What Are the Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Virginia?

motorcycle accidentsThere is no question that motorcycles have a reputation for being somewhat unsafe. In fact, in 2006 there were 35 times more fatalities because of motorcycle accidents than motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, this is a trend that has continued into 2017. Because these numbers are so high, it is beneficial for riders to get to know what the top reasons for motorcycle accidents are so that they can be avoided.

Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents

As mentioned before, the best way to avoid motorcycle accidents is to know what causes them. Some of the most common reasons these accidents occur are found here.

Vehicles Make Left Turns

This is considered one of the most dangerous hazards to someone on a motorcycle. In fact, it is estimated that four out of 10 motorcycle and auto accidents involve cars that are making a left-hand turn. This may take place if a vehicle strikes a motorcycle as it is moving through an intersection or if the motorcycle is trying to pass the vehicle on the left. The best way to avoid this issue is to remain aware of your surroundings and watch for signs that a vehicle may be turning in front of you. When you approach an intersection on your motorcycle, you should also slow down and get ready to hit your brakes and take proper, evasive action if necessary. Also, make sure you remain aware of any gaps in the traffic, as this may mean another driver is going to try and fill the gap.

Lane Splitting

This issue occurs when a motorcycle drives in between the two lanes of traffic that has stopped or that is moving slowly. The close proximity, minimal space for maneuvering and the fact that most vehicles don’t anticipate a vehicle will pass can create a dangerous situation.

Even though the majority of motorcyclists split lanes to avoid being hit from behind, in areas of congested traffic, they may be spliting splitting lanes because they don’t want to wait. If this is the case, the motorcyclists is going to be much more likely to be involved in an accident. If you are concerned you may be hit from behind and have no other option but to lane split, ensure you do so carefully and slowly between the vehicles on the road.

Blind Spots

If a driver fails to check their blind spots, it is extremely likely that they may run into someone on a motorcycle. As a motorcycle rider, you need to be aware that your bike is much smaller than traditional passenger vehicles, and that these vehicles can have some pretty large blind spots. Make sure you know where the blind spots are and try to spend as little time in them as possible. Also, make sure to stay out of the fast-moving lanes, which is where vehicles in the slower lanes are likely to move to.

If you are ever involved in a motorcycle accident, you should call a motorcycle accident attorney right away. Learn more by contacting the attorneys at Hilton & Somer at (703) 560-0700.

Additional Reading:

5 Driving Habits to Avoid While Behind the Wheel

5 of the Most Common Bicycle Accidents in Northern Virginia