Motorcycles are a great way to get to your destination quickly. However, motorcycle injury is fast becoming a concern for riders. Since nothing stands between a rider and another vehicle, motorcyclists and their passengers are more susceptible to injuries and fatalities.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that there were 5,172 deaths in 2017 due to motorcycle crashes. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CODOT), the number of motorcycle fatalities across the state rose by 30% from 2012 to 2018.
The highest number was in 2016 with 125 deaths. From January to February 2020, there have already been four fatalities due to motorcycle accidents in Denver.
Causes of accidents
A motorcycle injury attorney working in Denver shares the following common causes of motorcycle accidents:
Speeding – motorcycles are lightweight and have great acceleration features. However, these features are often the cause of a crash.
Drunk driving – driving a car while under the influence already causes a lot of road accidents. Driving a vehicle that only has two wheels doubles the risk of an accident happening. Managing a motorcycle requires a level of skill that significantly lowers when a rider is drunk.
Lane splitting and lane changing – it is illegal to ride between two lanes in Colorado and many states across the country. However, since a motorcycle is generally small and slim, riders tend to weave their vehicles between lanes or to ride through the space between lanes. This is a prime cause of collisions. There are also instances of cars changing lanes in front of a motorcycle. In this instance, the bike could collide with the vehicle or, if the rider has fast reflexes, the motorcycle could swerve and skid across the road.
Tailgating – as noted above, there is nothing between a rider and another vehicle. So, if a motorcycle rider tailgates or rides too close to the car in front and the car suddenly stops, the motorcyclist is in danger of being thrown off the bike due to the sudden stop.
Car doors – this may seem a trivial item, but just like a car that suddenly stops, a car door that suddenly opens is dangerous for a motorcycle rider. Can you imagine an unexpected blockage in the path of a speeding bike?
How to avoid accidents
Experts share the following tips on how you could prevent these accidents:
Ride at a pace that is within the city limits. Don’t speed up so fast that everything around you is a blur.
Always be aware of your surroundings. Use visual clues like a car that looks like it’s about to park or turn. This way, you can decide to either veer off the lane or slow down to avoid possible collisions.
These are only some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents in Denver and other cities across the US. Last year, the CODOT conducted an event to remind bikers always to be careful when riding their motorcycles.
Sometimes, though, even if you ride your motorcycle properly, you could still have an accident. So, it’s better to explore your options before you ride your motorcycle down the freeway.