Motorcycle riders face a substantial risk of injury or even fatalities if they become involved in a collision, especially as motorcycle riders do not get protection from impact like a person in a car does.  Unfortunately, the cost of motorcycle accidents is tremendous due to the frequency of collisions and the damage that this type of accident causes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are more than $12 billion in costs each year from motorcycle accidents.

Understanding how these collisions occur is important to every motorist and motorcycle rider.

Motorcycle riders need to know the greatest dangers and the places where they’re most likely to be involved in accidents. Drivers also need to be aware of motorcycle accident risks so they can take steps to avoid causing an accident involving a motorcycle rider.

Many motorcycle crashes happen specifically because drivers do not know how to safely share the road. If drivers understand the danger, they can adopt safer behaviors and reduce collision risks.

The Motor Vehicle Administration explains common causes for motorcycle accidents. One big cause is that drivers of cars and trucks simply don’t see motorcycle riders. Drivers see other cars and they see trucks because drivers know to look for them and because these vehicles are bigger. But drivers don’t think as much about motorcycle riders (unless the drivers also happen to be riders too), and motorcycle riders are much more difficult to see. This means they miss the presence of riders and cause accidents.

Drivers are also not aware that motorcyclists typically move differently than cars do. Motorcyclists are much more affected by things like debris on the road or ice on the road. Motorcycle riders are more likely to shift positions in order to react to these types of things. Drivers may not expect riders to move the way they do.

There are ways for drivers to change their behavior that will make motorcycle riders safer. Drivers should make it a point to look twice before they change lanes or prior to making a left turn. These are two of the highest-risk times because drivers could move over to a lane where a motorcycle rider is or could hit a motorcyclist who is going straight through an intersection.

Drivers also need to respect motorcyclists. They should recognize that a motorcycle must be treated like any other vehicle on the road, which means it deserves its own lane. Drivers should not try to follow too closely behind a motorcyclist either, as tailgating can be especially dangerous when a motorcycle is involved because motorcyclists are more likely than cars to be forced to make sudden moves in response to road conditions.

If drivers actually do take steps to stop causing accident risks to motorcycles, fewer collisions will occur and motorcycle riders will be safer.