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Avoiding common motorcycle accidents

Motorcycles are fun. But they are also dangerous. Often these dangers are predictable, even common. That predictability offers opportunity for Washingtonians to avoid motorcycle accidents before they pop up. To learn more, keep reading.

The most common type of motorcycle accident is a car turning left in front of the motorcycle. This happens all of the time. The car misjudges the bike's speed or simply misses it altogether. Fortunately, bikers have control over this situation. They can watch for signs that a car will turn in front of them (hint: focus on the car's wheels, not the car itself). When the possibility arises, slow down, cover your breaks and prepare for evasive action. A little proactivity can go a long way.

Another frequent scenario is a bike wiping out while going through a blind corner. A bike will whip through a corner only to discover a patch of loose impediments like sand or gravel that give way, causing a wipe out. Avoiding this situation is easy enough: Don't drive so fast that the situation can happen. Drive at a speed where you can react in time to handle issues with your field of vision. In other words, follow the rule of thumb: slow in, fast out.

A third situation looks much like the first: a car changes lanes in front of a bike. As before, the car may not have seen the bike. This problem is all too easy on a highway thanks to a bike's ability to hide in a car's blind spot. To minimize this risk, bikers need to stay out of cars' blind spots as much as possible. They also need to pay attention to the flow of traffic to identify situations where cars are more likely to change lanes such as when lane of traffic is moving faster than the other (because cars will want to get into the faster lane).

Even with these tips, however, Washington motorcyclists cannot avoid all risks. When a car hits a motorcyclist, the motorcyclist may have legal options. To explore those options, they may benefit from speaking with an experienced motorcycle-accident attorney.

Source: Ride Apart, "10 Common Motorcycle Accidents And How To Avoid Them," Wes Siler, Aug. 12, 2013

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