As a motorcyclist, there are many dangers you face on the roads. Some of those dangers put you at risk of getting into a crash or being hit by another vehicle. In your position, the best thing you can do is know what hazards you face and do what you can to mitigate them.
Even though a number of motorcycle crashes are not a result of motorcyclists making errors, the truth is that it may be up to you to prevent a crash and to avoid a collision caused by another person’s mistakes. Here are five common dangers you could face and tips for avoiding a crash.
Dooring is a term referring to when a driver or passenger opens a door into a moving lane of traffic. When this happens, the driver or passenger may open the door directly in front of a motorcyclist, causing him or her to impact it and be thrown from the vehicle. If you’re riding in an area where this is likely, help yourself by riding as far to the left as possible, so that someone who opens a door won’t take you by surprise.
2. Vehicles changing lanes
Since motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, they sometimes fall into blind spots where drivers don’t see them. To avoid this, make noise and visual contact with the drivers you approach. Stay out of blind spots when possible.
3. Rear-end collisions
Sometimes, drivers aren’t paying attention enough to realize you’re slowing down. With only one tail light, your vehicle isn’t as visible (especially at night). This could lead to a rear-end collision. Drivers often have the habit of traveling too closely to the rears of other vehicles, so try to put space between you and the other vehicle. Also, slow down over time instead of quickly.
4. Drunk driving
At night, on the weekends and at any time, there’s a risk of a driver being behind the wheel while intoxicated. Avoid getting into a drunk-driving crash by making sure you don’t drink and drive and that you report anyone who isn’t driving safely. Try to avoid driving during the hours when bars let out or when you know drinking and driving is likely.
5. Turning vehicles
The reality of riding a motorcycle is that you don’t always appear to be traveling as quickly as you are. Sometimes, drivers may not see you, either. This is why many motorcyclists end up in crashes with vehicles making turns. Drivers may turn in front of you. Stay on guard when approaching intersections, and slow down if you’re worried someone may turn in front of you.
These are a few tips to keep you safe on the roads. It can be a danger to ride a motorcycle, but by becoming a defensive driver, you’ll be able to travel safely.