down or get out of that lane as safely as possible. Look for turn signals, turning wheels, the driver turning their head, or other indications they’re about to move into your lane.
A head-on collision between two cars is bad enough. When a motorcycle is involved, this kind of accident will typically be catastrophic. When a motorcycle comes to a sudden stop, the rider could either be ejected or be crushed between the bike and the other vehicle.
How to Avoid Head-On Motorcycle Accidents
Just like in any other scenario, you should always read the road. That’s your best chance of staying away from a head-on collision. Always scan what’s in front of you, and be alert to any hazards. If possible, stay in the right-hand lane on a highway. If you’re on a two-lane highway, stay as far to the outside of your lane as possible. Should you ever see an oncoming car veering into your path, get on the shoulder or ride into the grass. Wiping out off the road can still lead to injuries, of course, but it’s a better alternative than slamming into the front of an oncoming vehicle.
This is an illegal maneuver that involves riding between two lanes of vehicles during a traffic jam. The vehicles may be stopped altogether or moving extremely slowly. The reason it’s illegal is that it’s a dangerous move. Drivers will have no idea you’re doing it, and will be more prone to hit you as a result. If you split lanes and wind up injured as a result, the accident will be your fault.
How to Avoid Lane Splitting Accidents
The obvious way to avoid a lane splitting accident is simply not to split lanes. The move is illegal, and it’s incredibly risky. We get it. Being stuck in traffic is incredibly frustrating, especially when there’s someplace you really have to be. But saving some time by lane splitting simply isn’t worth the risk.
Accidents Caused by Impaired Drivers
Far too many motorcycle riders are killed in accidents that involve impaired driving. Either the rider was impaired, or the driver of the vehicle was drunk or high. Riding a bike is often a social experience, with friends getting off the road to have a few drinks before getting back on the highway. This simply isn’t a good idea – ever.
Avoiding Impaired Driver Accidents
This is another easy answer. Don’t drink and get on a motorcycle. If you have to drink, plan on leaving your bike at the bar or your friend’s house and get a rideshare. The risks of riding impaired not only include the potential for a severe injury or death, but also a long jail sentence.
Motorcycles can go really fast – that’s why a lot of people love riding them so much. But the old adage “speed kills” is even more applicable to bikes. The faster you go, the higher the chances you’ll suffer terrible consequences if you’re in an accident.
Avoiding Speeding Accidents
While it might be hard for you to do so, you should always ride at a safe speed – even if the entire highway is yours because no one else is around. You can obey traffic laws and still have a fantastic time riding your motorcycle. If you just have to go fast, there may be some closed courses near your town where you could really let it fly.
What To Do If You Can’t Avoid a Motorcycle Accident
Even if you take all the precautions you can, you might still be involved in a motorcycle accident. If this happens, you’ll first need to get whatever medical attention you may need. While that help is arriving, take pictures or videos of the scene if you can, and get the contact information of the driver. Also, talk to any witnesses and get their contact information as well.
Your next move should be to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to investigate the accident to determine fault, and to help you obtain justice against any other parties that were responsible for you being hurt.