Freedom comes with a price, and the liberty that your motorcycle affords you comes at the cost of an increased risk of serious injury when you ride. Motorcycle accidents are frequent and potentially deadly, but if you pay attention to what is going on around you and respond proactively to a potential hazard, you may be able to avoid an accident that can result in death or serious injury.
1. Lane Changes by a Car
A car may make an improper lane change, slamming into you in the process. You can help prevent this by staying out of other vehicles’ blind spots. You are already difficult to see on your motorcycle because of your small profile. Riding in a blind spot makes you nearly invisible. Check to see if you can see the driver reflected in his or her mirrors. If not, then the driver certainly cannot see you.
2. Poor Riding Formation
Riding in a group might be fun, but it can also be dangerous if you ride grouped together in a big clump. If one of the group stops suddenly, another rider can hit the first from behind, and both may be seriously injured as a result. If riding alone is not an option, you can still help prevent this type of accident by riding in a staggered formation.
3. Lane Splitting
Lane splitting means riding on the centerline between two lanes of cars. This usually occurs when traffic is stalled due to a jam. In some areas, especially urban areas where traffic jams are common, lane splitting is legal. Nevertheless, it is dangerous due to the reduced space you have in which to maneuver and the close proximity between vehicles.
The best way to prevent an accident due to lane splitting is to avoid the practice altogether. Otherwise, gain more experience on your motorcycle before attempting this potentially dangerous maneuver, and avoid it entirely where it is not legal.
4. Left Turn by a Car
A car turning left in front of you is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. The car may look innocuous just sitting there, but the driver may judge your speed incorrectly or fail to see you all together. Be aware of the situation and watch for the signs that a driver is about to turn left. Slow down and prepare to take evasive action.
Motorcycles and automobiles must learn to share the road effectively. As a motorcyclist, most of the defensive driving expectation is on you because you are at the greatest risk of injury in an accident.