The sense of freedom you may feel when taking to the road on your bike is a unique experience. Although riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating, it can also be dangerous. Even the most conscientious rider can be hurt in a crash. At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our motorcycle accident lawyers know that a serious collision can turn your life upside down. Being aware of common types of motorcycle accidents may help you avoid dangerous situations so you can stay safe on the road.
Left-Hand Turn Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), 42 % of fatal motorcycle crashes involved left-hand turn accidents in 2019. Typically, these types of crashes occur when a vehicle turning left at an intersection crashes into an oncoming motorcycle. Slowing down and scanning the area when approaching an intersection can give you time to react and avoid an accident if a turning motorist doesn’t see you or is attempting to run a red light. Wearing reflective gear or bright colors and keeping your headlight on can help make you more visible to other motorists.
Another common type of crash that can often be deadly or result in catastrophic injury is a head-on collision. Drivers may veer into an oncoming lane for different reasons, such as distracted driving, impairment due to alcohol or drugs, or fatigue. Speeding, losing control on a curve, and passing on two-lane roads can also lead to a driver crossing the center line and causing a head-on collision. Sometimes equipment malfunction such as faulty steering or brakes can cause a car to lose control and head into oncoming traffic.
Blind Spots & Lane Switching
Motorcyclists are also hit when drivers of tractor-trailers, cars, and other vehicles don’t see them when changing lanes. Always stay alert and avoid riding in blind spots if you can. If a motorist’s face isn’t visible in their side mirrors, they can’t see you.
Speeding is also a factor in many motorcycle accidents. Crashing at high speed can result in traumatic injuries and death, as motorcyclists have little protection compared to those in other motor vehicles. Taking turns and curves at high speeds can also be deadly. High-performance sports bikes can reach up to 160 miles per hour. Regardless of which type of bike you choose, slow down and obey the speed limit.
Some motorcyclists engage in lane splitting, which means they ride between adjacent lanes of stopped or slow-moving vehicles. A motorcycle’s close proximity to other vehicles in a narrow space between lanes is a recipe for disaster. Motorists usually do not expect a motorcycle to pass on the left or right between lanes in slow or stopped traffic. Lane splitting is extremely dangerous and is illegal in Pennsylvania.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Alcohol frequently plays a role in serious motorcycle accidents. Whether it’s a motorcyclist or another driver who is impaired, driving while under the influence puts everyone on the road at risk. Don’t drink and ride. If you find yourself consuming more alcohol than you should, hitch a ride with a friend or call a Lyft or Uber.
Sometimes a rider is thrown from their bike if they lose control or a vehicle hits their motorcycle. Wearing a helmet and protective clothing can save your life and help prevent serious injuries such as TBI.
Potholes, slippery surfaces, uneven lane heights, and debris or an animal in the roadway can derail your ride. Paying close attention to the road in front of you may give you enough time to avoid these common hazards and an accident.
Protecting Yourself And Your Rights
Making sure your motorcycle is in good working condition every time you hit the road, using a helmet, and wearing proper protective and reflective gear can help keep you safe when you’re on your bike. Being attentive and observant and obeying traffic laws are also essential to avoiding accidents.
If you’ve suffered serious injury or have lost a loved one in a crash, it’s critical to contact a motorcycle accident attorney who can evaluate your case and ensure your rights are protected. Injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents can be life-changing. Recovering the maximum compensation you may be entitled to can help protect your health and your family’s financial security.
Contact A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer To Learn More
Our personal injury attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad help injured victims of motorcycle accidents throughout eastern Pennsylvania recover the compensation they need to rebuild their lives after a crash. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call our Bethlehem office at 610-867-2900.