Top 10 Causes and Ways to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents

Protect yourself from life-changing motorcycle crashes. Here’s our list of the top 10 causes of motorcycle accidents and how you can avoid them.

You’ve bought your first motorbike, completed your training course, obtained your license and now you’re ready to the hit the open road. However, you’re concerned that despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself the victim of a devastating motorcycle accident, caused by unanticipated circumstances. We believe that it’s always better to err on the side of caution, and that’s why to ease your mind, we have compiled a list outlining the top 10 causes of motorcycle accidents (in no particular order of relevance), and what you can do to avoid them. Our list of top causes for motorcycle accidents include:

1. Vehicles turning left in front of you
Either due to the inattention of the driver, or simply because you are in his blind spot, motorists can collide with your motorbike while turning left around a corner. You can avoid a collision by allowing yourself time to slow down and gauge whether the other vehicle may be turning, while still being aware of the other traffic surrounding you to avoid a secondary accident.

2. Hitting a patch of sand or gravel, overturning your motorcycle
Sometimes you come across a rough patch on the road that can cause you to panic and lose control of your vehicle. Give yourself the time to register and respond to these obstacles by riding at a safe pace, and by making sure you have an unrestricted field of vision to take in your surroundings clearly.

3. Turning a corner too fast
Often motorcyclists turn a corner too fast and realize that the motorbike may not be able to make the bend. You can avoid situations like these simply by regulating your speed, and slowing down at corners until you have full visibility of the terrain ahead. If you have attempted turning a corner too fast, try riding it out by maintaining a light touch on the controls and avoiding doing anything that might upset the balance of the motorbike.

4. A motorist swerves without warning into your lane
This can happen if your motorbike is in the vehicle’s blind spot, or even if the motorist has failed to notice your presence behind him. You can avoid encountering this situation by making sure you stay in the other driver’s line of vision and by observing the movements of the vehicle to anticipate when the driver ahead may attempt to change lanes.

5. A car collides with your motorbike from behind
You may find your motorbike rear-ended if you halt suddenly without warning, or if the other driver is not paying sufficient attention to the road. Some precautions you can take to avoid this is making sure you slow down gradually before halting and also by pulling over to the side of the road at intersections and flashing your brake lights to alert other commuters of your presence. It is also a good practice to keep an eye out for vehicles pulling up behind you at intersections to determine if you are in any danger of being hit.

6. Poor riding etiquette in groups
Often groups of riders are unaware of the need to ride in a staggered formation that will allow each member of the group the space they need for their vehicle, and provide them unrestricted view of their surroundings. If you are riding as part of a group, it is imperative to make sure each member is aware of the rules of etiquette to be followed for the overall safety of the group.

7. A car door opened, or a motorist pulled onto the street
Terrible motorcycle accidents can occur if the other driver has not checked to make sure the way is clear before pulling the car out, or stepping onto the street. The best way to avoid an accident caused by these circumstances is to make sure you do not ride your motorcycle between an active street and parked vehicles. However, if this is unavoidable, riding at a regulated speed and being vigilant to signs of activity in the parked vehicles can save you from a serious accident.

8. Environmental factors like rain, snow and ice
Environmental factors like rain, snow and ice can make roads slippery and difficult to navigate. A good set of tires will help you overcome these challenges to a large extent. It is also important to remember that these conditions can reduce visibility and increase your time needed to brake effectively. So ride at a reasonable speed, keeping adequate distance between you and other vehicles on the road to minimize your damages in the event of an accident.

9. Alcohol and accidents
Riding under the influence of an intoxicating substance can be deadly. Even if you don’t drink and ride, it is crucial to remain vigilant of other drunk drivers on the road especially in areas that are known to have a thriving nightlife. Being cautious while riding at night, especially at intersections can save your life.

10. Vehicle failure
Making sure your vehicle is in great working condition can be expensive, but it is a necessity. Failure to do so may result in a catastrophic accident that has terrible consequences for you and others on the road. Ride responsibly and make sure you stick to the recommended maintenance schedule for your motorbike to avoid suffering an accident caused by your own neglect.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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