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Warmer weather, more motorcycles and possibly more injuries

Some motorcycle riders are out and about all year long, but with the advent of warmer weather, motorists will see more Harleys and Yamahas on the road.

Car crashes are common enough in Ohio, and although serious injuries can result, a car-motorcycle collision can cause even more devastating injuries to the rider.

Common causes

One of the most common vehicle-motorcycle collisions occurs when an oncoming car or truck makes a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle. The rider may have no choice but to drive into the passenger side of the vehicle.

Motorcycle riders are also at risk when they are in a vehicle’s blind spot. The driver may decide to change lanes not realizing that the motorcycle is nearby. In this kind of collision, the vehicle sideswipes the motorcycle, throwing the rider from the bike. The same thing can happen in a sudden-stop collision in which another vehicle strikes the motorcycle from behind.

Frequent  injuries

Head injuries, even for those who wear helmets, are a major concern for motorcyclists involved in crashes because the head usually strikes the ground or another object with great force. However, injuries to arms, legs, knees and feet are also common. Putting out an arm or leg before a fall is an instinctive move, but the rider’s limbs are open to a variety of injuries from fractures to nerve damage.

Safety recommendations

The main reason for a vehicle-motorcycle collision is that the driver of the car or truck does not see the motorcycle. A report published in 2018 by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that better integration of motorcycle conspicuity in vehicle crash warning and prevention systems would enhance safety for motorcycle riders.

The report also recommended that all motorcycles in the U.S. have antilock brakes as well as stability control systems. The NTSB report found that such safety features can improve motorcycle detection and give riders more time in which to avoid dangerous situations and the potential for serious injuries.