Each year, thousands of motorcyclists sustain injuries in collisions often caused by other motorists. These car, pickup, SUV and truck drivers often make mistakes, and many of them are avoidable if they followed the traffic laws and paid attention.
These mistakes endanger the lives of so many motorcyclists. This is why it remains crucial for motorcyclists to remain alert to the constant dangers posed by other motorists.
Veering into motorcycle’s path
A recent report from the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) disclosed that 84,000 motorcyclists sustained injuries and another 5,014 died on U.S. roadways in 2019. During that year, Texas recorded 416 motorcyclist fatalities, earning the state the dubious distinction of being among the top three with the most such fatalities. Florida ranked first with 591, and California ranked second with 474.
Among the most common mistakes drivers make that lead to motorcycle collisions include:
- Making a left turn in front of a motorcycle: Since motorcycles are smaller vehicles, other drivers claim that they do not see them and make the turn anyway. Other times, a car driver may simply misjudge how fast the motorcycle travels and the distance between them. This can lead to a dangerous situation. The NHTSA notes that 34% of all motorcyclist fatalities in 2019 occurred at intersections. A total of 57% of such deaths took place during daylight hours.
- When changing lanes and veering into a motorcycle’s path: When traveling on roads, drivers have blind spots, where their view is obstructed. A driver may neglect to check his or her blind spot, leading to a collision with a motorcycle the driver did not initially see. Other times, distraction and inattentiveness by the driver lead to these accidents.
- Striking a motorcyclist from behind: Such collisions often occur at intersections where a motorcycle is stopped at a traffic light. The car driver fails to stop in time, leading to a crash that could severely injure the motorcyclist.
Motorcyclists understand the need for vigilance and cautiousness when sharing the road with other drivers. But we need to continue to focus on educating other drivers about motorcycles and the need to remain alert about their presence.