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Avoiding driver mistakes while on a motorcycle

As a motorcyclist, you want to work hard to avoid accidents, even the ones that are not your fault. Motorcycle crashes often result in no injuries for those in the cars and serious injuries -- or even death -- for those on a bike. Don't be so adamant about your rights on the road that you don't look for driver mistakes.

For example, one common motorcycle accident happens when a driver doesn't see you and merges into the lane you're already riding in. Remember that the bike is small and fits into a blind spot easily. Understand where these dangerous areas are and don't sit in them for long. Keep a close eye on blinker lights. If they come on while you're still in the lane, get out of the way as fast as you can. You can also just watch the driver's head. If he or she looks at the mirrors, the driver may be considering a lane change.

Another common crash is when a car turns left, through your lane, directly in front of you. This can happen because the driver thinks the path is clear and doesn't see the bike. You can't always avoid it, but keep a close eye on traffic ahead of you. Again, watch the blinker lights. If the turning car is waiting for other cars to go by before turning, be very careful and ready to hit the brakes or swerve for the shoulder. You may even want to slow down until you're safely in the clear.

People are sometimes resistant to this type of advice because it doesn't feel fair. Why should you always have to watch for the dangerous situations when it's the other drivers who are making mistakes? But, fair or not, this is the best way to help avoid accidents.

If you are hit by a car and the driver was at fault, you could be looking at serious medical bills and life-altering injuries. You need to know your rights to seek financial compensation.

Source: Ride Apart, "10 Common Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them," Wes Siler, accessed Nov. 16, 2016

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