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Be alert to 3 common causes of car-motorcycle crashes

As a motorcycle rider, you know you are at a disadvantage in the event of a collision with a car or truck. However, you may be a novice with a brand-new bike and not yet in the habit of driving defensively.

Always keep in the back of your mind that there may be an accident somewhere up ahead just waiting to happen. Here are three of the most common causes of car-motorcycle collisions—and how you can avoid them.

1. A car changes lanes

One of the problems motorcycle riders face is ending up in a driver’s blind spot. If the driver decides to change lanes, he or she could easily sideswipe you because you are simply not visible. Be aware of traffic situations where lane changes could easily pop up. Furthermore, though it may take some maneuvering, try your best to stay out of blind spots.

2. A driver turns left in front of you

This is the most common cause of car-motorcycle accidents. An oncoming car either misjudges your speed or fails to see you. The driver could just be distracted, but there is even a psychological issue here for the alert driver: He or she sees the absence of cars in the intersection, but not the presence of a motorcycle. The only way you can avoid this kind of accident is to anticipate it and pay particular attention when approaching intersections.

3. A car door opens

You are smaller and faster than the slow-moving cars ahead of you. You see an opening between the lane you are in and the line of parked cars next to you. You make a split-second decision to zoom ahead by using that narrow space, and a car door flies open just as you approach. Riding between a traffic lane and parked cars like this is always dangerous and likely to result in very severe injuries.

When you are a motorcycle rider, you must expect the unexpected, follow the rules of the road, and always be prepared to take evasive action. Stay alert and have an enjoyable ride. How much better is that than spending a perfect Florida day in the hospital?

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