The arrival of the summer season often brings even more motorcycles to North Carolina roads.
Most experienced motorcyclists are aware that they face risks every time they go for a ride. After all, motorcycles do not offer as much protection as other vehicles, such as cars or trucks. That is why it is important for all motorcyclists – as well as all motorists, for that matter – to be aware of some of the most dangerous situations that motorcyclists face on the road.
What circumstances increase the risk of a motorcycle accident?
There are several circumstances that can cause motorcycle accidents, but some of the most common risks include:
- Drivers not seeing motorcyclists: The most common issue that motorcyclists face is visibility. A motorcycle’s smaller size means it often disappears in a vehicle’s blind spots. Therefore, the National Safety Council reports that one of the primary causes of an accident is drivers not seeing motorcyclists. Other drivers often engage in distractions behind the wheel, and they are used to looking for larger vehicles – not motorcycles. This oversight can lead drivers to turn left in front of motorcycles or change lanes and collide with them.
- Road conditions: Poor road conditions, such as potholes, and gravel or grass clippings on blind corners, can make operating a motorcycle significantly more difficult – and dangerous. Gravel and grass reduce traction and lead motorcyclists to lose control of their vehicles. Weather can also affect road conditions, as rain makes the roads slick. Additionally, rainy or foggy weather can also make it even more challenging for other drivers to see motorcyclists.
- Alcohol: An unfortunately high rate of motorcycle accidents involve alcohol-impaired riders. In 2017, 33% of all motorcycle fatalities were the result of alcohol impairment. While alcohol often plays a part in motorcycle culture, it is critical that motorcyclists put their safety first and avoid drinking and riding.
All motorists have a duty to drive defensively and safely. And it is up to both drivers and motorcyclists to be safe, so they can share the road and decrease the risk of a serious accident.