According to 2018 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclist fatalities occur at a 27 times more frequent rate than motorist fatalities. Motorcyclists lack the protection of a passenger vehicle, making them more susceptible to severe, life-threatening injuries in a collision. While these statistics are harrowing, there are actions that motorcyclists can take to protect themselves on the road and avoid fatal accidents.
Many motorcycle accidents occur when drivers or motorcyclists are driving over the posted speed limit. Speeding can be very dangerous, especially for motorcycles; the faster you are traveling, the less time you have to react to unexpected hazards on the road. You can unexpectedly encounter debris or a pothole, or be unable to stop when the vehicle ahead of you suddenly brakes.
Additionally, speeding can make it more difficult to prepare for an upcoming turn, causing you to suddenly lose control of the vehicle. It can be hard to control your motorcycle while speeding in dangerous road conditions, such as icy or slippery roads.
To stay safe on the road, it is important to follow the posted speed limit. If weather conditions are dangerous or the road seems especially hazardous, you should slow down even more to protect yourself.
Sharing a single lane, weaving between vehicles, or erratically changing lanes while riding a motorcycle can be very dangerous. Lane splitting, or the act of driving between lanes on multilane roads, is illegal in Oregon and puts motorcyclists at a heightened risk of injury.
A driver could open his or her car door while you are weaving between traffic, causing you to crash into it and suffer severe injuries. Additionally, a car could unexpectedly change lanes while you are traveling, causing you to crash into each other. Drivers are not expecting to share lanes with motorcyclists and may fail to check their blind spots, putting you in a dangerous position.
To avoid accidents on multilane roads, follow Oregon traffic laws and avoid lane splitting. Always check your surroundings before making a lane change and try to stay within view of other drivers on the road. Do not weave between vehicles in an effort to avoid gridlock; you could put yourself at risk of a fatal accident.
Some motorcycle accidents do not involve negligent driving behaviors—in fact, many collisions occur due to defective or poorly maintained vehicle parts. Defective brakes, tires, engines, headlamps, and turn signals can all contribute to a motorcycle accident. If these parts suddenly malfunction while you are on the road, you can easily lose control of your vehicle.
To avoid equipment-related collisions, it is important to keep your motorcycle in good condition. Perform regular maintenance on these vital components and ensure that they are in working order. If you notice any defects, do not ride your motorcycle until you are able to get these issues repairs. These preventative steps can help you avoid a serious accident.
Although you may take the necessary precautions to stay safe on Oregon roads, collisions can still occur. If you are injured due to the negligent actions of another driver, speak to a Portland motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you hold the driver accountable and secure the compensation you deserve.