Riding a motorcycle is dangerous. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that motorcyclists are 25 times more likely to experience a deadly accident on roadways than those in cars. In Kentucky, the Kentucky State Police reported that the statewide highway fatalities report for 2011 totaled to 717. Out of those 717 accidents, 61 involved motorcycles.
What causes motorcycle accidents?
Knowing these factors of how motorcycle accidents occur will increase your awareness and help avoid serious injuries. Here are some potential causes of accidents:
- Equipment Failure – Any piece of faulty equipment can distract a motorist and cause an accident. Common failures involve loss of brakes, tire failure and chain or clutch cable failure. It is important to check your motorcycle before you start to ride.
- Poor Weather Conditions – Accidents are more likely to occur when the driver’s vision and traction are impaired due to heavy rain, snow or fog. Motorcyclists must be extra cautious when driving in poor weather conditions. It is also best to find a safe place to pull over and wait until it is safe to drive.
- Roadway Hazards – Some hazards to lookout for include: road construction, debris, potholes, traffic jams, parked vehicles and animals. Accidents are also common at intersections, merging lanes and curves. It is important to stay focused on the roads at all times while riding a motorcycle.
- Inexperienced Motorists – Those motorcycle riders are self-taught, taught by others or have just recently received their license. They are more likely to be involved in an accident. You are safer if you get professional training and take motorcycle courses. It is also necessary to have a motorcycle license.
- Improper Behavior – There are some motorcycle riders who disobey speed limitations, ignore traffic signs and conditions, drive on the wrong side of the road, do not utilize turn signals and even ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These are unacceptable acts and could cost you your life and even the lives of other motorists.
Being a motorcycle rider requires discipline. Keep in mind the potential factors that could cause an accident and remember to stay focused on the road. Practicing safe riding behaviors will help keep you safe and prevent fatal motorcycle accidents.