Williams, Stitely & Brink PC

4 motorcycle accident scenarios and the best ways to avoid them

Some South Carolinians prefer to get around in style. Motorcycles give riders a sense of freedom and style that just cannot be found in a car. Unfortunately the ability to ride down the back roads of Lexington on a bike comes with a price. Motorcycles are not as protected as cars and leave their riders more vulnerable. Motorcycle riders are five times more likely to get injured in an accident than their motorist counterparts.

Drivers should take the responsibility to be more aware of motorcycles. Unfortunately you will always come across the people who do not look before changing lanes, or who cannot see well when driving. It is important to ride defensively and know the best ways to avoid an accident with negligent drivers. Here are four common scenarios of negligent drivers and how you can prevent getting injured.

1. A car changes lanes with you in their blind spot

This is probably the most common close call that riders experience. Suddenly a driver tries to change lanes without checking first. You are right in their blind spot and they come over fast. If you know where vehicle blind spots are then it can be smart to avoid riding in them. Try to speed up or slow down just a little when you are in a driver's blind spot. It also helps to be aware of the flow of traffic. Is the left lane halted and is your lane moving? This is usually when drivers will try to move over quickly without thinking.

2. A car veers left in front of you

Another common type of motorcycle accident happens when a car decides to turn left in front of a bike. The driver might not see you or might think you are driving slowly. Either way this can be a dangerous outcome. It is difficult to avoid these types of crashes but the best way is to learn how to see it coming. If you see a car waiting to turn and there is a large gap in traffic then know that they might take the risk. Prepare to break and keep your eyes open for where you can go to avoid the vehicle. It is usually better to swerve than to try to break in time, especially with cars behind you.

3. You get hit from behind

These accidents are less common but can happen if you need to quickly break for a stoplight, crosswalk, or to avoid road debris. Although they don't happen as often, these accidents are more dangerous. You might not have control if someone hits you from behind but you can be prepared for it. Try to pull in front of another car at a stop light if a vehicle is coming up behind you. It can also help to stop at the side of a light rather than right in the middle. This can give you a little wiggle room if someone is coming up fast.

4. You get doored

You are cruising through town and someone swings their door open wide, right in front of you. Cyclists call this "getting doored." It is more common in the city where cars are parked along the side of the road. The best way to prevent getting doored is to avoid riding between a line of moving cars and parked cars. This is a hazard zone. It is also easier to hit inattentive pedestrians.

While it is important to be prepared for the worst, it can be difficult to avoid an accident with a negligent driver. Last year alone 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents in the U.S. according to the Insurance Information Institute. The injuries that follow are often painful and costly. They can cost thousands in hospital bills and time off work. For those injured in an accident with a negligent driver, they can seek compensation with the help of an attorney.

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Williams, Stitely & Brink PC
P.O. Box 2390
200 East Main Street
Lexington, SC 29072

Phone: 803-359-9000
Fax: 803-359-9945
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