When it comes to accidents on the roadways, whether in the heart of St. Petersburg or the wide open roads of the Midwest, the worst will often involve motorcycles. There is too much of the body open to exposure when riding a motorcycle, and which can often end up with devastating results when an accident occurs. However, that isn’t to say that one should give up the sense of freedom that comes with cruising. Instead, be aware of the most common types of motorcycle accidents and be vigilant in order to avoid them.
Left-Hand Turn and Torture. Motorcycles are much smaller than the average passenger vehicle and, therefore, are often mistakenly overlooked. Drivers of other vehicles will often fail to see them in time, to the left of their vehicles, when starting to make a turn. In doing so, they can side-swipe the bike and do major damage to the riders. In order to avoid this fate, bikers should be careful to avoid riding in other drivers’ blind spots, should carefully watch for turning signals, and should be prepared to alert oblivious drivers with a horn.
Poor Decision-Making. In many cases, a motorcycle accident is not the fault of another driver, but due to the poor decisions made by the biker. Just as is the case with driving an average truck, car, or van in Saint Petersburg, it is illegal to operate a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol. It is also far more dangerous on two wheels. Similarly, travelling at high speeds drastically increases the risk of a fatal accident. Approximately 50 percent of all bike accidents involve the use of alcohol or excessive speeds.
Distracted Driving. This term has taken up a seemingly permanent position in the headlines of this country with the ongoing campaign against texting while driving. Of course, texting is not the only form of distraction that takes place on the road. People have been known to add ingredients to coffee, apply makeup, and even read books while driving. As a motorcyclist, it is not only essential to keep eyes and ears tuned to the road, but also to be aware that many drivers on the road will not be following that rule. This makes it necessary to ride with extreme caution, prepared always for unexpected stops, swerves, or other reactions of the distracted driver.
Reckless Driving. Bikers get a bad name because there a small subpopulation exists that likes to ride recklessly. This includes speeding, which has already been discussed above, but also dangerous maneuvering on the roads. Motorcycles are small and agile. Some riders will test these factors by squeezing between lanes on the highway or swerving in and out of lanes to weave through busy traffic. The outcome is, all too often, less than desirable.
Road Construction or Lack Thereof. While motorcycles, undoubtedly, maneuver with more grace and ease than a sedan can, they are also more susceptible to road hazards. Roads that have been torn up because they are under construction or those that are overdue for maintenance can present a great deal of danger for bikers. Small tires and lack of balance often play against riders on uneven surfaces.
If you are going to ride a motorcycle, do so with a dedication to safety. Not only should you be abiding by the rules of the road, you should be aware that others around you may not be. If you should encounter trouble on the road, contact a personal injury attorney for advice and assistance to ensure that you don’t face significant financial loss as well.