Riding motorcycles is fun and exciting, but it can be really dangerous as well. Motorcycle accidents are more frequent than other types of accidents and are more likely to result in a serious injury or death. Because of these alarming statistics, you need to know which are the most common causes of accidents and learn how to avoid them.
Bikers need to be more aware of their surroundings than car drivers, they need to have better skills and they pretty much have to predict the behavior of other people in traffic. For safe and long rides, you need to have the proper permit and always wear a helmet.
Here is everything you need to know about the risks, facts and the most common accidents when it comes to motorcycles.
Motorcycle Accidents Facts
These are some little-known facts and statistics about accidents that happen when riding a motorcycle.
- Only about ¼ of motorcycle accidents are single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle crashing into the roadway or some other fixed object;
- About ¾ of motorcycle accidents involve collisions with another vehicle, most often a car;
- Motorcycle failure accounts for less than 3% of the accidents;
- Roadway defects cause about 2% of accidents, and animals cause less than 1% of them;
- Rider errors cause 2/3 of the accidents in single vehicle accidents;
- Some motorcycle accidents are caused by the front wheel “wobble” that usually occurs when the rider is driving really fast;
- About 50% of fatal accidents involve alcohol intake;
- In 98% of the accidents, the weather does not contribute to it.
The Risks of Motorcycle Riding
Unlike cars, motorcycles are smaller, lighter and they don’t keep the rider safe in a box of metal. Even though motorcycles are an easier mode of transport and if you are riding a bike you are less likely to get stuck in traffic, there are a lot of risks. Here are some of them:
- They are less visible to cars – because motors are small and easily hidden behind other objects, cars are less likely to see them. This especially happens in intersections and when the motorcycles are in the blind spot of the car driver.
- Road hazards – things like debris, small objects, wet pavement and uneven road surfaces do nothing to a car, but they can lead to an accident when it comes to motorcycles.
- Less stability – since motorcycles have only two wheels, they are less stable when it comes to emergency braking and swerving.
- High risk behavior – the more powerful bikes are lighter and they can encourage speeding, fast accelerating and other behavior that is risky and can lead to an accident.
- Not enough skills – riding a motorcycle requires more skill and awareness than driving a car. Unskilled riders are accountable for more accidents than most of the other factors.
- No barrier between the road and the rider – most motorcycles don’t have airbags, seatbelts and other things that could protect them. The riders who don’t wear helmets are more likely to die in an accident since the helmet, it the only real thing that offers protection to the bikers.
Since most of the motorbike accidents (about 80%) are caused by someone else’s negligence, you should be aware that you can make a rightful claim for compensation. Foyle Legal offer information and free consultation when it comes to motorcycle accidents.
Most Common Accidents
These are the most common accidents that happen when riding a motorcycle. You need to be well aware of your surroundings and drive safely to avoid getting into an accident.
Hitting a gravel in a blind corner
When making a turn, always follow the rule – slow in, fast out. If you see a blind turn or corner coming, slow down and make sure you have time to react in case the terrain is bad or there is something on the road. Enter the corner wide so you can have better vision and have time to break if needed.
Cars making sudden turns
This is probably the most common cause of accidents. The car does not see the bike and turns in front of it. To avoid this accident, you pretty much need to see it coming. Look for signs that will indicate that the car before you will make a turn. Not all drivers use signals so you have to learn how to read other signs. To be extra safe, always leave enough space between and the other cars.
Entering a corner too fast
When bikers enter a corner with a higher speed, they are more likely to have an accident. To avoid this only ride fast when you can see the road in front of you. In case you do enter a corner too fast, trust your bike and try to ride it out. Trail breaking can also be of a huge help and it can allow you to safely shed speed when you are already in the corner.
A car hits you from behind
In case you stop at an intersection, a stop sign, or you made a sudden stop because you so a danger in front of you, there is a chance a car hits you from behind. This is not something you can predict or see on time. This “fender bender” type of accident can be fatal for the biker. To protect yourself pull in front of the car or stand between a lane of cars. This way you can make your own crumple zone and be protected from other traffic.
Other accidents that are more common than others include: when a car suddenly changes lane in front of the bike, situations when the driving buddies are irresponsible, a car opened the door, the front brake is locked and when the road is slippery.
A 1981 study, the largest one on motorcycle accidents, showed that alcohol is a factor in more than half of all accidents. No matter if you are driving a car or riding a bike, do not ever drink and drive. Call a friend to pick you up, get a taxi or an Uber. Texting and riding has been a great factor lately as well. Leave your phone alone till you get to your destination.
Remember to stay safe and enjoy the ride!