Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating yet dangerous experience. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,286 motorcyclists were killed in 2016 which was a 5.1 % increase from 2015. There are many dangers and risks involved in taking a joy ride.
Operating a motorcycle requires incredible focus and brain function. It can be physically and mentally draining and creates an opportunity for errors. The consequences are worse when the bike is being used irresponsibly, but fatal accidents occur even when someone is experienced.
Below are some of the greatest risks facing a motorcyclists on the road.
- Cars changing lanes. A motorcyclist needs to be aware of any car to either side of him or her. Make certain that they see you before they make the decision to shift lanes.
- Gravel on the road. Gravel can cause your bike to become terribly unsteady and cause an accident. Avoid gravel whenever possible.
- Other drivers behind you. When a distracted driver hits a motorcyclist from behind, it is far more devastating than hitting a car. A motorcyclist must be aware at all times of any vehicle near them.
- Bad weather. Avoid roads in bad weather. Slicker roads and impaired visibility will increase chances of an accident.
- Alcohol dangers. Just don’t do it! Mixing alcohol and operating any vehicle is a recipe for disaster.
- Going too fast around a corner. Going fast in a straight line is entirely different than taking a corner too fast. Do not overestimate how good you are on a motorcycle. Just avoid going quickly around a corner.
- Making a panicked stop. Slamming on the brakes on a motorcycle can mean the individual is thrown from the bike. Brake carefully if you suddenly need to come to a stop.
- Oncoming traffic. If a driver of a car is not paying attention, the results can be devastating. Whether the driver is distracted or just not focusing as he should, hitting a motorcyclist will most likely result in something serious.
- Cars waiting to make a turn. Intersections can be very dangerous for motorcyclists. Too many accidents have occurred with a car turning and not seeing the cyclist. Everyone needs to be paying better attention.
- Opened car doors. This is a problem in cities but not usually on open roads. Still, motorcyclists need to be vigilant and not drive too close beside a parked vehicle.
Motorcyclists, enjoy your joy rides – but do it safely.