When compared with other vehicles, riding a motorcycle is challenging and risky at the same time. They are more crash-prone than other closed vehicles. However, it is a fun mode of transportation all the same. And so, motorcycle riding is risky, yet, is one of the most favourite pastimes for motor enthusiasts and adventure lovers.
Speeding or reckless driving, unsafe lane changes, intoxication, lane splitting, hazardous road conditions and so on are some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents. However, among them all, the most common cause is other drivers’ failure to notice motorcycles on the road.
According to various studies, the chances of fatality are 29 times more in motorcycle crashes compared to car crashes. A motorcycle is less stable than a car and the motorcyclist lacks the protection of an enclosed vehicle while riding. In most cases, during a collision, riders are typically thrown out from the motorcycle that could cause severe injuries and even death. Operating a motorcycle requires the coordination of both physical and mental skills, which is not precluded while operating a motorcycle. Due to the challenges involved in operating a bike or a scooter, motorcycle accidents and their outcomes are more severe than car accidents.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle crashes are inherently far more dangerous than any other traffic accident. These accidents might cause major or minor injuries depending upon the severity of the accident. From lacerations, minor cuts and broken bones to spine, neck and traumatic brain injury, motorcycle crashes can cause various injuries to the rider. It is important to remember that unlike cars or any other enclosed vehicle driver, motorcyclists do not have the added safety of seatbelts, airbags and enclosures. Thus, it is important for every motorcyclist to follow certain basic safety measures to minimise the chances of crashes.
However, to practise the regular safety measure while riding a motorcycle, the motorcyclist must be aware of the common mistakes or causes of accidents. Though there are several other reasons that can be noted, here we have listed the common ones.
Left Turn Accidents
Cars making left-hand turns are one of the common causes of motorcycle accidents. When a car making a left-hand turn comes across a motorcycle, it becomes tough for the rider to keep their motorcycle stable and steady. Among all accidents, cars making left-hand turns account for 42% of all accidents. Though these accidents can occur with other vehicles as well, it’s more common with motorcycles because of their smaller size and less visibility. In most cases, car drivers make misjudgments of distance while taking left turns and cause such accidents.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
Driving between two lanes can be too dangerous for bikers. This phenomenon of driving is known as lane splitting and considered as a common cause of motorcycle crashes. Though this practice is illegal in most parts of the world, bikers go for lane splitting during traffic jams. During lane splitting, other vehicles might suddenly come close to the motorcycle and cause an accident. Remember, motorcycles have less ss space to manoeuvre around the cars and thus, such actions can lead to severe accidents.
Lane switching is another reason behind motorcycle accidents. Such accidents take place when you are riding on a four-lane road and the car next to you suddenly changes its lane. As motorcycles are comparatively smaller in size, they easily fall into the car driver’s blind spot, leading to severe accidents. To avoid such instances, motorcyclists must be able to see the car’s mirror. While riding, if you can see yourself in the mirror of the car before you, it means that the driver can see you as well. However, if you are in the driver’s blind spot, either slow down or speed up to get out of that spot.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Accidents are more likely to happen when either the motorcycle or the other vehicle is speeding or driving aggressively. Speeding makes it tougher for the biker to have full control over the bike. The high speed makes it challenging for both the motorcycle and the other vehicle to see or react to prevent a collision. Thus, it is always advisable to maintain a controlled speed while riding a bike. Remember, the higher the speed of the motorcycle, the more severe the impact and the consequences.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous. According to a report, in 2019, among motorcyclists who died in crashes, 30% were alcohol-impaired. Remember, drinking and driving is both a criminal and social offence. So, while riding your bike, drop the idea of alcohol consumption or any other intoxication, as it can cost you dearly.
Collisions between a motorcycle and another vehicle is also a common cause of motorcycle injuries and deaths. Head-on collisions constitute around 56% of deaths from motorcycle crashes. In the majority of cases, such accidents are fatal for motorcyclists. Apart from head-on collisions with other vehicles, collisions between bikes and fixed objects are the reasons for motorcycle accidents. To avoid such accidents, motorcyclists must be able to read the road ahead, drive to the right, control the speed and ride off the road.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Potholes, crumbling roads, lack of necessary signs and signals can make a motorcycle ride dangerous. It can increase a rider’s chance of losing control of their vehicles and might cause grave accidents even leading to death.
Motorcycle crashes might result in dire consequences. Injuries from such accidents can be life-changing and may impair you for life. Thus, to avoid crashes or accidents while riding, always follow the safety measures like wearing proper garments, helmets, ensuring motorcycle maintenance and so on. Also, make yourself updated regarding the traffic rules and regulations to make the road a safer place.