How Motorcyclists Can Best Avoid Accidents & What To Do If You’re Involved In One

Every year, the sad reality is that thousands of people get injured or even die in motorcycle accidents, many of which could have been avoided. Whether you’re new to riding a bike or have been a motorcyclist for a long time, it’s important to know how to stay safer on the roads and keep others safer, too. You also need to know what to do next if something happens, and you’re involved in a crash.

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Common Causes Of Bike Accidents

Bike accidents happen for numerous reasons throughout the year, but some causes pop up the most. For example, one is driver distraction, which can happen when car motorists get distracted and run into motorcyclists or even when bike riders get distracted themselves. There can be many types of distractions, but one of the most common is when people look away from the road to read or respond to text messages, calls, emails, social media updates, and other things on their smartphones.

Drivers also get distracted by putting on music or changing songs or volume, doing their makeup, looking at or talking to kids or pets in the car, or just looking at other things along the road, such as pedestrians, billboards and other signs, homes for sale, etc.

Another reason for many accidents is that drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s vital to avoid driving if you’ve had too much alcohol and might be over the limit or have imbibed any drugs. These substances can make you slow to react and impair your judgment, making you less able to drive safely. Similarly, be wary of driving if you’ve taken any medications that can cause you to become drowsy or have impaired reflexes, and never drive if you’re feeling very sleepy in general.

Other reasons for crashes can be speeding or otherwise being reckless, such as under-passing other vehicles, ignoring roadwork or detour signs, or changing lanes very quickly. Don’t run red lights or sit too close to cars, and pay attention to one-way street signs. Plus, keep in mind that bike and other road accidents can occur due to bad weather conditions, unsafe vehicles, and unexpected animal crossings, among other things.

How To Avoid Being In An Accident

To stay safer on the roads, you need to avoid being distracted yourself and also be on the lookout for cars and other vehicles around you that appear not to be staying in their lanes, stopping or starting suddenly, or otherwise seeming distracted, drunk, drugged, or simply bad drivers. Stay laser-focused at all times, and never get on your bike if you’ve had too many drinks or might otherwise be under the influence or too sleepy to drive safely.

Also, watch out for changes on the roads, such as accidents ahead, lanes closed, and the like. Don’t tailgate people or get aggressive with other drivers, and keep your bike serviced and well-maintained, so it’s as safe as possible. Since motorcycles can often sit in the blind spot of other drivers, giving people enough time to see you before you change lanes or otherwise get close is essential.

Plus, when you stop at lights or stop signs, don’t sit right in the middle of the lane behind another car, as many motorists don’t spot bikes sitting there, and you could end up rear-ended or pinned between two cars. It’s best to stop towards the left or right side of the car in front. It also pays, during rides, to wear reflective gear so that other motorists can spot you more easily.

What To Do If You’re Involved In A Motorcycle Crash

While hopefully you’ll never end up in a motorcycle crash, if you do, start by getting your bike out of the road where possible and turn on your bike’s hazard lights, if it has them. See if other drivers or pedestrians, animals, etc., are okay if others were involved, and ring for an ambulance if needed. You may also need to call the police so they can speak with all involved drivers and inspect the accident site.

Exchange license and contact details with other motorists and get information from witnesses if you think they may be required. Take pictures of your bike and other bikes, cars, etc., involved and file a police report if needed for insurance or legal reasons. If you or someone riding with you were injured in the crash, you may also need to hire an attorney.

Search online to find motorcycle accident lawyers in Tampa, New York City, Los Angeles, Portland, or wherever else you may be located, and pass on all the relevant information to them, so they can see if you might be eligible for a compensation claim. Taking precautions to avoid being involved in an accident and knowing what to do if something bad happens will help you stay safer and move on faster, so you can enjoy your bike rides for longer.

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