Female biker riding motorcycle on country road

The 3 Most Common Motorcycle Accidents & How to Protect Yourself

July 9, 2019

The best kind of motorcycle accident is no accident at all. If that were a guarantee in life, we’d all sleep easier at night. However, given that accidents do happen, it’s in your best interest to prepare for and protect against them.

Here are the 3 most common motorcycle accidents our Minnesota personal injury attorneys help deal with and how to protect yourself from them.

Cars Turning Left

Left handed turns, breaching the oncoming traffic lane, are considered by some to be the most dangerous legal low speed maneuver motorists perform on a regular basis. 

This is also the most common motorcycle accident — 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and car are due to left handed turns. Motorcycles do not have the same safety features as cars, so this kind of accident, even at slow speeds, could be catastrophic for a motorcycle rider.

Drivers are supposed to be alert on the roadways and aware of other drivers, including motorcyclists. However, in scan mode, a lot of drivers only notice other cars. Your best option here is to stay alert, watch for indications that a car may turn in front of you (such as wheel direction), and be prepared for evasive action.

Changing Lanes

Motorcycles are easily obstructed in the blind spots of a driver’s car. While drivers are required by law to check their surroundings before committing to a lane change, especially on a freeway or interstate, many of them skip the crucial step of a blind spot check. In this situation, a car might not see you and move into your lane — and right into you.

Try to be in a position where you can see the driver’s mirrors or, even better, their face in the mirrors. If you can see their line of sight, it’s more like that they’ll register your presence. If you realize you’re in someone’s blind spot, alter your speed up or down to return to a zone of safety, and looks for signs a car is about to change lanes.

Head-On Collisions

  • 56% of deaths from motorcycle accidents are because of collisions with another vehicle.
  • 78% of these occur when the car strikes the motorcycle rider head-on.

Speed is a variable in all traffic incidents. A collision at high speeds greatly reduces the rider’s chance of survival. However, if the motorcycle comes to an abrupt stop, the rider is in danger of being crushed, trapped, dragged, or catapulted through the air.

If a driver appears to not be paying attention or is driving recklessly, reduce your speed by 10, 20, or 30 MPH until the danger is gone. The slower your own speed is, the less likely a head-on collision will prove fatal, and the more likely you may be able to maneuver to safety.

How to Protect Yourself from Motorcycle Accidents

Wear the Right Gear

Protective gear is sometimes treated as a burden. On a hot summer day with no shade, a freeway ride in full leathers and a helmet might sound unpleasant, but wearing proper motorcycle gear greatly reduces your chances of serious injury in the event of an accident.

Some people argue against wearing helmets, saying that helmets don’t prevent accidents. While that may be true, helmets are not designed to prevent accidents. They do, however, greatly reduce head and brain injuries in the event of an accident.

Essential motorcycle gear

Make sure you buy gear that is specifically designed for motorcycle riding to ensure it has the right protection. There is also different gear available for summer or winter riding.

  • DOT certified helmet (three quarter or full face)
  • Jacket
  • Gloves
  • Pants (reinforced motorcycle jeans or leathers)
  • Boots

Get Help if You Are Injured in a Motorcycle Accident

If you or someone you love is injured in a motorcycle accident, the costs of medical treatment, loss of work, and more can quickly add up. You’ll need an experienced personal injury attorney to guarantee the details of your case are handled properly so you receive fair compensation. 

The team of personal injury lawyers at Hall Law has over 35 years of experience with cases related to injuries sustained from motorcycle accidents. Call us today, tell us what happened, and we’ll tell you if we can help.