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Ways to avoid 3 common motorcycle accidents

Riding on your motorcycle on the Ohio roadways provides a freedom that people in cars do not get. However, you are also vulnerable to some unique dangers. What would be a fender bender between two motorists could cause a life-threatening injury for you.

Here are some tips from the experts at RideApart.com to help avoid common crashes.

1. Side swipes

Many motorists think that a quick glance at the mirrors tells them all they need to know before a lane change. Some never bother to look at all. Because it is difficult to know which drivers are careless, you are best served to stay out of potential blind spots whenever possible. Signs that a driver may be about to change lanes include the following:

  • Turn signals
  • Vehicle drifting in its lane
  • Driver checking mirrors or doing a head check

Whenever you are beside or behind vehicles, look for drivers' eyes in their mirrors to make sure you are also visible to them. Keep in mind, though, that even if they can see you easily at a glance, they still might not look.

2. Left turns

People have a hard time judging distance and speed when they are looking at motorcycles. Even though a driver may see you, he or she may still pull out directly in front of you. You may not be easily visible, though, or the driver may be just looking for cars and miss you.

Bright colored clothing can make you easier to see, but you also need to prepare to act quickly when a vehicle suddenly blocks your path. Watching for signs that vehicles are about to turn can prepare you to make a defensive maneuver, giving you time to slow down and gauge the situation. The vehicle's wheels should be your main focus, as you will see any movement there first. You also need to know whether there are other vehicles beside or behind you, and whether the road surface will affect a sudden brake.

3. Rear-end collisions

Any time there are vehicles behind you, coming to a stop could be a hazard. The difficulty judging distance comes into play again here, and some drivers may not realize how fast they are going or how close they are to you. They could also fail to see you at all.

One way to prepare is to watch your mirrors so you know what is coming. If it looks like a car is coming up too quickly, you can move forward to avoid or lessen the force of the impact. When another car is in front of you, the risk of being sandwiched between the vehicles is a double threat. Move between the lanes of cars if you can, or stay to the side of the lane and angle your motorcycle slightly so that a hit would move you to the side of the vehicle in front rather than shove you into the back of it. Flashing your brake lights may also help catch a driver's attention.

You should wear safety gear at all times, of course, including a DOT-approved helmet. When accidents happen, you may be able to hold the careless driver liable for your medical bills, lost wages and any other damages you suffer.

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