Accidents happen. Because we know they can happen, we must be aware of our surroundings and be prepared to react appropriately when they do.
Motorcycle accidents are even more dangerous for the rider and bikers must take precautions and learn ways to avoid accidents when circumstances arise.
Below are 10 of the most common motorcycle accidents and ways to avoid them:
1. A car turns left in front of you: Drivers are programmed to look for cars, big objects, and not necessarily motorcycles. Motorcycles are small and harder to spot which causes some drivers to miss the motorcycle and make the turn despite oncoming traffic.
How to Avoid: See it coming. Look for signs and situations that might predict an oncoming car's actions. If you prepare yourself for the worst, you will be on the lookout and ready to slow your bike or take other actions to protect yourself.
2. Debris in the road: Sand, gravel, leaves, etc... can pile up in corners of a turn in the road and wipe you, and your bike, out!
How to Avoid: Don't hit it, if you can. Ride at a pace that allows for an appropriate reaction time. If you are traveling too fast, you may not see a danger until you are upon it. Your pace should reflect your visibility of the road so your reaction time does not suffer.
3. You enter a corner too fast: ...and now you aren't going to make it around.
How to Avoid: First, don't ride recklessly. Drive at a pace that is appropriate for the road conditions and for your visibility. If you can't read the road to know where it is going or turning, slow down.
If it is too late, and you are coming around the curve, experts say trust your bike and attempt to ride it out. Your bike is likely more capable than you so do not brake hard, hit the throttle, or do anything else that may upset the bike.
4. A car changes their lane into you: Motorcycles are small and often fit into blind spots.
How to Avoid: If you cannot see a car driver's eyes in their mirrors, they probably cannot see you either. Try to stay out of potential blind spots and be aware of situations where cars are more likely to change lanes. Situations like merging lanes, cars with a blinker on, and a driver checking lanes should alert you that their vehicle could move at any moment.
5. A car hits you from behind: Sometimes you must stop quickly and if the person behind you is not paying attention, they can rear end you on your bike. Rear-end collisions can kill bikers.
How to Avoid: Use other cars as your buffer. Try to politely pull in front of an already stopped car at a red light so that if a rear-end collision occurs, they will take the most of the impact. If there is not a car to use as a buffer, stick to the side of the lane instead of the center. This may allow you to scoot out of the way more quickly if a car is not able to stop without hitting you.
6. Your riding group is questionable: People in your group are not paying attention or are playing around, and then bump into the back of your bike.
How to Avoid: Discuss riding etiquette before getting on the road with a group. This might also include riding in a staggered formation to give every rider better vision and keep fender benders amongst the bikes from happening.
7. Your front brake locked up: Something caused you to hit the brakes hard, you squeeze your front brakes, and then you see your bike flip down the road after you hit the ground.
How to Avoid: Learn your bike and learn your brakes. Practice braking at increasing speeds so that your comfort level is high in the event you need to brake hard. Another option is to buy a bike with an Antilock Braking System and use it in the event of a quick stop.
8. A car opened its door: You are traveling down a street and a car parked on the side of the road opens their door, and you hit it, or it hits you.
How to Avoid: Never ride between active traffic and a line of parked cars. Not only do car doors swing out, but pedestrians may step out into your path as well.
9. Wet roads: Weather conditions affect how you and others drive. Some drivers maintain normal speed and habits although they may be too fast for conditions.
How to Avoid: Make sure your tires are in good condition. Riding on worn tires is never a safe idea, especially if the roads are wet. Also, stay off the roads if the rain or snow will affect your visibility. If you can't see in front of you, others probably can't see you and you won't be able to see hazards in your way.
10. The Most Common Motorcycle Accident: Drinking and Driving. Most motorcycle accidents involve alcohol.
How to Avoid: Don't do it.
If you do become seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you may need legal help to get the medical treatment you need and your medical bills paid.
Myrtle Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at The Derrick Law Firm have over 29 years of experience in personal injury including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, workers' compensation, wrongful death, and insurance claims.
Voted Best Attorney by the readers of the Horry Independent and Myrtle Beach Herald, The Derrick Law Firm will work to get you the full value of your case.
Call today for your FREE consultation. 843-248-7486
The Derrick Law Firm serves the state of South Carolina and has office locations in Myrtle Beach, Conway, North Myrtle Beach, Charleston, North Charleston, and Mt. Pleasant.