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Celebrate Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month: 10 Common Accident Types and Ways to Avoid Them, Part 2

Steve Wagner

10 Common Motorcycle Accidents and How To Avoid Them: Part 2

This month, many Indiana motorcycle riders will share the exhilarating experience of riding down the open road with friends and family. One thing most will never do though is discuss the challenges that can arise in controlling a motorcycle and how dangerous they can be. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and six times as likely to be injured.

Last week we shared the first part of our 10 common motorcycle accident scenarios and presented our motorcycle driving readers with tips on how to avoid being involved in a wreck this riding season. As we continue this series for Motorcycle Awareness Month, let’s wrap up the last five additional common motorcycle accidents our motorcycle accident and injury attorneys see.

6) The Front Bike Brake Is Locked

Not knowing how to use your front brake is a skill you need to master. Some motorcycle experts believe it is the most difficult component to learn how to use on a bike. They also say it is the most powerful since it can alter your speed faster than your bike’s engine. You should be able to operate your bike at fluctuating speeds and in different environments until you feel confident with your braking ability. Once you are comfortable with the front brake, you will be driving your motorcycle reliably and safely rather than watching it fly down the road without you on it. More and more bikes come equipped with an anti-lock brake system (ABS), and if your bike has it – you should use it when you need to make an emergency stop.

7) Driving Between Active Traffic Lanes

It may be enticing to see a wide-open gap of roadway between a line of parked cars or in between a stationary line of active traffic and rev your engine to speed through. However, being a responsible motorcycle driver means you are constantly aware of other drivers and operating your bike at speeds safe for all people traveling on roadways or parking lots. Unfortunately, a large amount of motorcycle wrecks happen in these places. For example, once you make the move to speed through the tight area, another driver could swing open their door, or a pedestrian could walk out and you do not have the reaction time to stop fast enough. This type of driving can cause damage to more than just your bike. It can also cause a major personal injury to you and others. It’s best to never ride between traffic lanes or parked cars. Many experienced motorists know this area as “the death zone” since these types of wrecks often kills drivers.

8) Group Riding

Going out on a group ride is a popular and fun way that motorcycle enthusiasts spend time on their bike. But all too often groups aren’t prepared to safely ride together or know how to ride in a staggered formation. Riding in a staggered formation can increase the line of sight for all drivers since it moves bikes out of line with each other, allowing for driver error to recover a bit easier. If you have any inexperienced riders, place them just behind the leader so they can learn how to keep pace. The pace will need to be adjusted, especially through curves, so that new riders can gain the experience needed and not cause a group motorcycle wreck.

9) Poor Maintenance of Bike Tires

One of the most important things a motorcycle owner can do to avoid being in an accident or causing one is to maintain their bike. This includes the tires. And surprisingly enough, motorcycles that have well kept tires can operate decently in tricky weather conditions when paired with a safe speed and an attentive driver. If you are out for a drive and discover that your tires can’t stand up to hazardous weather or slippery road conditions, it is a good idea to pull over safely and wait to drive until the road becomes clear.

10) Drunk or Drugged Driving

Don’t drink and ride. Alcohol (and other drugs) is a factor in 50 percent of all bike wrecks and the top contributor in all fatal motorcycle crashes. Even with these startling statistics drinking and drug use while operating a motorcycle remain a huge problem in Indiana. Each year some 2,000 motorcyclists are killed in serious crashes involving drugs or alcohol. An additional 50,000 drivers are seriously injured. Riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol puts motorcycle drivers at risk for hefty legal consequences as well.

Indiana Motorcycle Owners

To operate a motorcycle on a public roadway, an individual must hold a valid Indiana driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement or possess a valid motorcycle learner’s permit. But having a driver’s license or learner’s permit can’t be enough to stop motorcycle wrecks. As mentioned before, safe and enjoyable motorcycling takes training, practice, balance, coordination, good judgment and experience. Keeping the regular maintenance of your motorcycle is also necessary to avoid being in an accident. Most important though is to know your bike, know your abilities, and always wear the right gear. That gear includes face or eye protection, protective clothing, and a U.S. Department of Transportation approved motorcycle helmet. A helmet is the best protection against a traumatic brain injury if a crash were to occur.

Please share these tips with your motorcycling friends on their social media pages. It will help the riders you care about stay accident and injury free this motorcycle season.

Seek Help From An Experienced Indiana Motorcycle Lawyer

Wagner Reese has a team of experienced Indiana motorcycle accident injury attorneys here for you. We are the best choice to represent you in your claim for damages to your bike or yourself. We are in the business of bringing justice to those injured on Indiana roadways, and we want to assist you on your road to recovery by lightening the load of medical bills and other expenses incurred by this accident.

Call the law firm of Wagner Reese today at (888) 204-8440 for your FREE consultation.


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