As a longtime motorcyclist, you understand that you never know when you will face a road hazard caused by the actions of the driver of a car, SUV, pickup or large truck. This is why you must remain alert and take great care on the road.
Mistake-prone drivers can push bikers toward a precipice of life or death.
State roads fatal to many motorcyclists
Nearly 5,600 motorcyclists died on U.S. roads in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). During that same year, more than 82,000 motorcyclist sustained injuries.
With 192 deaths, North Carolina tied with Georgia for the seventh most motorcyclist fatalities in the nation in 2020. Surpassing the Tar Heel State on this dubious list were Florida (600), California (539), Texas (483), Pennsylvania (219), Ohio (211) and New York (200). ).
Veering into path of motorcycle
Some of these fatalities were attributed to mistakes caused by the drivers of other vehicles. Here are three common driver mistakes that lead to collisions with motorcycles:
- Making a left turn in front of a motorcycle: According to the NHTSA, more than 2,700 fatal two-vehicle crashes involved a motorcycle and another vehicle in 2020. Forty-two percent of those crashes occurred when the other vehicles turned left in front of a motorcycle. The often-cited reasons: The driver did not see the motorcyclist , or they misjudged the distance between their vehicles or the speed of the motorcycle.
- Veering into the path of the motorcycle: Some drivers fail to check blind spots, making an unsafe lane change that may prove fatal to a motorcyclist and his or her passenger. Also, unsafe lane changes often are made by distracted and inattentive drivers.
- Striking the motorcycle from behind: This may happen when a motorcyclist suddenly stops his or her bike due to a traffic situation at an intersection, crosswalk or stop sign, and the driver of the other vehicle plows into the bike at a high rate of speed. It may even be a fender bender, but such accidents can prove fatal to a motorcyclist.
The best ways that motorcyclists can combat these situations is to remain vigilant, stay visible, follow the rules of the road and wear proper safety equipment. And also hope that other drivers are safe and paying attention.
Taking precautions to avoid crashes
Motorcyclists know that they must take precautions every time they hit the road. They also must be aware of the potential mistakes made by other drivers and how to avoid them.