The weather is finally warming up in upstate New York. The first day of
spring is just days away. The change of seasons not only conjures up beautiful
weather and blooming fields of colorful flowers but also that infamous
vroom vroom sound of the Harley-Davidson. Kingston residents will surely
get ready to begin riding motorcycles again. The dangers associated with
riding are well known, but it is always a good idea to get in the right
frame of mind and recall the common types of motorcycle accidents.
Kingston motorcycle accident attorneys know that bike accidents occur in many types of ways. But some causes
of motorcycle accidents are more prevalent than others. For example, riding
between parked or slowly moving vehicles (aka, lane splitting) is a common
cause of motorcycle crashes. Head on collisions are far too common. Cars
often turn left in front of oncoming motorcycles leaving no time to avert
a collision. Potholes and other types of roadway hazards lead to accidents,
in these cases the motorcyclist may or may not collide with other objects
and vehicles. And of course, reckless driving such as speeding and driving
drunk causes more motorcycle accidents than is expected.
Let us first consider motorcycle accidents that are always preventable;
riding too fast and or riding under the influence of drugs and or alcohol.
Around fifty percent of all motorcycle accidents can be traced back to
these two factors. Remember, pay attention to the speed limit and drive
sober. This simple practice saves lives and prevents serious injury.
There is also the issue of other drivers and their negligence. Unfortunately,
the actions of other drivers are beyond the control of motorcyclists.
Cars turning left in front of an oncoming motorcycle or turning left into
a motorcycle causes roughly forty percent of all biker crashes. What happens
is that the car driver cannot properly gauge the oncoming rider’s
speed and distance because the motorcycle has a small profile. However,
sometimes the driver simply never looked out for oncoming traffic. The
car turns left, and the biker crashes right into the car. Therefore, pay
extra attention to your surroundings and drive defensively.
Head on collisions are another common cause of
motorcycle accidents and injuries to riders. While there may be many reasons for motorcycle
head on collisions with cars, the fact remains that head on collisions
are far too prevalent. These types of accidents routinely see the rider
face multiple serious injuries and even death.
We have all seen motorcyclists ride on the shoulder of the road and in
between cars. In the event of a traffic jam, people get frustrated, and
bikers sometimes decide to maneuver around parked or slow moving cars.
Avoid this practice. There is simply not enough room to ride on the shoulder
of the road. There is not enough room to ride in between cars. Riders
need more space to react to other people on the road.
Moreover, most vehicle drivers normally do not anticipate seeing a motorcycle
weave through and around a traffic jam. This means that car drivers may
do something without knowing about or anticipating the presence of a motorcycle.
Even worse, lane splitting may not allow the rider to receive compensation
from the vehicle driver if a court/jury finds that the rider was 100%
responsible for the collision.
Defects with the road and debris on the road cause many motorcycle crashes.
At this time of year in Kingston, many roads have potholes that have yet
to be repaired. Many of these are hard to see, especially if water fills
them and during night time hours. Hitting a pothole in a car may not be
a significant event, but motorcycles can and do immediately crash when
careening into a pothole. Add speeding and or riding drunk into the mix
and riders can easily miss the presence of a pothole. Therefore, anticipate
these situations and drive with extra care.
Lastly, sometimes motorcycles collide with stationary objects, such as
road barriers, signs, and dividers. It happens for many reasons, and the
consequences can be devastating. This is because bikers do not have the
protection of airbags, seatbelts, and the comfort of being surrounded
by an inner cabin. You should be aware that around a quarter of all motorcyclist
fatalities occur when the rider collided with a stationary object. Therefore,
be alert to these possibilities and drive safely.