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5 Types of Accidents Only Motorcyclists Know to Watch For

By Peters & Nolan, LLC on March 1, 2022

As any rider knows, certain risks come with the thrill of the ride. Motorcycles are smaller, less stable, and less visible than four-wheeled passenger vehicles. Lacking the protection of an enclosed vehicle, riders are more vulnerable to serious injuries than passenger vehicle occupants. Experienced motorcyclists learn to watch out for and avoid the following types of accidents.

Vehicles Turning Left at Intersections

One of the most common types of motorcycle accidents happens when a driver makes a left-hand turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. The driver may be inattentive or looking for a larger vehicle and simply fails to register the motorcycle in the roadway. This type of crash can also occur when a rider is passing or attempting to overtake a car. To help avoid a left-turn motorcycle collision, be alert to the drivers around you, particularly in intersections, and take evasive action if necessary.

Taking Corners

It is easy to wipe out on a motorcycle when you take a turn too fast. You can also lose control of the bike if the front wheels lose traction when you hit a patch of leaves, sand, gravel, or standing water in a turn. The best approach to avoid a crash is to take the turn wide, enter slowly, and speed up out the corner.

Lane Changes

Passenger vehicles have blind spots and drivers don’t always check them before switching lanes. A motorcycle is smaller than a car and easier to miss in a blind spot. A driver who changes lanes without first performing a head check can sideswipe a motorcycle traveling in the lane the driver is entering. Try to stay out of the blind spots of the vehicles around you and be alert for signs that a driver is about to switch lanes. These signs may include turn signals, wheels turning, mirror checking, or head checking. When you see the signs, be ready to fall back, speed up, or switch lanes yourself to avoid being hit.

Riding at High Speeds

Going fast on the open road is one of the joys of riding a motorcycle. Light-weight, high-performance motorcycles can reach high speeds. According to the laws of physics, the faster a vehicle is traveling, the more time and distance is required to stop or react, and the greater the impact in a crash. Operating your motorcycle at a safe speed can help you avoid an accident.

Lane Splitting

When a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of slow-moving vehicles or stopped traffic, it is known as lane splitting. This can lead to accidents because of the proximity of the motorcycle to the other vehicles, and because passenger vehicle drivers are not expecting to be passed or overtaken by a motorcycle in the same lane in traffic that is slow or stopped. In Colorado, it is illegal to pass or overtake another vehicle in the same lane, as stated by the Department of Transportation (CO DOT). However, it is legal to co-ride with one other motorcycle in the same lane.

Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

Injuries suffered by motorcyclists in a crash tend to be more severe than those sustained by occupants of enclosed vehicles. Common motorcyclist injuries include traumatic brain injury, fractured bones, internal organ damage, and road rash. If you have been seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, get medical attention for your injuries and speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

Our Grand Junction personal injury attorneys at Peters & Nolan, LLC have recovered millions for our injured clients. Our tenacious trial lawyers are dedicated to helping people in need and provide compassionate and aggressive representation. We offer a free initial consultation. Call us today at (970) 243-4357.

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