Common Motorcycle Accidents in Alabama and How to Stay Safe
Riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than is driving, or riding in, a passenger car. To be sure, should a crash occur, a motorcyclist has few protections, including the lack of a seatbelt, the lack of airbags, and the lack of doors or a frame to protect the motorcyclist and secure them within the vehicle. Instead, when a crash happens, motorcyclists are often thrown from their motorcycles, or struck directly by the other vehicle, and suffer serious injuries as such. In fact, in a single year in Alabama, there were more than 60 fatalities involving motorcycle operators or riders, as reported by the Alabama Department of Transportation, and more than 1,800 motorcycles/mopeds involved in crashes.
If you are a motorcyclist, understanding the types of motorcycle accidents and how motorcycle accidents commonly occur can help you to stay safe. If you are involved in a crash, don’t hesitate to contact our Alabama motorcycle accident lawyers at the law offices of Smith & McGhee, P.C.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can occur in a variety of situations and locations, but some of the most common types of motorcycle accidents include:
- Left-turn collisions. One of the most common, and the most devastating, types of motorcycle accidents that occurs is a left-turn collision. As the name of this accident type suggests, this crash occurs when a car makes a left turn in front of a motorcyclist, typically as a result of failure to see the motorcyclist or incorrectly judging the motorcyclist’s speed. The same thing can also happen in reverse, with the motorcyclist making a left turn in front of an oncoming vehicle that is traveling straight through the intersection.
- Rear-end accidents. Blame it on distracted, impaired, or aggressive driving, but for whatever reason, it is not uncommon for the driver of a motor vehicle to fail to see the motorcyclist in front of them, resulting in a rear-end collision. Unlike most rear-end accidents that involve two passenger vehicles, a rear-end accident can be very dangerous for a motorcyclist.
- Slide-out accidents. Slide-out accidents are single-vehicle collisions, meaning that only the motorcycle is typically involved. These types of accidents can happen when a motorcyclist encounters gravel or loose ground, or when they take a turn too fast.
- Lane-change accidents. Another serious type of accident is a lane-change accident, which typically occurs when a passenger vehicle fails to see an approaching motorcyclist in the adjacent lane, and therefore changes lanes directly in front of them. Cars have blind spots, and when a motorcycle–which is hard to see anyway–is located within a blind spot, the driver of a car may honestly not see the motorcyclists, even when double checking.
Motorcycle Safety Tips to Reduce Your Chances of Being Involved in an Accident
Nearly all types of motorcycle accidents are completely preventable. And while negligent drivers may exist that increase the odds of being in a crash, there are things that you as a motorcyclist can do to reduce that risk. These include:
- Never drive in a vehicle’s blind spots. Motorcyclists can be hard to see, and nearly impossible to see when located in a vehicle’s blind spots. Always stay out of blind spots, which means passing quickly when passing is necessary. Also provide plenty of following distance, and if a car is tailgating you, move over.
- Ride at a safe pace. To avoid a slide-out accident caused by hitting gravel or going too fast, always ride at a safe pace. When approaching a turn, slow down, and nevertravel above the posted speed limit.
- Look for danger signs. Accident such as the left-turn accident can be hard to predict, which is why it is important that you are constantly on the lookout for signs that a vehicle may do something unpredictable. For example, when at an intersection, don’t just assume the right of way, or assume that the other driver will yield. Instead, pay close attention, slow your speed, and be aware of your surroundings.
- Always ride sober. No matter what, you should always ride in a sober state of mind. This means that not only should you avoid alcohol and any impairing substances prior to riding, but that you should never ride when overly fatigued or distracted, either.
Contact Our Law Firm for Legal Representation after a Crash
Few things in Dothan, AL are more liberating than a motorcycle ride on a nice day in Dothan, Alabama. But it doesn’t take a lot for a nice experience to turn into a dire situation. Even when you operate safely, you may still find yourself involved in an accident. If you are involved in a crash, contact our experienced Alabama motorcycle accident lawyers at the law offices of Smith & McGhee, P.C. today. Contact us today at (304) 702-1744 or through our website contact form. We are happy to provide you with a free initial consultation!