Why Are Intersections Dangerous for a Motorcyclist
Intersections can be dangerous for bikers and lead to motorcycle accidents. This is due to the intersection’s complexity and the concentration of people and vehicles all going in different directions at the same time. For the most part, we rely on one another to obey the rules of the road. However, that does not always happen.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists have a dismal record when it comes to intersections with 51 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes occurring there. Let’s look at what causes motorcycle accidents in intersections, how to avoid them and what to do once they happen.
Reasons Why Motorcycle Accidents Occur
There are many reasons for motorcycle accidents ranging from speeding to negligent motorists and inclement weather. Some of the most common are:
- Motorists often fail to yield to a motorcycle before turning
- Bad weather conditions that hide the sight of a motorcycle nearby
- Overgrowth of foliage making it difficult to see a motorcycle
- Drivers who don’t see a motorcycle in their path and rear-end them
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Motorists running a red light
Ways to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents
There are ways for a motorcyclist to stay safe in an intersection. The biggest hurdle is visibility, and below you’ll find several ways to prevent an intersection crash:
- Increase conspicuity: Motorcyclists have a problem being seen on the road. Motorists offer many excuses for hitting a biker, but the most common one is that they did not see them. While motorists need to change their habits, a motorcyclist can help by increasing their conspicuity. One of the best ways to do that is to drive with their lights on 24/7 and use reflective strips on their clothing and bike.
- Inclement weather: Motorcyclists also need to be extra cautious in inclement weather, driving slowly and carefully.
- Don’t speed: Avoid speeding to maintain control of the bike. This is helpful in an intersection where there are many stops and starts. It is also important when rounding a curve.
- Don’t drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs: Such substances can lessen your ability to concentrate, make intelligent decisions and judge distances.
- Brake early: When approaching an intersection, it is important to brake early. This reduces your chance of going into a skid and gives drivers behind you notice that you are stopping, averting motorcycle accidents.
- Read other drivers: Try to anticipate what other drivers will do. Aside from checking for oncoming traffic, a motorcyclist must learn how to assess the driver’s intentions. Check to see if their turn signal is blinking, the direction of their tires and where their gaze is directed. This will give you an idea about the motorist’s next move.
- Make sure you have a proper view of the road: Keep in mind, if you can’t see a car or driver, in all likelihood they can’t see you.
- Drive defensively: Stay alert and scan traffic to keep an eye out for any danger.
- Look both ways: Once you have a green light and can move into the intersection, remember to check that the coast is clear. If not, wait.
After a Crash
A few of the steps you must take are:
- Stay at the scene
- Get medical help if needed by calling 911
- Call the police
- Get checked out by a medical professional
- Take pictures of the accident site and the placement of the vehicles
- Call your insurance company
- Call your lawyer
Travis Law Firm
If you are in a motorcycle accident, you may need the insight an attorney at the Travis Law Firm can provide. You can call us at (814) 277-2222 to set up a free, no-obligation case review. We will look over your accident, answer any questions you may have and give you an idea of your options moving forward. You can also reach us online. Remember, as a personal injury law firm, we charge our clients on a contingency basis. That means we don’t get paid unless you win. Let us deal with your insurer, investigate the motorcycle crash and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.