As the winter months fade away, more and more drivers in the UK are returning to their beloved two-wheelers. Motorbikes have always been a popular mode of transportation, especially during the warmer months. However, it’s essential to remember that while riding can be exhilarating, it can also be dangerous, and accidents can result in severe injuries.
Take a closer look at the principal risks and learn how to avoid being a victim.
Common Accidents on the UK’s Roads
Failure to yield right-of-way
One of the most substantial risks for bikers is failure to yield the right-of-way. It refers to situations where a car or lorry driver fails to notice a motorbike and pulls out or turns left in front of it without giving the motorcyclist enough time to avoid a collision.
Car drivers who are speeding pose a significant risk to two-wheelers on the road. A motorist’s reaction time is reduced when a car travels at high speeds, increasing the risk of accidents. Moreover, the impact force is much greater at high speeds, raising the chance of serious injuries or fatalities.
Distracted driving is another growing problem and an important cause of motorbike accidents. Drivers entertained by their phones, food or other interests may not see a motorbike or swerve into its path.
It happens if a driver or passenger in a parked vehicle opens their car door without looking, causing a motorcyclist to collide with the door or swerve to avoid it. This can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities.
Objects such as stones, branches or other debris can cause motorcyclists to lose control or puncture their tires. This risk can increase in areas with heavy traffic or construction, where litter is more likely to be left on the road.
Lane splitting is common among bikers, particularly in heavy traffic. It refers to the practice of riding a motorbike between lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. It’s an everyday practice in many countries, including the UK, where it’s legal to filter through slow-moving or stationary traffic.
Splitting lanes can help motorcyclists get through congested traffic. However, it can also be dangerous if not done correctly. It requires a high degree of skill and experience, as well as a certain level of caution and awareness of the surrounding traffic.
It’s crucial to remember that car drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care when operating their vehicles on the road, which includes being aware of their surroundings and taking precautions to avoid accidents with other vehicles, including motorbikes.
If a car driver collides with a lane splitting motorbike, they may be liable for the accident. Also, if the automobile changes lanes suddenly without looking, causing the motorbike to crash into the side of the car, the motorist may be held responsible.
Motorists driving drunk
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a common cause of motorbike accidents. When drivers are impaired, their ability to safely operate a vehicle is significantly reduced, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.
Because motorbikes are smaller and more difficult to see than cars, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to accidents caused by drunk or drugged drivers since intoxicated motorists may not notice them.
How to Avoid Being a Victim
You must do everything possible to avoid collisions. Here are some tips:
- Wear bright or reflective clothing and always use your headlight, even during the day.
- Always be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the actions of other drivers.
- Look for signs of drivers preparing to turn, open doors or change lanes, and be ready to react accordingly.
- When approaching an intersection or potentially hazardous areas, reduce speed and be prepared to stop if necessary.
- Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, particularly when riding behind a car or lorry.
- If you feel that a driver has not noticed you or is erratic, use your horn to get their attention.
- Scan the road ahead and be alert for potential hazards, such as debris, potholes, or uneven surfaces.
- Keep your motorcycle maintained and ensure your tires are correctly inflated and in good condition.
If an irresponsible or negligent driver has harmed you, seek medical attention immediately and contact the police. Additionally, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury solicitor who can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and other losses.