While all motorists face risks on the road, motorcyclists often face bigger risks because they are on two wheels instead of four and because there is nothing protecting them—such as a steel cage or airbags—in the event of a crash. Whether a motorcyclist is cruising down a street in Colleyville or is riding on Highway 121, the reality is that motorcyclists are often at greater risk of suffering serious injuries when they're involved in an accident.
The biggest risk to a motorcyclist is another driver. In fact, a Florida Department of Transportation study confirmed that drivers of cars are often to blame in motorcycle accidents because they fail to yield to motorcycles and because they are just not aware of motorcyclists. In Texas, we see the five biggest risks to motorcyclists as:
- Motorists pulling out in front of motorcycles. Drivers of cars may see motorcycles but assume they are farther away than they really are. Because drivers have a hard time determining how close a bike is or how fast a motorcycle is going, they may feel like they have time to make a left turn in front of the motorcycle. Unfortunately, this often leads to an intersection collision.
- Drivers failing to see motorcycles. Because motorcycles are small, drivers often don’t look out for them or don't see them when they are changing lanes. Sadly, they may move right over onto a motorcycle or cause a biker to swerve and hit another car.
- Motorists failing to signal their intentions. Many drivers don’t use their turn signals when they want to change lanes or make a turn. Failure to do so can put motorcyclists at risk of suffering serious injuries.
- Drivers driving distracted. Perhaps the most common cause of a motorcycle wreck is another driver failing to see a motorcycle. This can happen because motorists are distracted at the wheel with their cell phones or are participating in texting, eating, or drinking while they are driving.
- Motorists driving drunk. When drivers are intoxicated, they have poor judgment and can make reckless maneuvers that put motorcyclists at risk for crashing and suffering serious injuries.
According to motorcycle crash statistics, the majority of wrecks occur due to negligent and careless drivers. As a result, motorcyclists need to drive defensively in order to stay safe on the road. When motorcyclists can learn to expect the unexpected and anticipate drivers’ actions, they may be able to react in time to avoid crashing and suffering serious injuries.
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