Many are revving up as May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month across
the nation, and thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts from here in Indiana
are celebrating along with them. It’s the perfect time to remind
all drivers to be on the alert and to share the road with motorcyclists.
This month the
motorcycle accident injury attorneys at Wagner Reese have put together a two part blog series to share the
10 most common motorcycle accidents and tips on how to avoid them. Here
are the first five.
The most common motorcycle accident occurs when a vehicle in front of you
is turning left. The driver typically fails to see you or is unsure of
your speed and makes the move. Most motorcyclists know that they are safer
when clearly seen but they should also know that drivers (who are distracted,
on their phones, have blind spots, or are just being inattentive) look
for cars, not always motorcyclists.
You should always position yourself where you are most likely to be seen
and can maintain a fair amount of distance from other motorist around
you. Change position as traffic situations change and remember to slow
down, cover your brakes and get ready to make safe, smart and quick choices
This type of accident can be deadly and is the primary cause of single-vehicle
crashes. It happens mostly when you are driving on a road with a lot of
wide turns and curves and one of the corners you are rounding hits your
front bike tire with gravel or other road debris. You soon find yourself
– and your bike – laid down in the middle of the road –
in the direct path on oncoming traffic.
To prevent this from happening to even the most experienced driver, you
must remember that every road and every twist and turn is different. You
should be riding within your skill level and always driving according
to the posted speed limits so your reaction time and ability to take action
keeps you safe. Most riders agree, “Slow In, Fast Out” is
an effective rule of thumb.
Blind spots against motorcyclists can pop up anywhere for other drivers,
even when they are doing something as simple as changing lanes. This happens
too often because motorcycles easily fit into other larger vehicles’
blind spots. And, as mentioned before, drivers aren’t always on
the lookout for motorcycles.
Try to figure out where other driver’s blind spots are and avoid
traveling in them. In addition, watch the traffic patterns and be cautious
of situations where lane changes are more frequent or lanes are shifting
in speed. Don’t be where fast drivers dodging bottleneck traffic
might be. Watch for vehicles that are changing lanes too by paying attention
to their turn signals, wheels, and a driver who is not motionless in the seat.
Speed isn’t going to mix with a motorcycle-meets-corner incident.
A crash happens when the gap narrows and the fit is tighter than you expected
and you are driving a too fast of a speed to handle your bike. In this
situation, there is just no way around you turning the corner without crashing.
It is important to do everything possible to avoid driving too fast for
certain pathways. The professionals agree that drivers should only ride
as fast as they can see and use visual clues like road signs and landmarks
to judge a road’s direction. And if you do find yourself approaching
a corner too fast, trust your instincts and your motorcycle and try to
ride it out. Hope you are wearing the right gear and a helmet as well.
When most vehicles are rear-ended, the driver and passenger can recover.
If you are on a motorcycle and hit from behind, you may be killed or seriously
injured. You could be thrown several feet and into oncoming traffic or
onto the hard pavement. These accidents can be tragic and typically happen
when the driver behind you doesn’t see you or is distracted and
plows into the back of your bike at high speed.
To avoid being rear-ended, stop your bike to the side rather than the center
of a lane and don’t forget to use your break light. Always at a
stop, keep your bike in gear and your hand on the throttle to let others
know that you are stopped.
In the case of someone following you too closely, speeding up to lose them
will only end up with him or her tailgating you at a higher speed. It
is better to change lanes and just let them pass to travel in front of
you. Or better yet, go ahead and slow down and open up the highway space
ahead of you. This may encourage them to pass. If they choose not to pass,
at least you have more reaction space in between you and other motorists
to move if an accident or emergency develops.
Safe 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 a motorcycle helmet. It’s the best protection
against a traumatic brain injury if a crash were to occur.
We will share more tips next week in Part 2: 10 Common Motorcycle Accidents
and How To Avoid Them. Please follow along and use your own social media
pages to share these messages to help other riders stay accident and injury
free this motorcycle season.
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