Dangerous Scenerios for Motorcyclists on the Road
Motorcycles today are very reliable, providing the best possible tools to avoid accidents – powerful antilock brakes, obstruction-free vision with windshield protection, near-flawless handling capabilities, and tires with lots of traction. However, you can have the best motorcycle in the world and still get put in a dangerous position because negligent drivers still exist.
If you want to reduce your odds of getting injured – or worse, dying – in a crash, learn how to use your bike’s capabilities, and your very own brain, to avoid these common motorcycle accident scenarios.
A Car Turns Left In Front of You
This is the most common type of motorcycle accident. A motorist neglects to see you or judges your pace inaccurately, turning in front of you at an intersection. Sometimes, this occurs due to blatant distraction or inattention. Other times, the driver fails to see a motorcycle because he or she is scanning only for cars; of course, this is no excuse.
How to Avoid It: Simply, you just need to see it coming. One thing every motorcyclist should develop is a precognitive intuition. As you ride, keep a wide vision and watch for signs that could indicate someone may make an ill-advised left turn at an intersection or into a driveway or parking lot. In either circumstance, decrease your speed, cover the brakes, and get ready to make an evasive maneuver.
Your adrenaline should produce the effect of slowing down time. During this crucial period, look at the objects around you, look at the driver, look at the wheels on his or her car, identify your routes of escape – basically evaluate the whole situation and then make the best move.
One more thing: never “lay the bike down” unless you’re about to go over a cliff. Your best chance of survival comes from slowing down as much as possible, and your bike’s brakes will be more effective than your body at accomplishing that. Even a decrease of 10 or 20 mph could make the difference between going home with minor scrapes and bruises and going home at all.
A Car Veers Into Your Lane
You’re riding in traffic when a vehicle in another lane suddenly veers into your lane. Remember, motorcycles are small relative to other motor vehicles and can easily disappear into blind spots. Plus there’s the whole motorcycle-blindness thing drivers tend to have.
How to Avoid It: Be mindful of blind spots and avoid lingering in them for too long. When passing a vehicle, do it as quickly as possible while maintaining a “cushion” of distance just in case.
Be careful in circumstances where opportunities for changing lanes are aplenty. Is highway traffic slowing, with one lane moving faster than others? Keep an eye on the vehicles in the slower lane – they’re likely to attempt to switch into the faster lane.
You can also look at vehicles and their drivers to predict their movements: turn signals, wheels turning, the driver’s head moving, and so on. Be aware of all the drivers around you, and you’ll be okay.
A Car Hits You from Behind
You’re stopping at a stop sign/cross walk/intersection when the driver behind you doesn’t see you or sees you way too late and hits you at high speed. While “fender benders” involving cars are considered minor, they can be deadly to motorcyclists.
How to Avoid It: Use the cars around you as your very own crumple zone. Pull in front of or between stopped cars (wave nicely as you do it) and you’re protected from any subsequent impacts. No cars around? Stop to the side rather than the center of a lane, and flash your brake light. Keep your eyes glued on the rear view mirror and your right hand on the throttle, and be prepared to scoot away should it appear a car is about to hit you.
We Represent Motorcyclists
The experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm hope that you have found this guide to be useful. If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver, please don’t hesitate to contact us for immediate assistance. We can fight to get the compensation you need to pay off your medical bills and make a full recovery. To learn more about your rights and legal options in a FREE consultation, call us today at (800) 522-7274.