In spring 2015, a reported 12.5 million Americans said they lived in a household that owned a motorcycle. Some might find it surprising to learn that this number has dropped by 3.68 million households since spring 2009. While economic hardship is largely to credit for this somewhat drastic decrease in motorcycle ownership, another considerable factor is safety risks.
In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 4,469 motorcycle deaths; in 2013 the motorcycle death toll rose to 4,668. Even with fewer bikes on the road, the risks of riding a motorcycle far outweigh that of driving a car.
By understanding common risks associated with motorcycling, you can better avoid life-threatening situations. The following five cases are the most prevalent dangers motorcyclists face on the road today.
As you know, riding a motorcycle in inclimate weather is much different than driving a car in a snow or rain storm. Sure, riding in the rain is both frustrating and occasionally painful, but the wetter the roads get, the more your visibility is reduced, making the conditions incredibly sketchy.
Try to avoid riding in bad weather as much as possible. Furthermore, if you are planning a longer ride, be sure to check the current and future weather for destinations along your trip - this could prevent you from being stuck, unprepared, or injured in a storm.
One of the most common reasons for motorcycle accidents is when drivers unknowingly hit loose debris such as sand, gravel, leaves, etc. Though this accident typically occurs as the driver is rounding a curve, you should be constantly aware of what is on the road in front of you and be ready to act if you detect a threat. A saying in the biking community is “slow in, fast out” meaning you should approach all turns with slow caution before accelerating out of them.
Vehicles Changing Lanes
Unfortunately, many vehicles have dangerous blind spots in which the driver cannot see you in their side or rear view mirrors when attempting to change lanes. Even worse, some drivers simply neglect to look before crossing the line. The best way to combat these types of accidents is to ensure that you are properly dressed with bright colors either on your helmet, clothing, or bike, and always looking out for reckless, careless, or even unintentionally dangerous drivers.
Too Fast, Too Furious
Sure it might be the title of a legendary action film, but driving too fast, too furious into a turn can result in a serious accident. The most advisable way to avoid this risk is to pay attention to your surroundings, such as telephone poles, road signs, and cars in front of you. All of these will indicate if a turn is approaching, and if it is, slow down! However, if you find yourself still entering a turn with too much speed, don’t panic and try to overdrive your bike; lean out of the motorcycle, keep your vision ahead to where you want to go, and be easy with the controls.
A Car Turns Into You
Drivers making careless left-hand turns into you is the biggest risk of riding a motorcycle and the leading cause of all motorcycle accidents. If you see a vehicle waiting to make a left-hand turn at a stoplight or turning lane, you should consider this a very potential threat. Train yourself to automatically survey your surroundings as well as escape routes and best-case scenarios for survival.
Can the driver clearly see you without any obstructions?
Does the driver look distracted?
What is their speed?
What direction are the car’s wheels pointing?
What is behind and beside you? Could you safely swerve lanes to avoid collision? Could you suddenly break without being rear ended by another car?
No matter what, do not lay your bike down. Instead, do everything in your power to lose as much speed as possible as fast as possible by fully engaging both brakes.
Reliable Protection For You And Your Motorcycle
Perhaps the most reliable way to protect both you and your two-wheeled investment is with reliable insurance coverage from Best Insurance Services. By offering the best motorcycle insurance in Moreno Valley, CA, Best Insurance Services can give you the peace of mind that you and your ride are in good hands even in the event of an accident. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you get the most out of your motorcycle.