Avoid These Common Motorcycle Crashes
There is a risk every time you’re out on the road. Protect yourself from these common motorcycle crashes by being a proactive driver.
Left Hand Turns Collisions
In these cases, the opposite driver makes a left hand turn at an intersection in front of an oncoming motorcyclist. The driver may not see the biker, or they misjudge the speed and distance at which the biker is coming toward them.
- Slow down at intersections.
- Anticipate the direction and speed of oncoming drivers.
- Watch for turn signals. Be ready to slow down or maneuver if a car pulls in front of you.
Head on Collisions
A head on collision is one of the most dangerous situations for a biker. Keep an eye on oncoming traffic, especially as it gets dark.
- The National Safety Council stands by the four R's – 1. Read the road, 2. Drive to the right, 3. Reduce your speed, 4. Ride off the road.
- If an oncoming driver enters your lane, direct yourself toward the path of least resistance.
Lane Changing Collisions
The small structure of a motorcycle puts it at a higher risk of not being seen, especially on a highway dominated by semi-trucks. Proactive driving will reduce the risk of being involved in a lane changing collision. If you can't see the mirror or face of the driver, you are in their blind spot.
- Never ride in a blind spot.
- Speed up or slow down to create space between yourself and other drivers.
- Anticipate lane changes. Turn signals, mirror checks and turning wheels are signs that a driver is planning to switch lanes.
Rear End Collisions
There are situations when a biker is caught off guard and collides with a vehicle in front of them. Stay vigilant on the road. Traffic conditions can change at any time.
- Pay attention to traffic in front of you.
- Watch for brake lights.
- Keep a large distance between you and other vehicles to give yourself time to brake.
Be cautious when coming up on a corner. Debris on the road can cause your front tire to slip and lay down your bike. Turns can often be misleading, appearing wider than they really are. Be aware of your skill level and never take on a ride that you don’t feel comfortable with.
- Assess road conditions and adjust your speed accordingly.
- Be cautious after large storms. Leaves or branches may have fallen, creating hazards around the corner.
- Take turns wide and slow.
- Trust your bike and lean into your turns.
- Stay calm and keep your eyes directed in front of you.
Foremost wants you to be safe! Though some accidents can't be prevented, it is important to do everything you can to keep yourself out of harm's way while you're on the road. Always be aware of your surroundings, and remember these tips when you ride!
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