Motorcycle Accident Avoidance Guide | How to Stay Safe While Riding

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Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

July 7, 2022

The Chances of Being Involved in a Motorcycle Accident

Data on the chance of being involved in a motorcycle accident at the country and state level isn’t easily accessible. More than 1.27 million Colorado people have a motorcycle endorsement, according to the Colorado Department of Highway Safety and Motor Cars (FLHSMV); however, this does not indicate that everyone is on the road at the same time.

It also excludes people who may be riding without the requisite endorsement under Colorado law. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely than passengers in passenger cars to die in a fatal collision.

Motorcycle crashes may be highly reliant on one or more circumstances, making it difficult to measure and explain why data aren’t widely accessible. It’s harder to get an exact proportion since certain risk factors are more dangerous than others.

We’ll go over some of the elements that might influence whether you get into a motorcycle  accident, how each one affects your chances of getting into one, and how you can manage some of them to lower your chances of getting into one. Read on to discover more about Warrior Motorcycle Accident Attorneys’ experienced motorcycle accident lawyers.

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The Different Types of Roads that Influence the Chances of an Accident

The roads you ride your motorcycle on daily might affect your chances of being involved in a collision. Narrow, winding, curving, and mountainous roads may be enjoyable to negotiate and provide access to spectacular destinations and panoramic vistas, particularly in Colorado, where you can have a  joyride along the beach, past orange orchards, or through the Everglades.

However, these roadways are also more dangerous. Straight and level roads are less hazardous than ones that aren’t, although this may seem apparent. They need less bike handling, resulting in fewer crucial moments that might lead to an accident. The chance of an accident is influenced by whether you are riding on city or country roads.

According to the most current NHTSA statistics, metropolitan areas account for 60% of fatal motorcycle collisions. Many variables interact, but increasing traffic density in cities is likely to be one of them. According to the NHTSA, interstates account for just 9% of motorcycle accidents, making them the safest route for motorcyclists.

Road Conditions Are Dangerous

Fortunately, Colorado roads are typically decent since they are not subjected to the freezing and heating of hard winters. However, there are situations when poor road conditions might result in an accident. Bikers that go on gravel roads or roads that haven’t been adequately maintained by the state, county, or city risk being involved in an accident.

During storms and hurricanes, heavy rains may sometimes wash away sections of a road. Bikers may face sinkholes, potholes, and uneven spots in these scenarios, which might cause an accident if they lose control of their bike. On gravel roads and sand, motorcycles are also less stable.

Motorcycle riders are in danger of accidents on roads with fallen trees and debris, which are particularly prevalent after big storms, as well as oil spills and other disasters.

The presence of animals may increase the likelihood of an accident.

The presence of animals, which may make certain regions risky for riding, is another element that might raise the chances of a motorcycle accident. Colorado’s diverse vegetation and fauna may result in a variety of roadkill and animal encounters.

Colorado has some of the most unusual animal crossing signs in the country. Bikers may encounter crossing signs for crocodiles, land crabs, Key deer, panthers, cranes, and other animals.

When the alive or dead animal is on the road, motorcyclists must attempt to escape it by swerving into the ditch, into oncoming traffic, or slamming on the brakes rapidly. All of these moves can cause an accident, particularly if there are other cars, pedestrians, or bikers in the area.

When an animal darts out into the center of the road, it’s not always possible for a motorcyclist to avoid crashing with it. Riding in parts of the state where wildlife has easy access to a road or highway increases the possibility of a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle Accidents and Traffic Density

When there is a lot of traffic, the odds of getting into a motorcycle accident are substantially greater than when there isn’t much traffic. This is most common around Colorado’s major cities and metropolitan regions, although it may also happen in less populated places. Sometimes there is more traffic at some times of the day than at others, or an accident might produce a slowdown or bottleneck.

When there is a lot of traffic, there are generally a lot of impatient drivers. In a hurry, drivers weave in and out of traffic or make bad decisions. These unstable drivers put motorcycle riders at risk of severe, maybe deadly, accidents.

The ideal storm for multi-car pileups is heavy traffic. Impatient drivers tailgate other cars, and it only takes one rear-end collision to set off a chain reaction, placing cyclists at increased danger of damage and accident.

Weather Conditions Have an Impact on the Chances of an Accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most motorcycle accidents occur when the weather is clear or overcast, with rain or fog accounting for fewer than 3% of all  motorcycle accidents. This is most likely because most cyclists avoid riding during inclement weather. However, you may anticipate more accidents to occur while it’s raining.

Regardless, if you ride in severe winds, rain, or fog, your bike may not handle as well as it should, and your visibility may be reduced. For these reasons, ride your motorcycle with caution or avoid riding in severe weather.

Motorcycle Accidents and Visibility

Because visibility concerns frequently correlate with other variables in motorcycle accidents,  visibility is a difficult component to quantify in motorcycle accidents. Fog, heavy rain and the sun are the most prevalent factors that impede a biker’s line of sight. Bikers with poor sight are unable to spot other cars. Turns, traffic control devices, and a variety of other factors are all factors to consider.

When motorcyclists and other motorists struggle to see, they cannot respond effectively to the information aimed at them, which may result in a serious motorcycle accident. Biker protection may be as simple as goggles or sunglasses, as well as wearing a full-face helmet.

Level of Vigilance

Bikers who are not paying attention while riding are more likely to be involved in a collision. Distractions, sleepiness, and exhaustion are the most common factors that might impair a cyclist’s attentiveness. Because multitasking on a motorcycle is considerably more difficult than in a car, mobile phones, eating, and drinking isn’t common distraction sources.

However, outside activities or daydreaming might cause riders to get distracted. Bikers who haven’t had enough sleep or are tired from a hectic schedule may drift off while driving and struggle to remain attentive.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a study on how lack of sleep affects driving and discovered that drivers who spend 18 hours without sleep had the same degree of impairment as drivers with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08.

Motorcycle accidents may be avoided with proper maintenance.

To prevent malfunctions that might result in an accident, drivers must maintain their cars properly, but motorcyclists must keep their motorcycles even more so. A major, probably deadly motorcycle collision might result from brake failure, tire blowout, throttle issues, or any other sort of mechanical failure caused by inadequate maintenance. Typically, these failures lead a rider to lose control of their motorcycle. Repairing issues as soon as they arise and doing routine preventive maintenance will help you avoid being involved in a motorcycle accident.

Accidents Can Occur When Controlled Substances Are Used

Drinking and taking drugs while riding a motorcycle may be one of the most hazardous things a rider can do, greatly increasing the chances of being involved in a serious or fatal motorcycle accident.

Bikers are subject to the same legal limits as other motorists (0.08% blood alcohol concentration), but they lack the protection that a passenger car gives in the event of an accident. If you’re on the road late at night, keep an eye out for other riders who may be inebriated.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle riders murdered at night are three times more likely to be drunk than those killed during the day.

Drugs delay response times and impair riders as well, but they don’t have to be illegal. Prescription medicines may potentially affect driving ability. When combined with alcohol, both are very deadly. The bikers who stay sober while riding their motorcycles have a lower risk of accident involvement.

Tendency to Obey Traffic Regulations

The federal government and state governments formulate and administer traffic rules to safeguard everyone who utilizes streets, roads, highways, and interstates. Bikers who do not adhere to traffic laws are more likely to be involved in an accident. Common driving offences that might result in an accident include:

Speeding.

Disobeying traffic control devices.

Weaving in and out of traffic. Following too closely.

Experience on a motorcycle reduces the risk of an accident.

Motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur due to a rider’s age, since the younger a rider is, the less experience he or she has with a motorcycle. Like those in other states, Bikers in Colorado must obtain a specific motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license.

The Colorado Department of Highway Safety and Motor Cars (FLHSMV) requires students to take a Fundamental Rider course to learn how to ride a bike and basic safety skills throughout a weekend.

While this training benefits young and inexperienced riders, there is no replacement for actual riding experience. Bikers who have been riding for a long time may have been in an accident or encountered road dangers, learning useful lessons along the way.

A variety of factors may cause collisions.

Other drivers are the most unpredictable when it comes to your chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident. You may have great weather, excellent road conditions, and ride sober on straight and level roads, but you never know what others on the road are up to. Accidents may be caused by distracted, intoxicated, or sleepy drivers. Accidents may be caused by inexperienced drivers who fail to check their blind zones and keep an eye out for motorcycles.

Accidents may also be caused by irresponsible drivers who believe they control the road and aggressive drivers who flout traffic restrictions, speed, and follow too closely. Driving cautiously and keeping your distance is the best method to help prevent an accident caused by another motorist.

Motorcycle flaws result in accidents.

Motorcycle manufacturers and dealers sometimes offer faulty motorcycles. Manufacturing and design flaws in bikes and motorcycle components are often undiscovered until a rider has a mechanical breakdown on the road.

These problems are uncommon, but they do happen. Simple faults may pass through the whole distribution chain without being detected by quality control or anybody else.

You do not influence whether or not you purchase a damaged motorcycle or component for your bike, but you may check for recalls on your bike’s manufacturer’s website. If your bike has been recalled due to a problem, you must schedule repairs as soon as feasible. Riding a faulty motorcycle  or a motorcycle with defective components increases your chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident.

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident due to the acts of another person, Colorado law allows you to seek compensation for your collision and injuries. An expert Colorado motorcycle accident lawyer can assist you in determining the best course of action for your specific situation.

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