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Five Leading Threats to Motorcyclists and How to Avoid Them

As your lawyer, I do everything in my power to get you results.- Jim Hurley

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

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.


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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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