The Four Most Common Mistakes Motorcyclists Make
According to the latest report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 4,976 people died in motorcycle crashes in 2015. Around 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in the same period.
For many beginners, riding a motorcycle is difficult. A different set of skills is needed to operate a motorcycle versus a car. Knowing the most common mistakes motorcyclists make can mean the difference between safe driving and grievous injury. By being conscious of these common errors and by actively avoiding them, you can enjoy an injury-free ride.
#1: Not Looking at the Road and at the Traffic
Being distracted is a major cause of motorcycle accidents. Getting caught up in the moment and feeling the breeze of a fast ride leads to danger, especially with the added risk of other motorists making unexpected swerves or turns.
On the road, you will encounter anything from rocks, potholes, speed bumps or even wild animals. Construction zones and unexpected sharp turns also present the risk of injury.
Scanning the horizon is also not enough. Having a clear picture of the traffic around you is a key way to prevent mistakes leading to injury. Regularly check if the cars to your sides are planning to swerve or switch lanes, if the motorists and pedestrians around you are aware of your presence, and if parked cars are planning to move. This kind of awareness seems difficult to maintain, but with the right training, it can become second nature.
#2: Assuming you are Visible
Many motorcyclists suffer because they assume that other cars and bikers can see them. You may think that another car beside you will give way, or adjust their turn for you.
Through experience or through helpful advice, motorcyclists learn to assume that they are invisible. Even if you have the right of way, accidents can still occur because of other cars not watching the road.
Thus, keep a finger on the brake lever at all times in anticipation of other motorists. With constant vigilance, this common mistake can be averted.
#3: Getting and Riding a Fast Bike
Getting a fast bike is a dream, and the experience is a fantasy for many people. But riding a fast bike is a big mistake that is common for beginners who still cannot control a motorcycle well. It is also a mistake to ride fast through congested lanes, thinking that you will be able to beat the traffic by skillfully weaving through cars.
Many dangers arise from riding a fast bike when you are unprepared, even if you ride them on an open highway. The motorcycle can tip and flip out from under you, especially when making sharp turns.
Remember that challenging roads offer many hazards. These are all risk factors that motorcyclists should keep in mind when trying to accelerate.
#4: Forgetting the Basics
Riding a bike is different from driving a car, especially when it comes to increasing turning ability. Forgetting to counter-steer is a common mistake. Fortunately, a motorcycle’s turning ability can be improved with correct counter-steering. That is, you need to press right on your handlebars to turn right, and press left to go left.
Another example of a basic mistake is not covering the clutch or brake lever. Having easy access and control of the clutch can mean the difference between avoiding a collision and driving into one head-on.
Navigating through the different hazards on the road is important to prevent accidents. With the right technique in mind, you can skillfully move past these dangers and keep yourself off of possible personal injuries.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, call Matt Fleming today. He is an experienced motorcycle wreck attorney in San Francisco.