In spite of taking training courses and wearing safety gear, motorcyclists still face a higher risk of injury than other vehicle occupants do when they take to the road. Many passenger vehicle drivers simply do not understand the dangers or do not take the care they should to prevent a collision with a motorcyclist.
Here are the top three ways that motorists cause crashes with motorcycles:
- Turning left in front of an oncoming motorcyclist
The left turn is by far the most common maneuver in collisions between passenger vehicles and motorcycles. Drivers tend to be watching for cars, not smaller vehicles. Sometimes, that expectation makes them blind to the motorcycle. Drivers also often misjudge the speed and distance of the motorcycle. A smaller vehicle can give the impression of being farther away than it really is, giving the driver the idea that he or she has more space than is really there. The result of this misguided perception can be fatal.
- Rear-ending a motorcycle stopped in traffic
While people in passenger vehicles may avoid injury in a fender bender, the same impact on a motorcycle can be deadly. Motorcyclists lack the crumple zones and airbags of passenger vehicles, putting them at risk of a serious or fatal crush injury from both the vehicle in front and the one causing the collision.
- Swerving into a motorcycle during a lane change
Ideally, before drivers change lanes, they check their mirrors and then do a quick head check to ensure there is nothing in the blind spot they are moving into. Unfortunately, many people do not bother to make that quick head movement and rely solely on their mirrors or their blind-spot monitoring systems. The small size of a motorcycle makes it easy to miss in a mirror, and sensors often fail to register them, as well. These factors often combine to make the sideswipe a common type of crash.