Getting into any kind of accident is not recommended. Obviously. But when it comes to motor vehicle crashes there is no vehicle crash more dangerous than that of the motorcycle. Since your body is exposed to the elements there is very little in the way of safety measures that can help to reduce injury from such a crash.
That’s why it’s so important to understand the main causes of motorcycle accidents. After all, the best way to come out of an accident uninjured is to avoid the accident in the first place. We’ll look at those uncontrollable circumstances which cause motorcycle accidents as well as the decisions that motorcyclists make that most often lead to accidents.
What Uncontrollable Circumstances Lead to Motorcycle Accidents?
As a city, Austin ranks among the top-tier of cities that have a lot of motorcycle accidents. We want to avoid getting into an accident as best as we can when we’re out riding but not every accident can be avoided on the part of the motorcyclist. Some accidents are simply not the motorcyclist’s fault.
In this category of accidents we aren’t able to do as much to prevent them as we could with controllable circumstances. However, this doesn’t mean we are entirely powerless as you will see.
- Car Doors: Be careful when riding close to the parking lane as it is quite common for motorcyclists to crash into car doors as they are opened. This type of accident arises from the driver of the vehicle not checking their mirrors before exiting their vehicle.
- Dangerous Road Conditions: You can’t control the condition of every road you have to ride on and that can be dangerous because a motorcycle will have a harder time with things like potholes or debris in the road. It’s important to slow down when you notice a dangerous road condition but spotting them with enough time to make a difference can be tough.
- Inexperienced Drivers: Inexperienced drivers are the bane of all of us on the road. We’ll assume that you have plenty of experience as a motorcycle driver, since gaining experience is a controllable circumstance. But you can’t trust the other drivers on the road to have as much experience as you do. Always treat them like they’re a threat and make sure you don’t let an assumption about their commitment to safety lull you into an accident.
- Mechanical Errors: A motorcycle is a machine and machines eventually malfunction. You can’t tell when your motorcycle will start to act up so it’s impossible to avoid this if you’ve let it go too long. The best way to avoid an accident caused by mechanical errors is to get your motorcycle checked-up on a regular basis.
- Sudden Stops: Sudden stops can cause some nasty whiplash if you’re driving a car or a truck but they can be deadly to those on a motorcycle. A sudden stop forces you to break and suddenly breaking could send you flying over the handle or you could not have enough time to stop and slam into a solid object. Always give extra room to the cars in front of you.
You can find some safety tips from the Texas Department of Transportation. Following them will help reduce accidents, even those that stem from uncontrollable circumstances.
What Controllable Circumstances Lead to Motorcycle Accidents?
There are quite a few common accident causes which are unfortunate because they could easily be avoided with a little forethought:
- Driving Drunk: It should go without saying that you should never ride a motorcycle while high on drugs or alcohol. Just don’t do it, enough said.
- Lane Splitting: Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist drives between multiple lanes of traffic rather than sticking to one lane. This can lead to accidents when the bike goes out of control or when a confused motorist suddenly bumps you because they weren’t expecting you in their lane.
- Left Turn Accidents: Left turns can be tricky. Always be careful to ensure that you have the right of way and do your best to get out of the oncoming lane as quickly as possible.
- Speeding: Speeding makes it harder to slow down or stop, it makes the accidents you do get into that much worse and it can get you a ticket on its own. Just don’t speed if you can help it.
- Unsafe Lane Changes: Switching lanes on the highway can be a nightmare at the best of times. If you take those lane changes without showing a concern for safety then you’re risking an accident.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been in a Motorcycle Accident?
First, get to safety. Make sure that you are not in the road or at risk of being struck by traffic. Call the authorities and call for medical help if you need it. If you are able to then take photos of the bike immediately. Swap insurance and contact information with the other drivers if necessary.
Once your health is taken care of and you have a second to sit down, write out everything that happened. Include as many details as possible, you can always remove them later.
Ask for a copy of the police record of the incident. All of these will help your case with your insurance or any legal battle that arises from the accident.
I’ve Been in a Motorcycle Accidents, Do I Need Legal Help?
If you have been in a motorcycle accident then make sure you seek out medical help like suggested above. As you start to gather your head around you, it’ll be time to start looking towards filing an insurance claim, seeking damages from those responsible for defending yourself from a possible lawsuit.
No matter which of these situations you find yourself facing, an experienced attorney will be a great boon in the days ahead. Here at Barry Deacon Law we pride ourselves on our experience and knowledge and we’re more than ready to hear about the situation you find yourself in. Give us a call at (512) 265-5291 to learn more about how we can help.