3 Overlooked Hazards New Motorcycle Riders Aren't Taught
As a motorcyclist, it's essential to be aware of the various hazards that can put you at risk on the road. While some hazards, like distracted drivers and slippery roads, are well-known, there are also less obvious dangers that can catch riders off guard. Here are some uncommon motorcycle hazards to keep in mind to help you stay safe while riding.
One of the less common hazards for motorcyclists is open car doors. Drivers or passengers can suddenly open their car doors, and if you're riding too close, you may not have enough time to react. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 55 fatal motorcycle accidents in 2019 caused by a collision with a door or a side of a vehicle. To avoid this hazard, it's essential to be alert for parked cars and try to leave a safe distance between yourself and the parked cars whenever possible.
Another uncommon hazard is inexperienced riders. Inexperienced riders or reckless riders can also pose a hazard on the road. According to the NHTSA, in 2019, almost 28% of motorcycle riders who died in a crash had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. Always be aware of other riders around you and avoid riding in groups where you may be more likely to encounter inexperienced riders.
Flying debris, such as rocks or gravel kicked up by other vehicles, can also be a hazard for motorcyclists. The debris can cause loss of control of the bike, leading to an accident. According to a study by the American Automobile Association (AAA), debris on the road caused over 200,000 crashes between 2011 and 2014. Always maintain a safe following distance and be prepared to swerve or brake if necessary to avoid debris on the road.
Potholes, road debris, and uneven road surfaces are also common hazards for motorcyclists. These hazards can cause the motorcycle to lose traction or throw the rider off balance. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), riders should always keep an eye out for hazards on the road and be prepared to take evasive action. Maintaining a safe speed and a safe following distance can help you avoid these hazards and stay safe while riding.