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5 Common Motorcycle Accidents and How to Prevent Them


Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Jul 13, 2017 in Motorcycle Accidents

rider waiting to turn on busy streetThere are many different types of motorcycle crashes. However, there are several kinds of crashes that are more likely to occur than others.

Below, our motorcycle accident attorneys in South Bend describe five of the most common types of motorcycle accidents and offer tips on how to prevent them.

However, if a crash occurs, contact our attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your legal options. We have detailed knowledge of Indiana motorcycle laws and know how to construct a strong case to improve your chances of recovering fair compensation.

Left-Turn Collisions

These are accidents where a motorcycle is traveling through an intersection and a car traveling in the opposite direction makes a left turn in front of the motorcycle.

Some of these crashes are caused by drivers not paying attention. In other cases, drivers misjudge the speed of the motorcycle and believe they can make it through the intersection before the motorcycle gets there.

These accidents often result in severe injury or death because motorcyclists do not have much time to slow down or turn before impact.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of this type of crash. When you approach intersections, keep an eye on left turn lanes on the other side of the road, particularly when you see other cars making left turns.  

You also need to be prepared to slow down or make another maneuver to avoid a collision if a car pulls into the intersection. However, you need to be aware of your surroundings. If a car is right behind you, hitting the brakes might not be a good idea because you could get rear-ended. If there are no cars to the right or left you might be able to change lanes to avoid hitting the car that is making a left turn.

Lane-Change Accidents

These occur when a vehicle veers into your lane and hits you. One way to reduce the likelihood of these accidents is to not stay in another car's blind spot for very long. It is up to other drivers to check their blind spots before changing lanes, but you should not assume they will do so.

If you are in a traffic jam you need to be extra cautious because there is a good chance of cars making lane changes. Watch for turn signals and try to anticipate when other cars will change lanes. This will help give you more time to react to try to avoid a crash.

Accidents Caused by Debris on a Corner

One of the reasons riding a motorcycle is much more dangerous than driving a car is that small debris like leaves, sand or gravel can cause a motorcyclist to lose control of his or her bike. Meanwhile, cars can move over these hazards without the driver even noticing.

These hazards are particularly dangerous on corners, as riders have little time to prevent their front tires from passing over the debris. This often results in riders losing control of their bikes.

The best way to avoid these kinds of accidents is to travel at a speed that gives you enough time to react to hazards that come into your field of vision. This way you can avoid ever hitting debris that can cause you to wipe out.

When you enter corners, follow the "slow in, fast out" rule. This means you slow down when approaching a corner so you can see what is ahead and then speed out of the turn.  

Crashes Involving Car Doors

These accidents often occur when a motorcyclist is traveling between a line of parallel-parked cars and an active lane of traffic. Someone in a parallel-parked car opens his or her door and the motorcyclist crashes right into the door. This can easily cause the rider to get thrown from the bike, possibly resulting in severe injury or death.

The key to avoiding these accidents is to never ride between a line of parked cars and an active lane of traffic.

If you are in this situation, you need to slow down and watch the line of parked cars carefully. If you see a door start to open, you should have enough time to veer out of the way or slow down.

Rear-End Accidents at Intersections

Many motorcyclists get rear-ended by cars when they stop at stop signs, crosswalks and intersections.

There are two strategies for avoiding these types of crashes:

  • Stop to the side of the lane rather than in the center – Once you come to a stop, watch behind you for any oncoming cars. Even though you are off to the side, there is still a chance that a car could hit you. Keep your motorcycle in gear so you can quickly move if you think a car might hit you.
  • Pull ahead of the car stopped in front of you – This only applies in situations where there is a car in front of you at the intersection. Oncoming cars are more likely to see the car than your motorcycle.

Schedule a Free Legal Consultation Today

Riding a motorcycle can be a lot of fun, but it is also incredibly dangerous. There are no seat belts or airbags to help prevent serious injuries in a crash.

The injuries from a motorcycle accident can be life-altering, requiring long-term or even lifelong treatment.

If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, you should seek legal representation from our South Bend personal injury attorneys. You could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

We take cases on contingency, so your initial consultation is free and you will not be charged legal fees unless there is a favorable resolution of the case.

Contact Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak today for a free consultation.