If you enjoy taking to the Oklahoma roads on your motorcycle, you might be aware of the many hazards that could threaten your life. While biking can be so much fun, it can also be dangerous, regardless of how experienced you are. Although many people immediately assume a biker's negligence when they hear about a motorcycle accident, most such incidents involve negligent motorists.
Riding on two wheels requires a whole lot more skill than driving a vehicle with four wheels. You may face motorcycling hazards that you cannot avoid, some that involve other motorists, and those over which you have control.
Some of the dangers you will face have nothing to do with your skills or the behavior of other road users, and all you can do is to deal with it in the best way you can. The following dangers fall into that category:
- Inclement weather: Even if you usually avoid riding in rain or snow, unexpected storms can put you in grave danger, particularly if you go on long trips. While there are obvious hazards during such storms, accumulation of pools of water or ice patches on the roads pose significant dangers.
- Gravel and debris: Dirt, sticks and other debris on the road surface are dangerous, but the most treacherous obstacle is gravel, which can make your tires lose grip and you lose control — especially as you lean into a turn.
Hazard posed by motorists
Although the following dangers are out of your control, being alert might help you avoid them:
- Car doors opening: Riding in the city can put you at risk of people in parked cars opening their doors, and all you can do is to avoid riding too closely to parked cars and to try to anticipate what people will do.
- Motorists' failure to yield: Although this is particularly prevalent in intersections, you must always be vigilant because cars can make left turns into parking lots, driveways and side roads at any time. The same type of hazard exists when they exit parking lots or driveways.
- Negligent lane changing: Most motorists indicate intentions to change lanes, but many do not. Being alert and checking for those that begin to drift towards another lane may help you spot those risks before calamity strikes.
- Distracted or drunk drivers: Another area to observe carefully involves oncoming traffic. A motorist who is impaired, texting, eating or otherwise distracted can easily drift across the centerline, and only your watchfulness may save you.
Risks you can control
Although your safety mostly depends on your vigilance, your skills and alertness might avoid the following hazards:
- Slamming on brakes: Having anti-lock brakes might help prevent your bike's front wheel from locking and ejecting you from the bike if you have to slam on the brakes unexpectedly. However, proper braking in emergencies is an essential skill to learn.
- Vehicles behind you: Unfortunately, staying safe on a motorcycle also requires eyes in the back of your head because traveling in slow-moving traffic or being stopped at intersections always poses the risk for rear-end crashes.
- Navigation of corners: While speeding on a bike can be exhilarating, it could be life-threatening. Doing this on a straight road might not be as dangerous as navigating through a corner or turn with too much speed.
- Impaired riding: Sadly, motorcycling often involves a culture of partying and drinking, and that can be a foolproof recipe for suffering a fatality.
Your legal rights
If you are a victim of a motorcycle crash that resulted from the negligence of another party, you can pursue financial relief through the Oklahoma civil justice system. Motorcycle accidents frequently cause catastrophic injuries, but you might find comfort knowing that resources are available to assist you throughout the ensuing legal proceedings to help you get maximum recovery of economic and non-economic damages.