The most common causes of motorbike crashes

Motorcycling is about the thrill of jumping on two wheels and enjoying the best roads the UK has to offer. It puts us at one with machinery and provides a rush like no other vehicle can.

Unfortunately, it often makes the headlines for the worst possible reasons.

Back in 2014, motorcycle injuries and deaths reached a seven-year high. And, while everyone will have an opinion on why motorbike crashes happen, no one can ignore the obvious risks riders take whenever they venture out onto the road.

Research has shown that there are five key reasons that lie behind motorcycle accidents, therefore we thought we’d list each one and offer some vital advice on how to best avoid them.

1. Country roads

When learning to ride, you typically do so on busy town streets. Country roads are therefore riding venues most of us experience for the first time after our test - on our own and with limited experience.

Country roads are vey different to those found in town, and the skills required to navigate them safely on two wheels take a considerable amount of time to learn. Bends, in particular, offer up plenty of opportunities to misjudge your riding line and end up the worse for wear, therefore keeping your speed low and approaching every bend that disappears in front of you with caution is vitally important.

2. Shunts

When riding too close to the vehicle in front, motorcyclists put themselves at serious risk of crashing if said vehicle decides it needs to stop suddenly. It sounds obvious, but it’s a common mistake riders make.

Always give plenty of room to the vehicle in front and ensure you have ample stopping distance should they brake suddenly.

3. Poor road conditions

Unfortunately, the UK is littered with potholes and poor road conditions, and if you’re on two wheels, you’re more susceptible to any damage within the tarmac beneath you.

There are a number of things to keep an eagle eye out for while riding, but the most common elements of poor road conditions that cause motorcycle accidents are as follows: 

  • Potholes
  • Mud
  • Diesel spills
  • Manhole covers
  • Newly-painted or wet road markings

4. Overtaking

When riding a motorbike, it can be tempting to put your best foot forward regularly and overtake as many vehicles as possible. When performed safely, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with overtaking; it’s perfectly legal and will get you to where you need to be faster.

However, get it wrong, and the results can be fatal. Never overtake without a clear view ahead, and always avoid doing so on bends, junctions, pedestrian crossings and within hills and dips in the road.

5. Junctions

Probably the most common example of motorcycling accidents used by campaigners on TV, collisions at junctions are an ever-present threat.

They can happen for all manner of reasons, from drivers failing to give way, to motorcyclists neglecting the importance of checking every angle before pulling out. Treat every junction with the utmost care and keep a close eye on other road users, and you’ll stand a far better chance of coming out unscathed.

Wrapping up

Unfortunately, motorcycling accidents are common, but everyone who buys a bike does so knowing that there is a degree of risk involved with every ride.

However, keep in mind the common causes of accidents above, and you’ll stand the best chance of enjoying a trouble-free riding experience.

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