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Could you avoid these common motorcycle accidents?

When you're riding a motorcycle, all it takes is a split second to end or permanently alter your life. Below are some common scenarios for motorcycle accidents — do you have the skills to avoid these dangers?

-- Cars making left turns in front of you.

This is the primary cause of most motorcycle accidents, as motorists frequently are oblivious to the presence of motorcyclists in their midst. To avoid this common pitfall, be alert to signs of distraction from drivers at intersections, parking lots and near driveways. Pause for a beat longer than usual to allow them to make sudden moves.

-- Hitting gravel in a curve.

Rounding a blind curve and finding a patch of loose gravel or other obstruction can cause you to wipe out. There's really no way to avoid something like that, so your safest bet is to only cruise at speeds where there is time for you to take evasive action. Remember "slow in, fast out" as you go into curves. If you have the skills, brake to the maximum with your front brake and then switch to the throttle to tighten the line of the bike's path.

-- Entering corners too quickly.

When a road crests blindly or you can't see what lies behind a corner and you're approaching too fast, your best bet is to try and ride it out. Get the lean out of your bike by hanging off. Keep your eyes on the road and do nothing to cause the bike to lose traction.

-- Cars switch lanes into your riding space.

Avoid blind spots like the plague. Watch traffic patterns near exits where drivers tend to jockey for position. If all the traffic is shifting to one lane, get out of it until the traffic thins.

-- Being struck by a car from the rear.

What would be a minor fender-bender between two vehicles can be lethal to motorcyclists. Try never to be the in the midst of a line of traffic stopping at a light or stop sign. If necessary, pull a little to one side and keep your bike in gear with your hand on its throttle. Scoot off at the first sign of pending impact.

If you get hurt in a motorcycle crash, you may need to take the at-fault driver to court to make him or her assume financial liability for the accident.

Source: RideApart, "10 Common Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them," Wes Siler, accessed Sep. 02, 2016

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