Motorcycle accidents can happen in any number of different situations and at any time. Generally speaking, however, intersections seem to be where most motorcycle accidents happen. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), approximately 61% of all motorcycle accidents occur on urban roadways, with the majority of these accidents taking place at traffic intersections. Typically, the accidents involved a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle or truck.
Many motorcycle crashes happen in the following situations:
- A motorist making a left-hand turn and doesn’t see the motorcyclist moving through the intersection in the opposite direction
- A motorist sideswipes a motorcyclist attempting to make a left-hand turn.
Both motorists and motorcyclists have a tendency to travel at high rates of speed on freeways and interstates which tend to have a lot of traffic vs less-trafficked streets, thereby increasing their risk for being involved in fatal accidents.
Two lane highways and rural roads are another common location for motorcycle accidents. Many riders enjoy taking in the scenery and driving at a more leisurely speed on the open road. However, these types of roadways can be particularly dangerous for motorcyclists because it’s often difficult to see the oncoming traffic which can lead to a head-on collision, the most deadly of all motorcycle crashes.
How can you use this information?
Motorcycle safety should be the most important priority of each and every driver and/or rider. Armed with an increased awareness as to where more accidents tend to occur, and the causes of these accidents, motorcyclists can take some steps to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Defensive driving is essential to decreasing your risk of becoming involved in an accident when out and about on any type of roadway. Due to the high rate of accidents occurring in intersections, be extremely alert at all times and watch out for approaching cars and cars in the left-hand turn lane.
Make yourself easier to see by wearing brightly colored clothing. Position yourself so that other vehicles on the road can see you. Avoid getting into any vehicle’s blind spot. When driving on two lane highways and rural roads, be especially cautious on curves and hills.
Be confident when driving on freeways and interstates, but don’t drive aggressively. Follow the posted speed limits, and watch out for motorists who are exceeding the speed limits and weaving in and out of traffic.
Consider varying or changing your daily route to work if it puts you in a situation that increases the risk of your being involved in an accident.
When you ride, be vigilant and always drive defensively, but especially when approaching an intersection where most motorcycle accidents happen.
In addition, you need to also be aware of some of the factors that increase your risk of being involved in an accident, including reckless driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, and distracted driving, especially texting while riding a motorcycle.