The temperature is not the only thing on the rise this season. So is the number of crashes and fatalities on Arizona roadways, and many involve motorcycles. Although motorcycle accident attorneys are in the business of helping our clients, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which marks the perfect time to underscore the need for not only motorcyclists, but all drivers, to be vigilant and practice safe driving habits.
The 7 Most Common Motorcycle Accidents
A quick review of recent data captured by the Arizona Department of Transportation clearly shows that motorcycle accidents are not only prevalent, but also come in many forms. The nearly 3,000 annual motorcycle crashes recorded in 2015 alone can be classified by accident type. The most common include:
- Collision with Motor Vehicle in Transport – this type represents over 1,400 accidents.
- Overturning – 615 accidents of this nature are recorded.
- Collision with Fixed Object– over 300 accidents.
- Collision with Non-fixed Object – nearly 70 crashes recorded.
- Collision with Animal – 35 accidents.
- Collision with Pedestrian – 7 total accidents on record.
- Collision with Pedalcyclist – 6 total accidents.
As you can see, there are many causal agents and circumstances to consider when it comes to motorcycle accident prevention. There is simply no way to sugar-coat the abiding truth: riding a motorcycle can be a dangerous activity. However, there are effective ways for both drivers and motorcyclists to be proactive, adopt safe driving habits, and reduce the risk of an accident.
3 Ways to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Share the Road
With empirical data to support the claim, the vast majority of motorcycle accidents involve a collision with a motor vehicle. So, what can motorcyclists and drivers do to minimize the chance of such collisions? For starters, it’s critical that both parties are acutely aware of their surroundings. Drivers should avoid distractions such as cell phones and loud music, and be mindful of road occupants around, beside, and behind them.
This practice is especially crucial at intersections since many collisions occur when a car turns left into a motorcyclist that the driver failed to notice. Additionally, motorcyclists should not only observe the presence of cars around them, but also anticipate their next movement by looking for blinkers and being watchful of the direction of the car’s wheels. Simply put – automobile drivers and motorcyclists share the same roadway privileges and rights, and both must take notice of and respect the other.
Pay Attention to Road Conditions, Weather, and Visual Impairments
Even the safest and most cautious drivers and motorcyclists are not immune to the risks presented by external variables. Poor road conditions or the presence of gravel, leaves, or ice can easily cause an accident. Drivers and motorcyclists should be watchful of such conditions and keep a safe distance between themselves and others on the road.
The weather is also a common cause of accidents, as rain, snow, fog, and wind can have marked impact on a motorcycle and car’s ability to slow, stop, and negotiate turns, making it hard to avoid striking trees, signs, pedestrians, bicyclists, animals, and of course other motorists. In times of inclement weather, motorcyclists should refrain from traveling at high rates of speed, and familiarize themselves with effective braking and steering techniques. Review your owner’s manual and enroll in a class designed to teach these critical safety skills.
Another safety threat is a blind spot. Both drivers and motorcyclists should be prudent when it comes to checking blind spots before accelerating, changing lanes, turning, and reversing direction.
Safety in Numbers
Group riding is common among motorcyclists, and many assume that there is road safety in numbers. Such an expectation is only true when everyone adheres to the same set of rules and follows proper riding etiquette. All it takes is one member of the group to yield to distraction, stop abruptly, or veer off unexpectedly for tragedy to strike. To maximize safety during a group ride, ensure that all members of the group know how to ride in a staggered formation. It’s a basic technique designed to improve vision and maintain a safe distance between motorcyclists in the group and automobiles on the road.
Find the Best Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s critical that you immediately obtain the counsel of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. You need a credible attorney with specialized expertise to advise you and help protect your legal rights. A quick online search will undoubtedly yield an exhaustive list of options, but due diligence is key. To maximize your search and find the best motorcycle accident attorney to represent you, seek out the following information and details to help you make an informed and sound decision:
- Client Testimonials
- Personal References
- Unedited Online Reviews
- Favorable Record and Character
I echo the sentiment of many motorcycle accident attorneys when I say, please be vigilant during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and beyond. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact me immediately to discuss your case.