Motorcycles may be an enjoyable way to get from Point A to Point B, but they can also be dangerous. A person riding a motorcycle is at considerable risk each time they take to the road, and the numbers aren’t encouraging.
Motorcycle crashes in Alabama hit their peak about a decade ago with about 2,000 accidents each year and then began a steady decline. Unfortunately, those numbers started to rise again beginning in 2014. According to the most recent data, there are about 1,800 motorcycle crashes in the state each year, resulting in nearly 1,300 injuries and over 100 deaths.
Some of the things that motorcyclists can do to stay safe and minimize injuries include taking a motorcycle safety course and wearing protective gear such as a helmet and heavy clothing. Here are several of the most common types of motorcycle accidents and the ways that you can avoid becoming a statistic.
The most common type of motorcycle crash occurs when a car makes a left-hand turn in front of a moving motorcycle. These situations account for about 42% of accidents involving motorcycles and cars.
The best way to avoid one of these crashes is to use extreme caution at or near intersections. Learn defensive driving techniques and try to anticipate the actions of other drivers on the road since they may not see you or follow the rules.
Not all drivers turn to look in their blind spot before changing lanes. When they fail to do this, there is an increased risk of a lane changing accident, particularly involving a motorcycle that has lower visibility.
Again, you will need to drive defensively. Try to avoid staying in another car’s blind spot as you are riding. Look for indications that a car is about to change lanes and react accordingly.
More than two-thirds (78%) of motorcycle accident fatalities result from head-on collisions with passenger vehicles. These accidents are so deadly because the rider is often ejected from their vehicle, landing on a car or other hard surface.
The National Safety Council addresses avoiding head-on collision crashes. It recommends that riders pay attention to the “Four Rs” to avoid one of these accidents. Specifically, you should: Reduce your speed, Drive to the Right, Read the road ahead, and Ride off the road. The last recommendation refers to getting off the road if necessary to avoid a crash.
Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Accidents
Lane splitting refers to motorcycles driving between the lanes of stopped or slow moving cars. This is a common cause of accidents, and it is illegal in Alabama. Other motorists don’t expect this behavior, so it is inherently dangerous. The best way to avoid these accidents, as well as a ticket, is not to lane split.
Nearly one-third of all motorcycle crashes involve intoxicated drivers. In many crashes, however, it’s the driver of the other vehicle who is under the influence and not paying attention that causes a dangerous situation.
You can best avoid these crashes by never drinking and riding. If you are going to be out at night or on the weekend, use more caution to stay safe from other drivers who may have had too much to drink.
Sadly, one-third (33%) of motorcycle crash fatalities cite excessive speed as a factor. Some motorcycles can travel at speeds in excess of 160 mph, and the highest accident death rate in Alabama is among riders ages 20-24.
You can avoid these dangerous and deadly crashes by obeying the posted speed limits and traveling at speeds appropriate for conditions. If you have a need for speed, find a closed course that allows this without placing others in danger.
Speak with an Experienced Alabama Accident Attorney
Most motorcycle accidents are avoidable, and a majority are caused by the negligence or carelessness of another party. If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash and wish to make a claim for damages, the Alabama accident attorneys at Alsobrook & Jackson, Attorneys at Law can offer advice and representation.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys will investigate your crash to identify the responsible parties and do what is necessary to protect your rights to recovery of full and fair damages. Contact our Opelika office now at 334-737-3718 or online to schedule a free consultation.