Five Leading Threats to Motorcyclists and How to Avoid Them
If you are riding a motorcycle you may face many threats that a car driver does not face. Even if the danger is the same, it is exacerbated on two wheels because you don’t have the protection of a metal frame. At Cooper Hurley injury lawyers, our attorneys are experts in the risks of riding a motorcycle in Virginia.
Here are five leading causes of motorcycle wrecks.
1 Oncoming traffic
A driver may be distracted by a cellphone and drift into the middle of the road. Or the driver may not notice a smaller vehicle like a motorcycle. Alternatively, a driver may swerve into the road to avoid an obstruction or a wreck.
A driver doesn’t even need to hit a biker directly to cause an injury. Being clipped by a car can knock you off your bike. As a rider, you need to be hyper-vigilant. Don’t just look out for cars approaching you; anticipate cars or trucks that are about to cross a center line to minimize your risk of colliding with oncoming traffic.
2 Gravel on the Road
Gravel on the road may be a hazard for car drivers but it’s far more dangerous for riders. In rural areas on small roads, you can easily come across gravel that can cause you to come off your bike. Motorcycles are good on corners but an obstacle can be very tricky. Dirt, tree branches, and animals such as deer can spell disaster for riders. Even roadkill can be a hazard. Gravel is one of the worst obstacles, though, because it causes riders to lose their grip on the road and to crash.
You should never ride too quickly around a curve when you don't know what's ahead. Make sure you can see gravel on the road before you get to it.
3 Sudden Stops
When a driver in front of you slams on the brakes, there’s always potential for a rear-ender. There is an even greater risk of serious injury if you are on a motorcycle.
The front brake on a motorcycle provides 70 percent of the stopping power, so you have to use it. However, if you pull the brake too hard you could lock your front wheel and throw yourself forward, causing serious injuries.
There’s always potential for a wreck when someone has to slam on the brakes, but it’s more dangerous when you’re on a motorcycle. Buying a bike with anti-lock brakes will help mitigate this problem. If you don’t have ABS, it’s even more important to learn how to handle your bike under heavy braking conditions.
4 Opening Car Doors
If you are riding a motorcycle in the city you should lookout for people opening their car doors. Doors being opened by drivers and passengers who don’t look have been a major cause of cycling accidents for years. If you hit a motorcyclist with a car door, his or her injuries are likely to be more serious due to the speed involved. Don't ride too close to parked cars in built-up areas.
5 Cars Changing Lanes
Car drivers frequently change lanes without warning. When a car crashes into a motorcycle while changing lanes, the rider, not the driver loses out almost every time.
Lane changes and turns by cars cause numerous injuries to motorcycles. If you see a car that’s starting to drift ahead of you, you should drive defensively and plan for the worst. Don’t hang around just behind car drivers who are likely to change lanes in places such as the approach of an intersection.
If you have been injured in any of these scenarios or in a different one by the actions of a driver, please call our Virginia motorcycle injury lawyers today for a consultation at (757) 455-0077.