Siegal & RichardsonLLP

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Motorcycle crashes: 5 common factors to know

Motorcyclists have to make split-second decisions when they are out on the roads. While you can't plan for accidents, you can have an idea about what you will do if specific situations occur. In most instances, you will have to react quickly if you want to avoid an accident.

Some of the hazards you might face come from other drivers. Others are due to your own actions or the road conditions. In all of these cases, you might be able to prevent a crash or at least minimize the injuries you suffer.

  • Slippery roads: You should ensure that you have good tires. Even with the best tires, you should be cautious when you are riding over things like manhole covers. Oil slicks, which have a rainbow sheen, are also problematic.
  • Cars turning in front of you: The most common accident for motorcyclists is vehicles turning in front of them. Watch for signs that a car will do this. Most often, the wheels will give you the first indication. The direction of the driver's head can also indicate where they will drive. Be sure that you have an evasive route planned the entire time you are on the road.
  • Cars changing lanes: Sometimes, another vehicle will change lines right into you. All vehicles have blind spots in which the driver can't see. Beware of turn signals and whether a driver is checking their mirrors. Leaving yourself a way out in case this happens is always imperative.
  • Dooring: Cars opening their doors along the side of the road can spell disaster for motorcyclists. The area next to parked cars into which the doors reach is known as the death zone. Always leave plenty of room between yourself and those vehicles to avoid being doored.
  • Cars rear-ending you: "Fender benders" are the most common type of vehicle crashes, but these can be fatal for a person on a motorcycle. Try to set yourself in a crumple zone using other vehicles if possible. If there aren't any other vehicles that you can use to protect yourself, stop near the side of the lane instead of the middle, which gives space for vehicles that didn't pay attention to your stopping.

Anyone who is involved in a motorcycle crash will likely need medical care. This can be costly, so you might choose to seek compensation from the driver who slammed into your motorcycle if that person was the one liable for the wreck.

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