While there’s nothing like the feeling of hitting the open road on your bike, riding a motorcycle comes with serious safety risks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 88,000 motorcyclists were injured and 4,976 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2015 in the U.S.
Due to the fact that motorcyclists have no protection surrounding them when riding, they are more likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries when involved in a crash. At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, we have seen the devastating effects that these types of injuries can have on those who have been involved in a motorcycle accident. Being aware of some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents can help you stay safe when you’re on the road.
- Cars Turning Left
The most common motorcycle accident involves cars turning in front of motorcycles. Drivers waiting to turn left at an intersection often fail to see motorcyclists coming, or misjudge the speed at which they’re traveling. That’s why it’s vital to be vigilant and pay close attention to what’s ahead of you when you’re riding. If you do see a car turning in front of you, safely slow down as much as you can. It might mean the difference between a few bruises and more permanent injury or death.
- Vehicles Making Blind Lane Changes
Motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles and can easily be missed in blind spots, especially considering the fact that most drivers are looking for vehicles like cars and trucks, not motorcycles, when changing lanes. Be aware of the location of blind spots and spend as little time as possible in them. If you can see a driver in his or her side mirrors, he or she should (hopefully) be able to see you. Be extra careful in heavy, slow-moving traffic, as drivers will try to get in the lane that’s moving faster if they can. Look for signs such as turn signals and drivers checking their mirrors or turning their heads. Being aware of these signs at all times can help you avoid being hit by a driver who isn’t paying attention when changing lanes.
- Lane Splitting
It should go without saying, but lane splitting is extremely dangerous. Driving between two lanes of traffic is illegal in Pennsylvania and many other states. Don’t put your life and the lives of others at risk for a few minutes of joyriding. Pick a lane, ride safely and avoid speeding.
- Hazardous Road Conditions
Potholes, branches, gravel and other defects or debris in the road can lead to a motorcyclist losing control and being involved in a deadly accident. Keep your eyes on the road so you have fair warning to avoid anything that obstructs your path.
Even if you stay alert and vigilant when riding, motorcycle accidents happen. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices at 610-867-2900 to schedule a free consultation today.