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What are some common causes of motorcycle accidents?

Motorcycling is a fun activity for many in Louisiana. Whether they only take their bikes out for the occasional scenic ride or whether their motorcycle is their primary means of transportation, motorcycling is a good way for bikers to travel Louisiana's streets and highways.

However, motorcycling can also be dangerous. Even the most vigilant motorcyclist, who is wearing a helmet and protective gear, is skilled in handling their bike and who follows the rules of the road can find themselves victims in motorcycle accidents caused by negligent drivers. There are a number of common scenarios that could lead to a motorcycle accident.

Most motorcycle crashes occur when a motorist turns left in front of the motorcyclist. This can happen when the motorist is unaware of the presence of the motorcyclist or when the motorist misjudges how fast the motorcyclist is going. Motorists must pay attention to those around them and check their blind spots before executing a turn.

Some motorcycle accidents occur when a motorist changing lanes crashes into the motorcyclist. Motorcyclists are not as visible as larger automobiles, and a motorist who might have been aware of other cars may have failed to look out for motorcyclists before changing lanes.

Other motorcycle accidents involve a motorist rear-ending the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist may have been stopped at a traffic signal or stop sign, when a motorist fails to notice them and hits the motorcyclist from behind. When this happens at a high rate of speed, such fender benders can lead to the death of a motorcyclist.

Some motorcycle accidents even occur if the motorist is stationary. For example, a motorist parked on the side of the street can open his or her car door in front of a motorcyclist, causing the motorcyclist to crash into the car door. Motorists must maintain awareness of motorcycles, even if their vehicle is not moving.

These are only some scenarios that could lead to motorcycle accidents. What they mostly come down to, though, is that it is up to motorists to make sure to look out for motorcyclists when they are on the road. Motorcyclists have every right to be on the road as motorists do, so motorists must uphold their duty of care, and drive in a manner that is safe and appropriate under the circumstances, including paying attention to motorcycles while driving.

Source: RideApart, "10 Common Motorcycle Accidents And How To Avoid Them," Wes Siler, Feb. 20, 2017

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