There is nothing quite like hitting the road on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, this is one of the most dangerous ways to travel on our nation's roadways. If you get into an accident, there is a high risk of suffering severe, life-threatening injuries.
While there is nothing you can do to completely eliminate the risk of an accident, there are steps you can take to help lower the risk of a crash. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Harrisburg have created a list of five strategies for reducing your chances of getting into a motorcycle accident.
Unfortunately, even if you follow these tips, you could still suffer serious injuries in an accident because other drivers are often negligent. If this happens and you suffer an injury, contact our trusted lawyers for a free consultation. We may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries.
1. Use Freeways Instead of Surface Streets
Of course, there will be times when you cannot get where you are going without using surface streets, which are roads other than highways and freeways. However, freeways can sometimes be safer than surface streets. One of the main reasons is that cars cannot turn across your path on the freeway like they can on surface streets.
There can be a lot of stopping and going on surface streets as well, particularly in high-traffic areas, like near shopping districts. This increases the risk of being rear-ended or crashing into another car that stops short at an intersection.
2. Keep a Close Eye on Cars That Could Turn in Front of You
Left-turn accidents are one of the most common types of motorcycle accidents. These occur when a car makes a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle.
This is why you should always pay close attention to cars in the left-turn lane on the opposite side of the street as you approach an intersection. There is always a risk that one of these cars could turn in front of you and you will not have enough time to slow down or maneuver away to avoid a crash.
You should always avoid speeding, but particularly as you pass through an intersection. This way, if a car starts to turn, you will have more time to slow down or make a maneuver to avoid the crash.
If possible, try to switch to the lane farthest away from the other side of the street. This will also increase the amount of time for you to try to avoid a crash.
Be particularly careful if there is a large gap between your vehicle and the car in front of you. Drivers tend to not check for motorcycles so they might not see you and pull out into the intersection in front of you.
3. Stay Out of Cars' Blind Spots
You want to do everything you can to make yourself visible to drivers because many drivers do not look for motorcyclists before making maneuvers in traffic. While wearing bright, reflective clothing can help, you should also avoid traveling in other vehicles' blind spots.
Be aware of the traffic around you and speed up or slow down if you are in another car's blind spot. If you are unable to speed up or slow down, watch the cars around you for indications they might switch lanes. Look for turn signals or drivers checking their mirrors or turning their heads to check their blind spots.
4. Watch for Debris When Making Turns
Debris like rocks, leaves, sand and gravel can be dangerous to travel over in a motorcycle. They can cause riders to lose control and have their bike slide out from under them.
You should always be watching for debris and try to avoid it whenever possible. This is particularly important on turns because there is a higher risk of losing control. As you gain more riding experience, you will know what debris you can travel over and what to avoid.
You should also remember the rule of thumb on turning: slow down as you enter the turn and accelerate as you exit. This will give you more time to judge the debris in your path and determine what to avoid.
5. Watch Behind You When You Stop at Intersections
One of the many dangers of intersections for motorcyclists is that you could get rear-ended when you come to a stop. This could be minor accident when it involves two cars, but it is potentially life-threatening when it involves a car hitting a motorcycle. The impact could throw the rider off the bike.
When you are approaching an intersection, look behind you to see if any cars are coming in too fast. If they are, maneuver to the side of the lane rather than staying in the middle. You can also tap your brakes repeatedly to try to alert the driver that you are there.
Another strategy is to pull in front of the car directly ahead of you. This is best when there is only one car ahead of you before the intersection. This creates a buffer zone between you and any approaching cars.
Make sure to make eye contact or wave at the other driver to get his or her attention as you pull up. This way, you can drive off once the light changes without worrying about the other car trying to go at the same time.
Contact a Seasoned Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Even some of the safest motorcycle riders can be involved in accidents because of another driver's negligence. If this happens to you, there are many reasons to consider meeting with an attorney.
Our reputable motorcycle crash lawyers can review your situation in a free consultation and inform you of your legal options. We are prepared to handle all aspects of your case as we pursue fair compensation. We know how valuable compensation can be as you attempt to move forward after the crash.
We take cases on contingency, which means we do not charge legal fees without our clients obtaining compensation.
Schedule your free legal consultation today by calling (717) 888-8888.