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Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents And Tips To Avoid Them

California’s climate offers motorcycle riders the perfect opportunity to take to the road. Despite riders’ best efforts, however, motorcycle accidents remain a problem.

The most common motorcycle accidents involve other vehicles, resulting in more than half of all motorcycle fatalities. Drivers of cars and trucks often do not see motorcycles. A motorcycle is small enough to get hidden in another vehicle’s blind spot, so when a driver makes a turn or switches lanes without seeing a motorcycle, an accident can result. Motorcycles are maneuverable in good road conditions and at slower speeds, but they still have trouble getting out of the way of other cars quickly.

Motorcycle riders frequently slow down by downshifting or letting off the throttle rather than hitting the brakes, which leaves them more vulnerable to rear end collisions from drivers who do not see a brake light warning. Riders also tend to shift lane positioning to counteract the effects of road debris, road conditions or passing cars. This sometimes gets misconstrued as an invite to other vehicles to share the road space and accidents occur as a consequence.

Motorcyclists can follow some common sense rules to ride safe on the roads. Because they are often hidden from the drivers of other vehicles, motorcyclists should stay as visible as possible and maintain a safe distance. Many motorcycle turn signals are not self-canceling, so motorcyclists should be sure to turn them off after they change lanes or make turns, to avoid confusing others on the road. Wet roads make it more difficult for motorcycles to stop quickly, so riders should maintain extra space between them and vehicles that they are following so they have adequate room to stop safely.

Source: For Car Drivers, “Ten Things All Car & Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles.”