Motorcyclists will be on the roads this weekend in California! Multiple events designed for motorcycle enthusiasts are planned around Southern California this weekend, including rides to benefit Veterans’ Cemeteries and a Cycle Swap Meet.
A sunny weekend in California is always an invitation to hit the open roads on motorcycles, bicycles, and other wheeled modes of transportation. This May, the focus is on motorcycles since May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and California is home to about 80,000 registered motorcycles. Interestingly, about 15,000 of those motorcycles are owned by the state.
National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about motorcycle safety and how to prevent a bike accident. Attorneys who specialize in motorcycle wrecks are keenly aware of the causes of crashes and the most common types of injuries resulting from these two-wheeled vehicle accidents.
Three Preventable Motorcycle Accidents
1. Car turns in front of bike
Automobile drivers at intersections tend to watch for other cars, not motorcycles, bicycles or pedestrians. One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is a car turning in front of a motorcycle at an intersection. The best way to prevent this kind of accident is for the motorcyclist to be extra vigilant at intersections and to watch for gaps in traffic that cars may try to enter quickly. Cyclists should also be aware of everything else around them so they can plan a safe exit from a situation where a car does not see them.
2. Motorcycle hits dangerous surface
Roads are rarely smooth. At some point on a ride, a road is likely to have a patch with sand, gravel, oil/water mixture, debris, or other slick or rough surface. When a motorcycle hits that, particularly if turning a corner at a high speed, a crash is likely to happen. Cyclists can prevent these crashes by staying aware of the environment and by riding at a speed that allows ample time to react to unexpected changes in the road. Cyclists should also be comfortable using all braking options on the bike, and knowing how and when to apply the breaks or throttle to avoid crashes.
3. Car changes lanes into motorcycle
Automobiles always have blind spots. Even with today’s wide or double mirrors and electronic safety sensors, car drivers cannot see everything around them. They still change lanes when a car or bike is in their blind spot. Because of their size, motorcycles are more likely to be hidden in a driver’s “blind spot” than a vehicle. Car driver’s need to be aware of their blind spots and not turn or change lanes until they are able to see everything around them. Cyclists need to be aware of car’s blind spots and avoid those areas as much as possible. Cyclists should also watch for indications that a car is likely to change lanes and stay out of the way of that vehicle.
Six Tips for Riders to Prevent Bike Accidents
- A top contributor to motorcycle accidents is a biker who consumed alcohol before riding. Avoid drugs and alcohol before riding.
- A key factor in most motorcycle accidents is speed. Always ride at a speed that allows you ample reaction time and the ability to fully control your bike.
- Wear protective, reflective gear.
- Know your motorcycle and check it on a regular basis, especially before long rides.
- Know how to react in unexpected situations involving road conditions or weather.
- Be vigilant about traffic and the environment around you; cars can’t always see you.
Six Tips for Auto Drivers to Prevent Bike Accidents
- Watch for motorcycles at all times.
- Know that motorcycles have full rights on the road and can ride between lanes at times.
- Do not try to share a lane with a motorcycle.
- Always check blind spots before changing lanes or turning.
- Be aware that motorcycle turn signals often are not self-canceling, so a turn signal may not mean the motorcycle is about to turn or change lanes.
- Know that changes in road conditions such as sand, gravel, liquids can be particularly dangerous for cyclists. When road conditions change, watch for changes in how motorcycles around you are moving.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a motorcycle crash, call the bike accident attorneys
at Cerritos Legal today at 562-865-9356 for your free consultation.
Photo credit: Craig Howell via Flickr Creative Commons.