How Wisconsin motorcyclists can avoid the most common motorcycle accidents
We’ve written before about the most common types of motorcycle accidents and in this article we’re going to discuss how to avoid them.
How to avoid a motorcycle crash when a car turns in front of you
The most common type of motorcycle accidents occurs at intersections when the driver of a vehicle is making a turn in front of the motorcyclist. These accidents frequently occur when the motorcycle is going straight through the intersection, or is passing a car and usually when the driver is making a left turn.
To avoid such motorcycle accidents, be super vigilant and aware of signs indicating a vehicle may turn in front of you. This can happen at an intersection, a driveway, a gap in traffic where someone could enter the lane, or a parking lot. Check if the driver is looking at you, is able to see you without obstructions, his speed, and which way his wheels are pointing.
When approaching such a scenario, slow down, cover your brakes and be prepared to stop or take evasive action. In order to take evasive action, you are going to also need to be aware of your escape routes. In order to stay safe when you take evasive action, you need to be aware of the road surface and whether it can safely handle the force of your braking (without locking up).
How to avoid a motorcycle crash when you hit gravel in a blind corner
You’re driving along on an excellent road surface when you make a turn, or round a corner that turns into a patch of gravel, sand, or a road covered with debris, such as wet leaves. It’s all too easy to lose control of your bike.
Your speed and reaction time will determine what happens. Follow the rule of thumb on the road, “Slow In, Fast Out.” Take your turns slowly and wide so you can see more of the road ahead of you, and then you can speed up once you assess the road.
How to avoid a motorcycle crash when a car changes lanes approaches you
One of the scariest moments experienced when riding a motorcycle is when a motor vehicle traveling in a different lane, suddenly changes lane and veers right towards you, either because you are in his blind spot or he just isn’t expecting you to be there.
Learn (early on) where drivers’ blind spots can be and remove yourself from them as quickly as possible. Also, know where sudden lane changes are more likely to occur, like on highways, or backed-up traffic. Be vigilant by watching for signs that a car may be changing lanes, like a turn signal, position of wheels, and the driver’s head turning to see if he can change lanes safely.
How to avoid a motorcycle crash when rear-ended by motor vehicle at a stop
Even a slow moving vehicle can cause injury or death to a motorcyclist, so how can you stay safe and avoid this type of rear end accident?
When stopped, it is always safer to stop at the side of the lane, rather than in the center of the lane. Make yourself visible to cars coming behind you by tapping a brake lever, keeping your bike in gear and your hand on the throttle. This will enable you to take evasive action should a vehicle appear about to rear end you.
How to avoid a motorcycle crash when a driver suddenly opens his door
Getting “doored” is a real danger to motorcyclists and bicyclists alike. It’s when a driver parks or pulls over and suddenly opens his door, while you are traveling down the road.
The best way to avoid being “doored” is to never ride between a busy traffic lane and a parked car. If you can’t avoid it, brake as hard as possible. Although a collision might occur, your slower speed will help reduce any injuries you might incur.
The safest motorcyclists are the most experienced and aware riders, so it is important that you know your abilities. To become a safer cyclist, ride often in safe places, and take a Wisconsin motorcycle safety training class at locations throughout the state.
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