Getting rear-ended is one of the most common types of motorcycle accidents that you can experience, and in many instances it can cause serious injuries or even death.
In fact, nearly 5,000 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2015, which was an 8.3 percent increase from 2014. There were also 88,000 motorcycle injuries in 2015, a 4.3 percent increase from 2014
Making things even worse, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled, and almost five times more likely to be injured.
Clearly, these statistics highlight the risks that motorcyclists face when they get on the road, making it imperative that they take evasive action to protect their lives.
Here are some things that you can do as a motorcyclist to avoid rear-end collisions, and ensure that you don’t add to these sobering statistics.
Use Your Mirrors Early and Often to Help Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
One of the ways to prevent rear-end motorcycle accidents is to make sure that you check your mirrors early and often. This is especially true when you are approaching a traffic light or a stop sign, because you want to confirm that vehicles behind you are observing those traffic signals.
And remember that you have blind spots with your mirrors, so you may have to crane your head back to make sure you can see all the vehicles behind you.
Slow When You Approach a Stop Sign Or Traffic Light
And as you approach a stop sign or traffic light, you should begin slowing down, which will make the cars behind you slow down so that there’s less of a chance that you’ll be rear-ended.
If you are speeding as you approach a stop sign or traffic light, and you have to hit the brakes abruptly, that may trigger a chain reaction from the vehicle behind you that can easily cause a rear-end accident.
Keep A Safe Distance Between Your Motorcycle and the Vehicle In Front
Some rear-end motorcycle accidents occur because you don’t have enough time to maneuver your way out of a tight spot.
To prevent this from happening, keep a safe stopping distance between your motorcycle and the vehicle in front of you. This gives you enough time to swerve out of a dangerous situation if a car behind you is following too closely.
It can also prevent you from rear-ending the vehicle in front of you, which can cause just as much damage as if a car hit you from behind.
Ensure That Your Brake Lights Are Working
Brake lights can save you from a being rear-ended, because they alert the driver of the vehicle behind you that you are slowing down. That’s especially true during dusk and night driving, and it’s why you must check that your brake lights are working.
Brake light fuses on motorcycles are notorious for blowing out at inopportune times, so the simple act of testing your brake lights can save you from a rear-end motorcycle accident.
Wear Light Colored Clothing At Night
Regardless of how bright your reflectors are, you can always make yourself more visible when you’re riding your motorcycle at night. Wear light colored clothing such as yellow and white that is easy to see in the darkness.
You can also invest in boots that are equipped with reflective panels that are shiny and ultra-visible to vehicle drivers behind you.
The more visible you make yourself to other drivers, the less likely that they will rear-end your motorcycle.
Position Your Motorcycle To the Left Or Right Side of the Lane
When you’re coming to a stop in your motorcycle, don’t stop in the center of the lane, because that gives you little room to maneuver if the vehicle behind you is barreling forward.
Position your bike to the left or right side of the lane, so that you can quickly change to the next lane if the vehicle behind you loses control and is about to rear-end your motorcycle.
Keep Your Motorcycle In Gear
One other tip to avoid being rear-ended in a motorcycle accident is to make sure that you keep your bike in gear, even when you’re at a stop.
This lets you rev up as soon as you sense trouble from the vehicle behind you, so that you can make a quick lane change and escape a potentially devastating rear-end accident.
But it also helps prevents your motorcycle from being pushed as far forward if you are rear-ended, which could be the difference between minor cuts and scrapes, and a serious injury.
Many motorcycle riders like to keep their bikes in neutral when they are stopped in traffic or at a stop sign, but staying in gear is a preventive method that is worth trying.
Finding An Advocate For Your Claim
The truth is, even if you follow these tips every time you ride your motorcycle, there is still a chance that you won’t be able to avoid the improper actions of a driver on the road. When this happens and you suffer injuries, it is vital that you secure the services of an experienced law firm such as the team at Rosner Law Offices, P.C.
We have spent years handling motorcycle injury claims, so we know the challenges and the best solutions for each obstacle you face. Please call us today at (856) 502-1655 for a free consultation to see how we can help you with your case.