Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents

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It is always fun and exciting to ride a motorcycle in Alberta. However, motorcycles pose serious threats to the riders if they fail to take the necessary precautions to avoid accidents. The results of motorcycle accidents can be damaging, and the injuries can last a lifetime. This guide will reveal what steps riders need to take to avoid an accident.

But before we go deep into this post, let us first understand what types of accidents a motorcycle rider is likely to experience. They include the following;

  1. A car turns left in front of the rider at an intersection, causing a collision. This often occurs when the driver fails to see the rider or underestimates his speed.
  2. Hitting objects like gravel or a patches of sand at a blind corner.
  3. Turning at a corner too fast, causing the motorcycle to veer off the road.
  4. Colliding with an oncoming car or a car coming from behind.
  5. Lack of riding etiquette, particularly when riding in a group.
  6. A car door suddenly opening or the driver pulling onto the street unexpectedly.
  7. Unfavourable environmental conditions like snow, floods, winds and ice.
  8. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  9. Mechanical failure of the motorcycle.

Preventing a Motorcycle Accident

Enroll in a motorcycle safety course. Riders should complete a motorcycle safety course, regardless of how skilled and experienced they are in handling motorcycles. The Canada Safety Council offers online safety training free of charge. Their programs cover topics such as how to avoid accidents, riding tactics, basic traffic behavior and emergency techniques.

Be defensive. Riders should always assume that other people using the road are likely to make mistakes. They should assume that the other drivers cannot see them and take the necessary precautions to avoid an accident. For example, they can stay away from blind spots by driving in front or behind cars.

Monitor speed. Riders should monitor their speed and use common sense all the time. They need to ride as fast as they can see and use visual cues such as poles and road signs to determine the direction of the road. Doing this will help avoid entering a corner too fast and veering off the road.

Pay attention to the wheels of other Cars. Cars can sometimes collide with riders when they turn unexpectedly. To avoid this, riders should look at the wheels of the car to help them know where they will be turning. This is important in scenarios where the driver does not indicate where he wants to turn.

Always be keen. Riders should always be attentive and watch out for obstructions in the road. These may include cars, rocks, patches of gravel, oil, tree trunks or any other debris.

Check side mirrors often. Riders should be aware of what is going on behind them by checking their side mirrors often. This way, they can know if a car behind them is speeding or if the driver is doing something that might cause an accident.

Avoid riding between cars. Riding between cars in traffic may seem convenient, but it is actually a recipe for disaster. A driver could open the door of a car suddenly, blocking the motorcycle’s path. A car could unexpectedly merge into another lane to avoid traffic, or a driver could just cut in front of the motorcycle, blocking the way.

Don’t ride under the influence. Driving under the influence is a serious offense, even if the offender is a rider. Riders should always avoid drinking alcohol before they hit the road.

Use motorcycle safety gear. Motorcycle safety gear can help reduce the severity of injuries after an accident. Riders should have the right gear to protect themselves. Thesw include helmets, riding boots, gloves, body armors and protective leather clothing.

Maintain the motorcycle regularly. Some accidents occur due to a mechanical failure in the motorcycle. For instance, a break may jam or a tire may burst at a high speed, leading to a serious crash. Riders should always check their motorcycle just to be sure they are in the right shape. This may involve regularly changing the tires, oiling the brake pads and rotating the tires in case they are out of alignment.

Choose riding partners carefully. Motorcycle accidents that occur when people ride in groups can be fatal. A group should have riders who are experienced and not reckless. They must also have riding etiquette and know how to ride in a staggered formation.

Norm Assiff

Norm Assiff

Norm was awarded the Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association (ACTLA) President's Award for 2012--awarded to a member of the Alberta bar who has distinguished himself or herself by his or her contribution to the profession or the community, the advancement of the law or their service to ACTLA. He has appeared at all levels of court in Alberta (Provincial Court, Queen's Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeal) as well as the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Federal Court of Appeal.

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