Riding mistakes that cause motorcycle accidentsBaltimore Post-Examiner

Common Mistakes Motorcycle Riders Make

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Anyone driving a four- to an eighteen-wheeler vehicle thinks that motorcycles can be a nuisance on the road.

Many riders like to squeeze themselves into the space between two cars, overtake a car making a turn, and zoom toward an intersection even if the lights are about to go orange. For those reasons, the accidents riders can meet may disable them temporarily or permanently, if not kill them on the spot.

Aside from not wearing a helmet, disregard for traffic rules puts riders at risk for a freak accident. Their inexperience is also a factor since many new and young riders venture into the streets on impulse. But riding is less of an adventure than a responsibility. Every time you mount your motorcycle, you become accountable for whatever harm you cause with your recklessness.

Of course, not all riders are mindless of rules and safety. But sometimes, even the responsible ones find themselves in trouble. In that case, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will help them obtain claims for the damages they’ve suffered. But if they were the ones who caused the accident, they won’t be so lucky.

Passing or Overtaking a Turning Car

Collisions due to a car making a left-hand turn account for 46% of all motorcycle crashes. A turning car can hit you if you pass them, try to overtake them, go straight through an intersection while they make the turn.

In usual cases, though, accidents due to a vehicle turning to the left are the turning driver’s fault. But if you’re in the wrong lane or speeding, you will be partly at fault. That’s why it’s best not to interfere with a car that’s about to take a turn in any direction.

Lane Splitting

If you’re guilty of inserting yourself in between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving cars, you’re committing lane splitting.  It is legal in some states, however, this can cause an accident because of your proximity to the cars, small maneuvering space, or the possibility of a car hitting you because they didn’t anticipate you passing them.

Determining who’s at fault in an accident due to lane splitting depends on the state’s laws. If lane splitting isn’t allowed in the state, then you’ll be apprehended for violating traffic laws. Your actions and the drivers will also be considered by the police and judge (assuming charges were filed). There’s a higher chance of the accident being your fault, though. Because while lane splitting isn’t expressly illegal, police and courts sometimes interpret it as unlawful. Plus, if your insurer finds that you’ve been careless, you’ll have no luck recovering damages. So ride safely by staying in the proper lane.

Hiding in Traffic

Wearing easily spotted helmet colors and clothing is highly encouraged in motorcycle riders. At night, glow-in-the-dark gear is helpful. It allows other motorists to identify you in traffic easily

Placing yourself in another driver’s blind spot is also a form of hiding in traffic. There’s a particular spot at the side of a car that side mirrors can’t pick up unless a blind spot mirror has been installed. If you can’t see yourself reflected in a car’s side mirrors, that means its driver can’t see you either. Once you find yourself in that situation, move. Giving signals alone won’t make you visible in a blind spot.

Turning Without Scanning the Direction You’re Going into

Motorcycle riders should also practice defensive driving. Whenever you make a turn, turn your head toward the direction you’re veering into. If you only turn your head partially, you may end up going into oncoming traffic, toppling over a curb, or crashing into a structure like a barricade.

Giving in to Road Rage

It’s understandably infuriating if a car invaded the motorcycle lane or violated your right of way. But in those instances, starting a fight isn’t worth it. The size of the other car alone puts you at a disadvantage. Besides, what if they crash into you because you’re fighting for your right of way? Even if you’re not the one violating a rule, keep your cool and let the unruly vehicle pass. It’s part of being a defensive driver.

Speeding

Lastly, your motorcycle being smaller and lighter than a car isn’t an excuse to speed. Many young riders are guilty of this habit, especially at the wee hours of the morning after having a drink. According to 2018 statistics,10.5% of motorcyclists are killed from midnight to 3 AM during weekends. So if you’re going to have a night out with your friends, avoid taking off and speeding while drunk.

By taking measures to quit these dangerous habits, you’ll increase your traffic safety and stop inconveniencing other motorists. Be a responsible rider.


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