Common Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them

April 4, 2024  |  Adriel B. Villarreal

With the arrival of spring, motorcyclists are returning to the roads to capitalize on the warmer weather. But with increased traffic comes an increased need for safety. Motorcyclists are at greater risk for serious and fatal accidents than other motorists for several reasons. Motorcycles are smaller than cars and don’t offer the same protection. Many drivers don’t think to watch for motorcycles either, especially if they have never ridden one themselves. In this blog, we’ll examine three of the most common motorcycle accidents, how to avoid them, and how drivers and motorcyclists can safely share the road.

The Left-Turning Car

The most common collision involving a motorcycle occurs when a car turns left into the path of a motorcyclist. This usually happens when a driver is sitting at an intersection, waiting for a gap in oncoming traffic to make their left turn. The driver may not notice an approaching motorcycle due to its small size, or they may see it but underestimate its speed and attempt the turn anyway.

If you are a driver waiting to turn left, pay careful attention to oncoming traffic and watch for motorcycles. Remember that despite their small size, they move as quickly as cars and should be treated with the same caution. If you are a motorcyclist in this situation, be aware of any gaps in the traffic in front of you. Watch for cars that may be waiting to turn and be ready to slow down or move to the side.

The Lane Switch

Another common motorcycle accident is when a driver attempts to merge into a lane and collides with a motorcycle that they didn’t notice was already in that lane. Motorcycles are easily hidden in drivers’ blind spots due to their small size, which makes this a particularly dangerous situation.

If you are a driver about to switch lanes, be conscious of any vehicles that may be in your blind spot. Merge slowly and carefully to maximize safety for you and motorists around you. If you are a motorcyclist, try to stay out of drivers’ blind spots. If you can’t see their mirrors or their face, they probably can’t see you. Remain vigilant and watch for signs that a car may be preparing to merge into your lane.

The Head-On Collision

Head-on collisions are dangerous for the occupants of any vehicle, but they are especially hazardous to motorcyclists, who have little protection. This type of accident may occur due to drunk or distracted driving, speeding, brake failure, or confusion by a motorist who does not realize they are on the wrong side of the road. Head-on collisions are often fatal for motorcyclists, and special care should be taken to prevent them.

Motorists should avoid speeding and passing other cars on single-lane highways. Pay attention to oncoming traffic and stay away from the center line. Never drive distracted, and always maintain awareness of your surroundings.

Contact Barna, Guzy & Steffen

Have you been injured or experienced the loss of a loved one due to a motorcycle accident caused by another person’s negligence? Reach out to the vehicle accident attorneys at Barna, Guzy & Steffen. We know these incidents can lead to expensive medical bills, physical suffering, and emotional trauma. Our experienced attorneys will negotiate on your behalf to ensure that all compensation variables are addressed and that the responsible parties are held accountable. Contact us today for a free consultation.