7 Common Motorcycle Crashes in Ocala, FL, and How to Avoid Them
Bill Allen | November 3, 2022 | Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycles are more dangerous than cars. Motorcyclists have little protection in a crash. Compared to vehicle occupants, they are 28 times more likely to die and four times more likely to get injured when they crash.
This happens for many reasons. A higher power-to-weight ratio makes motorcycles difficult for novices to control. Their smaller size makes them less visible. And many drivers cannot track motorcycles due to a subconscious cognitive bias.
2 Common Kinds of Single-Vehicle Crashes
About 40% of motorcycle crashes involve only a single vehicle. Motorcycles are inherently unstable. A motorcyclist can tip over if anything throws them off balance.
Motorcycles also require a different set of skills than driving. Novice motorcyclists can lose control of their motorcycles, leading to a crash.
Two common single-vehicle motorcycle crashes include:
1. Cornering Accidents
A common cause of motorcycle accidents is speeding. When motorcyclists speed, they have a much higher risk of losing control while cornering. Whether navigating a curved road or an intersection, taking a corner too quickly creates a risk that the motorcycle’s tires will slide out as the motorcyclist leans into the turn.
Motorcyclists can reduce their risk of a cornering accident by slowing down. Cornering accidents also happen more frequently on slick roads, so motorcyclists should drive cautiously after an Ocala rainstorm.
2. Intoxicated Driving Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 40% of motorcyclists killed in single-vehicle accidents were intoxicated.
Marion County had over 100 intoxicated driving accidents in 2021. At least some of them involved motorcyclists as either drunk drivers or accident victims.
Alcohol and drugs affect a driver’s balance and coordination. Drugs and alcohol can also affect a rider’s judgment and lead to greater risk-taking.
Riders can avoid impaired driving accidents by riding sober. They can reduce the risk of getting hit by an impaired driver by riding during the daytime. According to the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard, over 40% of Ocala’s intoxicated driving crashes happened between midnight and 2 a.m.
5 Common Multi-Vehicle Collisions
Multi-vehicle collisions can cause serious injuries and deaths. Motorcyclists have almost no protection in a crash. And when a car hits a motorcycle, the motorcyclist can get ejected.
Worse yet, many of these multi-vehicle accidents happen outside the control of motorcyclists. Most collisions between automobiles and motorcycles are caused by automobile drivers.
Five common multi-vehicle motorcycle collisions include:
1. Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end collisions happen when a vehicle hits the rear of a motorcycle. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of vehicle crash in the U.S.
When two cars crash in a rear-end collision, the drivers can suffer whiplash and other non-fatal injuries. But rear-end crashes rarely cause motorist deaths.
This is not true when a car rear-ends a motorcycle. The motorcyclist can get thrown from the motorcycle in a rear-end collision. And since a motorcycle saddle usually has no seat back, the rider’s back and neck have no support as the rider whips back and forth after a rear-end crash.
The driver of the car is almost always at fault for hitting the rear of a motorcycle. But the following are a few steps to reduce your risk of getting rear-ended while on your motorcycle:
- Move aside and allow tailgating drivers to pass
- Leave space in front of you when you stop at an intersection so you can move forward if the car behind you gets too close
- Do not retaliate against aggressive drivers since retaliation might escalate the danger
Unfortunately, Florida outlaws the most effective way to avoid rear-end crashes: lane filtering. Lane filtering allows you to move between cars along the lane line in stopped or slowed traffic. But only a handful of states allow lane filtering, excluding Florida.
2. Left-Turn Crashes
Researchers have observed a phenomenon called “looked but failed to see.” In this type of accident, drivers exercise caution, but due to a cognitive bias, their brains fail to accord significance.
In one study, 48% of participants in a driving simulator failed to spot a motorcycle despite seeing a taxi in the same area of the simulation. According to the researchers conducting the study, this meant the failure probably stemmed from a cognitive bias against motorcycles rather than the size or location of the motorcycle.
Left-turn crashes happen when a driver turns left into or across the path of an oncoming motorcycle. Despite looking in the direction where the motorcycle approaches, drivers will still enter the intersection and collide with it.
Motorcyclists can reduce the chances of a left-turn crash by covering their brakes as they cross an intersection. They can also avoid crossing an intersection when trying to beat a yellow or red light.
3. Right-Turn Crashes
Right-turn crashes happen when a car turns right into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. As a result, the motorcycle hits the back of the car or crashes while swerving to miss the turning car. Again, these crashes happen when drivers fail to spot oncoming motorcyclists or misjudge their distance or speed.
Motorcyclists can avoid these accidents by leaving themselves an escape route when crossing an intersection.
4. Lane Change Collisions
Drivers can lose motorcyclists in their blind spots. This often happens when a driver gets lazy when changing lanes and only checks their mirrors.
Motorcyclists can reduce the chances of getting hit by avoiding the area of a lane next to cars and trucks. Instead, motorcyclists should ride ahead or behind cars in the adjacent lane and leave space for drivers to change lanes without hitting them.
5. Intersection Accidents
Another common cause of motorcycle crashes happens when drivers fail to yield the right of way to motorcyclists. Since many drivers do not view motorcycles with the same significance as cars or trucks, they often proceed out of turn at two-way or four-way stops.
Motorcyclists can avoid intersection accidents by moving cautiously through intersections so they can maneuver to avoid a car that goes out of turn.
Riding Your Motorcycle Safely in Ocala, FL
Unfortunately, motorcyclists can do everything right and still get hit by intoxicated, distracted, or careless drivers. As a result, motorcyclists must drive defensively and assume that every driver poses a potential collision risk. Riders should also wear a helmet to reduce the severity of their injuries if they get hit.
Contact Our Ocala Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Ocala motorcycle accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: