May is motorcycle awareness month and with Memorial Day right around the corner, it’s officially time to dust off your helmet and get out the bike.
The best way to reduce your odds of getting in an accident or injuring yourself while riding your motorcycle is safety gear, stay aware and education.
We’ve laid out the 10 most common motorcycle accidents and how to avoid them below:
1. Car changes lanes in front of you
How to avoid: Motorcycles can easily fit into vehicle’s blind spots. Be aware of where your blind spots are and stay out of them as much as possible. Be aware of the traffic situation ahead; is there traffic ahead in the other lane?
2. Car turns left in front of you
How to avoid: RIDEAPART.com describes how to avoid this perfectly:
Look for signs that could indicate someone may turn in front of you: a car is at an intersection waiting to turn, there’s a gap in traffic near an intersection, driveway or parking lot. In either situation, slow down, cover your brakes and get ready to take evasive action.
And once you’ve identified said threat, you can work it through levels of severity. Is the driver clearly able to see you, without obstruction from their window pillars, trees or signs? Is that person actually looking? Are they looking at you? How are they situated in the road? What is their speed? Where are their wheels pointing?
Look at their wheels, not the car – they’ll give you the first clue of movement. During all this, also be aware of what’s behind and to your side. Should you need to take evasive action, you’ll need to know your routes of escape. It’s no good braking in time to avoid a turning car, only to be swatted from behind by a tailgating SUV. What’s the road surface like? Is it going to be able to handle the full force of your brakes or are you going to lock them? You do know how to use the full ability of your brakes, right?
Under no circumstances should you “lay the bike down.” Your best chance of survival comes from shedding as much speed as possible pre-collision, and you’re going to be able to do that best with the bike completely upright, using both brakes. Even if you only have time to lose 10 or 20 mph, that could be the difference between going home with bruises and going home at all.
3. Gravel / Road Conditions
How to avoid: Be aware of your surroundings and avoid poor road conditions whenever possible. Be especially aware when coming around a corner.
How to avoid: Simple…don’t speed. The higher the speed, the greater the impact and the more severe the consequences.
5. Car Doors
How to avoid: Avoid the “death zone” aka between active traffic lane and parked cars. Not just because of the opening doors thing, but because pedestrians step out, cars pull out so they can see, and for a million other reasons