In the U.S. in 2015, there were 6.3 million accidents on the road that harmed people or property.
Every year, you can count on millions of more accidents occurring. However, for motorcycle riders, those accidents are even riskier. It’s important for everyone to learn how to avoid accidents on the road but for motorcycle riders most of all.
Certain kinds of accidents tend to repeat themselves. If you know what to look for, you can learn to avoid some of the most common types of motorcycle accidents. We’ve put together the basics in this guide — keep reading to learn how to make your rides safer.
1. Head-On Accidents
For motorcycle riders, head-on accidents are among the most fatal.
In this kind of accident, both vehicles are going in different directions. This means that the speed of each vehicle compounds the intensity of the collision, making the damage even more serious.
If you’re on a motorcycle, you don’t have the protection offered by a car. These kinds of accidents can be fatal for both drivers, but they’re far more likely to be fatal for the motorcycle rider.
The force of the collision brings the motorcycle to a halt, and the rider will often fly off it, or get run over by the car. This can result in serious injuries, if not death.
To avoid head-on collisions, make sure to always watch the road ahead. You can’t keep a car from swerving into your lane, but you can make sure you’ll see them if they do.
You should also stay to the right of the road, so you can more easily avoid cars coming the opposite direction. Try to stay in the right-hand lane, and stay further toward the right side of it.
If you see a car coming the opposite way and driving erratically or swerving toward you, lower your speed. And if you need to, don’t be afraid to drive off the road onto the shoulder to avoid a head-on collision. This is a type of collision that you’ll want to avoid at all costs.
2. Rear-End Collisions
Getting rear-ended is often less serious than a head-on collision, but can still cause injuries, not to mention damaging your bike.
This happens when the car or vehicle behind you doesn’t slow down or stop fast enough and runs into you from the back. While these accidents often aren’t serious in a car, they can be fatal to a motorcyclist.
To avoid getting rear-ended, be strategic every time you stop. If you can, try to pull in front of a car in front of you that’s already stopped. This means that if a driver behind you doesn’t slow down fast enough, they will hit the car behind you, rather than you.
If there aren’t any stopped cars that you can use to protect you, move over to the side of your lane so you can quickly get out of the way of a car if you need to. Stay in gear so you can move fast. Flash your brake light a couple of times to warn any cars coming up behind you that they’ll need to stop.
Keep in mind that some conditions will make getting rear-ended more likely. If the weather’s bad and visibility is low, you’ll need to be extra cautious. And if you stop unexpectedly, the cars behind you are much less likely to be able to stop in time.
3. Hitting a Car Turning Left
When a car turns left in front of you, the scene is primed for an accident. How can you avoid running into a car that turns unexpectedly?
If you’re going through an intersection when a car decides to turn or trying to pass the car, a left turn can turn deadly. Even if the driver of the car is at fault, you still need to know how to avoid these extremely dangerous accidents. Learn more here about what happens when the other driver is at fault.
This means watching what other cars are doing and learning to predict the behavior of other drivers on the road. The cars won’t always have their turn signals on. Watch for a gap in traffic that someone might try to turn into, or a driver looking to see if they can turn. They might not see you.
If you see these signs, reduce your speed and move to the outside lane if you can. Attempt to make eye contact with a driver who’s looking to turn. And always be ready to move out of the way at a moment’s notice.
4. Group Riding Accidents
Riding in a group is one of the most fun things to do on a motorcycle. However, it can make you more prone to accidents. Your safety becomes tied to the behavior of the other members in your group.
For example, if someone in the group stops or turns suddenly, they’re putting everyone else at risk. It’s important to get your riding friends to learn group riding etiquette and to ride in the proper formations.
Your bikes should be staggered to reduce the chances that you’ll hit each other. When you ride in this formation, you all have better visibility and more room for error.
If the people you want to ride with aren’t interested in making changes for the safety of the group, it’s best to ride alone. Everyone needs to take safety seriously, otherwise, they put the other riders in unnecessary danger.
How to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents and Still Have Fun
Learning to prevent motorcycle accidents doesn’t mean you won’t still have fun on the road. You can still enjoy yourself just as much — you’ll just be increasing your awareness in certain situations.
After a bit of practice, this awareness will become second nature. You’ll know what to look for without even thinking about it, and you’ll avoid costly (or priceless) damage to your bike and yourself.
Of course, sometimes the weather or the roads aren’t conducive to riding a motorcycle. You’ll still want to have a car for backup in these cases. Wondering which model to pick? Check out our top luxury car choices here!