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Live to ride – but understand the common motorcycle hazards

There is nothing more exciting for a motorcyclist than the feeling of speed and freedom as the highway miles fly by. This is the time of year that you and other California motorcyclists get the itch to go on long road trips and feel the wind on your face. However, before you pack your gear, you should understand the many risks you face on the road from other drivers.

This past January, reported 23ABC News, a motorcyclist in Bakersfield was killed after a driver pulled out on the road in front of him. Reportedly, the driver fled the vehicle, and authorities have not yet found him or her. This type of scenario is far too common, unfortunately. The following are other hazards you might encounter on your bike:

  • Drivers occupied by their cellphones or other distractions – an increasing danger for anyone on the road
  • People who are not accustomed to watching out for motorcycles sharing the road with them
  • Aggressive drivers who do not like motorcyclists and might purposefully drive unsafely around them
  • Adverse weather or road conditions, including rain, sun glare, potholes and stop-and-go traffic
  • Drivers who do not understand that they should give motorcycles extra following distance, since bikes can stop faster
  • Vehicles that turn into the path of an oncoming motorcycle or change lanes without looking

As you know, the injuries you receive in a motorcycle crash can be severe and life-threatening. Despite wearing safety gear and riding cautiously, you lack airbags and the protective metal barrier other vehicles have. The force of a much larger vehicle striking a rider, as well as the impact of hitting the ground or other objects can render safety gear less effective.

You may be one of the most safety-conscious bikers in your group, but you cannot control the actions of others. Understanding the risks may help you avoid accidents, but you should also know that you may seek compensation if another driver’s negligence leads to your injury.

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