Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience, without a doubt; but to sit on a bike is to accept a higher level of danger than you would when driving a car or truck. It is important to be aware of the factors which often lead to collisions. In this article, we briefly describe some of the most common accidents between motorcycles and other vehicles, hoping that knowing what to expect will help you to avoid a crash. We also talk about some mistakes made by riders which can lead to accidents and injuries; namely, driving while intoxicated and driving in excess of the speed limit.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
One of the most common accidents between motorcycles and cars is getting T-boned. T-boning can occur at intersections when a car makes a left hand turn, pulling out in front of a motorcycle. The motorcycle hits the side of the car and the two vehicles, at the moment of impact, form a T shape. Vehicle drivers either completely fail to notice the motorcycle or disregard the motorcycle rider’s right-of-way. When a vehicle blows a stop sign or red light, a motorcycle can also get T-boned.
Getting Cut Off
As is the case with the T-bone, one of the most common causes of accidents for motorcycle riders is being cut off by a car or truck driver. This can include being forced out of a lane, having the lane suddenly obstructed by a driver making a hasty turn, or a driver pulling out of a parking spot without looking. Often this is a mistake on the other driver’s part—he or she simply was not aware of the motorcycle’s presence—but, even so, the motorcycle usually suffers the bulk of damage. Try to always maintain distance between your bike and other vehicles, and always try to avoid slipping into blind spots.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
It is no secret that operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is extremely ill-advised but it is important to note that the danger of driving while impaired increases drastically when you are riding a motorcycle.
- The Facts: A report by the U.S Census Bureau says, in 2009, there were 4,593 country-wide motorcycle deaths, 1,314 of which involved riders who had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08%. That means that roughly 29% of all motorcycle accidents involved legally drunk riders. Staying sober will greatly help your chances of staying safe on a bike.
- The Implied Consent Law: When you become a licensed driver in the state of Pennsylvania you automatically consent to taking one or more chemical tests if a police officer suspects you have been driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you refuse to take one of the three chemical tests—including breath, blood, and urine tests—you can face some serious penalties, even if it is proved that you were not under the influence.
Speeding is often linked to the impaired driving statistics listed above, but speeding and alcohol intake are not universally linked. Sober drivers are of course common violators of the speed limit.
- The Facts: Another 2009 study by the US Census Bureau reported that there were 1,256 motorcycle deaths in Pennsylvania, 634 of which were speeding-related. This means about 50% of all motorcycle deaths were caused by drivers exceeding the speed limit.
And for even more insight into motorcycle law in PA and motorcycle accidents, read Stuart A. Carpey’s newest book, The Good, the Bad, and the Law: A Guide to Motorcycle Accidents in Pennsylvania. You can order it the Carpey Law website for FREE!