Like any automobile accident, motorcycle collisions are unpredictable and can happen at any time. Unlike a driver or passenger in an automobile, however, motorcyclists are more prone to property damage, physical injury, and even death. Traffic, bad weather, nighttime conditions— any or all of these factors can increase the likelihood of a motorcycle accident. One way that devout motorcycle riders can reduce their risk of injury is to learn to adjust their behavior on the open road.

If you ride a motorcycle, it’s important to remain vigilant, in order to keep yourself safe. You have a family at home, and we’re sure there are many other people, who couldn’t imagine life without you in it. Don’t take any chances! Instead, remember these four common causes of motorcycle accidents:

Alcohol Consumption

Riding a motorcycle requires exceptional balance, coordination, and reactionary responses. You have to be a quick decision-maker when you’re without the protection of a 1.5 ton compact car. All of these factors can be seriously impacted by the consumption of alcohol. In fact, data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveals that alcohol consumption is a leading cause of motorcycle fatalities. According to the most recent documented numbers, 30 percent of all riders, who lost their lives in accidents, had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher during the fatal collision. If you’ve consumed more than the legal limit, it’s best to leave your motorcycle behind for the evening and opt for an Uber, taxi, or ride home from a friend.

Lane Splitting

You’ve either seen a motorcycle do it before, or you’ve done it before on your own motorcycle. It’s common for riders to split lanes and avoid traffic build-up. Lane splitting, or traveling in between two lanes to bypass slow-moving vehicles, is illegal in Louisiana. Aside from Europe and Asia, California is the only U.S. state that allows it. Despite the state you’re riding in, the dangers of lane splitting are well-known. Drivers are not expecting motorcyclists to approach their car from the middle of the two lanes, so accidents are bound to happen. As we all know, it only takes one distracted or unaware driver to cause a wreck.

Poorly Maintained Roads

This isn’t an uncommon facet of Louisiana life! We’re looking at you, New Orleans. A recent study showed that the average condition of all roads in NOLA rate less than 43 on a scale of 100, and nearly two-thirds of the streets are in “poor” condition. 3.6 billion-dollars will be poured into improving the streets to a “fair” condition over the next few years. While the majority of vehicles can handle these potholes in the meantime, the hazardous road conditions can be precarious for motorcyclists. While we’re not suggesting you stay off of them completely until improvements are made, we are advising you to be careful and aware of your surroundings—whatever Parish you may be cruising in!

Tailgating

In congested traffic, the worst case scenario is always possible, especially when one vehicle is tailgating another. The danger of this situation is amplified when a car tailgates a motorcycle, making rear-end collisions one of the most common types of motorcycle accidents. Traffic shortens the following distance between cars; therefore, it may be more difficult to follow common driving guidelines, such as the two-second rule. Drivers can reduce the risk of collision with a motorcycle by keeping space between them and the motorcycle, or simply by changing lanes. Motorcyclists, just because you’re on a bike, it doesn’t excuse you from carrying out the same courtesy!

If you were hurt by a drunk, distracted, or negligent driver in Louisiana, Bush Law Firm is here to serve you! The at-fault driver may be held liable for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Our legal team has the knowledge and resources to help you recover the maximum compensation possible and regain your peace-of-mind in the process.

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Dallon Bush

Owner, Bush Law Firm