Cruising the open road on a bright sunny day on your motorcycle can sometimes be as much dangerous as it can be enjoyable. Even if your motorcycle is equipped with all the tools to avoid a collision, a motorcycle accident can still happen. And although motorcycle accidents happen less than car or truck accidents, they tend to result in more serious injuries and or death. In 98% of them an injury is guaranteed and half of those, a staggering 48%, will result in severe and life-threatening injuries.
Things get even more serious if you are driving in California. As a country that has some of the best routes for motorcycling, it is no wonder there are more motorcycle accidents in California than in any other state. With over 800,000 registered motorcycles in California, around 16,000 accidents occur every year, and the numbers are climbing fast. Just in Los Angeles 5000 motorcyclists are either injured or killed in a motorcycle accident every year.
So before you decide to hop on your motorcycle and enjoy the warm California breeze, helmet-free, take a minute to read on the most common types of motorcycle accidents and how to prevent them. It might just save your life.
Head-On Collision Accident
One of the most dangerous types of motorcycle accidents is definitely a head-on and it usually involves another vehicle. The bigger the vehicle you collide with, the less are the chances of your survival. Front to front collision unfortunately is very often. It involves high speeds and not enough time to slow down, resulting, in most cases, in a fatal outcome.
What you need to do is follow the smart formula called ”the 4 R’s”– Read (the road), (drive to the) Right, Reduce (your speed), Ride off (the road). In other words, always keep your eyes on the road, always be in the right lane and keep to the outside of it, reduce your speed if your notice a commotion in the traffic, and if needed slow down and stop at the side of the road until a commotion is resolved.
The biggest benefit of riding a motorcycle shows when you are faced with a traffic jam. We’ve all seen it a million times- all the cars in all the lanes have stopped, cars packed with impatient drivers, but look at those motorcyclists just passing in between the two lanes, unperturbed by the traffic problems. Aren’t they lucky? The answer is- no because they are exposing themselves to the dangers of lane splitting that can lead them flying over an open car door.
What you should do is resist the lane-splitting idea forming inside your head when you see a traffic jam. You have to get used to the fact that car drivers pay less attention to motorcycles in traffic than they do to cars. If you do end up lane-splitting, do it in the safest manner, keep your eyes open to anyone trying to merge into the lane, and always look for extra room.
This is a regular occurrence at an intersection. A motorcycle is going straight and a car is making a left-hand turn. Instant collision! No matter what happened, the fault lies with the one making the left-hand turn, even if there was speeding involved.
This is where motorcyclists are put to the test. They have to exercise caution at all times while driving and pay attention to all those signs telling that someone is about to make a left-hand turn. Drive to the outside most lane and make yourself visible to other drivers.
And if you ever happen to be involved in a Left-Hand turn type of accident, it would be wise to seek legal counsel and hire a motorcycle accident attorney, as it is not always clear who was liable for the accident, and may lose considerable compensation.
Speeding and Alcohol Use
In California, 22% of all fatal accidents are caused by alcohol. Now have that in mind if you ever decide to ride your bike after ”just a couple of drinks”. And while you’re at it, remember that, unlike cars, you do not have a seatbelt or an airbag to lessen your injuries and prevent your untimely death.
What you should do is just not do it. Don’t drink and drive! It is never O.K. to drink and drive. Not only is it unsafe for you, but it is also not fair to the rest of the drivers following the rules but paying the price because of your irresponsible behavior. There is always another safer way to get home.