Unfortunately, most veteran motorcyclists can recall at least one or two close calls while riding in traffic. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are roughly 35 times more likely to be involved in a deadly accident while on the road that their counterparts riding in passenger vehicles.
To some extent, this thrill of living on the edge and relishing the excitement of every trip is what makes owning a motorcycle so much fun. Still, there is a fine line between a thrill and a life altering accident, and riders (especially those lacking experience) shouldn’t wait until they’ve had a near-collision to learn that certain situations on the road are more dangerous than others. Here are a few motorcycle accident traffic scenarios that arise often; by reading about them now, our lawyers hope this list of situations to avoid will help motorcyclists stay a little safer in the future.
Blind Spots-This one may seem obvious, but it is one of the most common causes of serious accidents. It’s difficult for many drivers to see motor vehicles weighing a few tons in their blind spots, so never assume that they can see you on your motorcycle. If you find yourself in a blind spot, take action as soon as possible to get yourself out of it, and do so in a way that is predictable and safe.
In the Center of Lanes When Traffic is Stopped-This is a very vulnerable area for motorcyclists. If a driver happens to miss you in the lane, they can rear end you, sandwiching you in between two much larger vehicles. One of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe in this situation is favor one side of the lane and point your front tire into the gap in between two cars rather than directly into the bumper of the car in front of you. In the event of an accident, this will theoretically cause you to be thrown forward into the gap rather than another cars back windshield.
Crossing an Intersection as Soon as the Light Changes-We’ve all seen it; the light turns red, and somebody in a hurry runs the red light anyway. No matter how much you may want to put the pedal down and accelerate once the light turns green, it’s safer to take a moment to survey the intersection and ensure that everyone has stopped safely. Negligent car accidents happen all the time, and you can’t always rely on drivers to obey the rules.
Near Potential Blind Turn Areas-In densely populated cities like Chicago, these kinds of situations are everywhere. A line of cars are positioned parallel to a sidewalk, and a driver attempts to exit from a driveway or parking lot entrance completely blind to what is beyond the cars. Some vehicles proceed recklessly out into the next lane, while others slowly extend the nose of their vehicles out to test the water. Either way, if you are a motorcyclist traveling in the next lane, this can cause you to hit the turning vehicle, or make you swerve in a way that causes you to collide with something else. Avoid putting yourself in this position whenever possible, and proceed cautiously when you can’t help it. (Ride Apart; MotorcycleAccident.org)
As a motorcyclist, you get to experience a lot of exciting things, but you also have to take many precautions that other motorists don’t have to think about. Don’t let yourself become a victim; be aware of your surroundings, and avoid situations that put you at risk.