Some motorcycle accidents are more common than others, which is why you should use defensive driving strategies to reduce your risk of being involved in these types of collisions.
Below, our Boston motorcycle accident attorneys describe five of the most common types of motorcycle crashes and offer practical tips on ways to avoid them.
Our experienced lawyers are also available to assist you in recovering compensation if you are ever injured in one of these types of accidents.
1. Rear-End Crashes
Motorcyclists are often rear-ended by cars at stop signs, crosswalks and intersections, particularly if they had to come to an abrupt stop to avoid pedestrians or small animals on the road in front of them.
Rear-end accidents involving two cars are often referred to as fender benders because they are typically minor crashes. However, these crashes can cause severe injuries or death if a motorcycle is the vehicle being hit.
Motorcycles are not built to absorb the impact of a car in a way that prevents riders from being thrown off their bikes. Motorcycles also do not have seat belts or airbags to help reduce the risk of serious injury when an accident occurs.
How to Avoid Being Rear-Ended
One way to reduce the chances of this type of crash is to stop to the side of the lane rather than in the center.
Tap your brake lever a few times to flash your brake lights at any oncoming cars so they are more likely to see you. You should also look behind you to see if anyone is coming and keep your bike in gear so you can get away if it looks like a car is going to hit you.
The other strategy for preventing a rear-end accident applies only if there is a car stopped in front of you. In this situation, pull in front of the car and wave at them to make sure they see you. This way, if a car approaches too quickly, it will hit the other car and not your bike.
2. Crashes Caused by Entering Corners Too Fast
This often happens on blind corners where the road seems to disappear ahead. Riders often find out too late that a turn is coming and may be traveling too fast to make the corner.
The danger of entering a corner too fast is that your bike could slide out from under you while you are trying to make the turn, possibly causing road rash and other severe injuries.
Avoiding Cornering Crashes
You should always travel at a speed that allows you to see the direction of the road, even if it is disappearing in front of you.
If you ever enter a corner traveling at an unsafe speed, the best way to avoid a crash is to just ride it out. Do not slam on the brakes, chop the throttle or do anything else that could cause your bike to lose traction. Do not panic if your knee or a foot peg touches the pavement, just keep going. In many cases, the motorcycle is perfectly capable of making it around the corner.
3. Accidents Involving Debris in Blind Corners
These crashes occur when a motorcycle rounds a corner right into a patch of sand, gravel, leaves or other similar types of debris. Once the front tire hits the debris, the bike wipes out.
Preventing Crashes Involving Debris
Many motorcycle crashes are caused by traveling at an unsafe speed that does not allow you to see far enough in front of your current position or give you enough time to make an evasive maneuver to avoid debris or some other obstacle.
That is why riders should enter corners slowly so they can see what is in front of them and make sure to avoid it on the way out of the corner.
4. Lane-Change Accidents
This is when a car veers into your lane and hits your motorcycle. These crashes often occur when the motorcycle is in the blind spot of the driver who is switching lanes.
Avoiding a Collision
The best thing you can do to avoid these crashes is to avoid staying in a car’s blind spot for too long. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the driver’s eyes in his or her mirrors, he or she can also see you.
You should also exercise greater caution in situations where there is likely to be more lane changes. For instance, when traffic slows and there is one lane moving faster than another, drivers are more likely to switch lanes to get into the fast-moving lane.
Keep an eye out for turn signals or drivers who are checking their mirrors or moving their heads around. These could be indications that the driver is about to change lanes.
5. Collisions Where Cars Turn Left in Front of Motorcycles
This could be the most common type of motorcycle accident. It occurs when a driver either does not see a motorcyclist or misjudges the motorcyclist’s speed and turns left right in front of a bike traveling in the opposite direction.
In some cases, the driver is not paying attention and in others he or she fails to check blind spots. Another issue is that many drivers do not think to check for motorcycles, which can be more difficult to see than cars.
Preventing Left-Turn Crashes
The best way to prevent these crashes is to stay alert and watch for any signs that a car is about to turn in front of you. For instance, if a car is waiting at an intersection to turn, there is always a possibility that the driver will turn right in front of you. It may sound extreme but it is true: a car waiting at an intersection is a potential threat to your life.
Any time you are passing through an intersection, you need to be aware of your surroundings. Is someone behind you? Are there cars on either side of you?
If someone is behind you, slamming on the brakes could be a bad idea because you could get rear-ended. If there is no one on either side of you, you may be able to veer into another lane to avoid a collision with the car that is making a left turn.
If a collision seems eminent, you need to use both brakes to slow down as much as possible. Losing just 10 or 20 mph could be the difference between hitting the car and safely passing through the intersection.
Injured in a Motorcycle Crash? Schedule a Free Consultation Today
The injuries from motorcycle accidents are often severe, including fractures, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and internal damage.
Sadly, many of the accidents that cause these injuries are the result of negligence on the part of other drivers. This means they could have been prevented, sparing the victims from a variety of financial, physical and emotional damages.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, our attorneys may be able to help. Schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss the accident and find out if you have a viable legal claim.
Our Boston motorcycle accident lawyers are prepared to fight for all of the compensation you deserve.
Contact Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC today to find out if we can help you.