When you first learn to ride a motorcycle, the biggest fear is falling off. Yet you soon realize the most significant danger is not losing your balance but having someone else knock you off.
A large proportion of crashes happen at intersections due to various streams of traffic needing to cross each other. Riding defensively at them is crucial and understanding the specific dangers is key to that:
A driver turning across your path
Drivers often misjudge a motorcyclist’s speed. They see you in the distance and think they have plenty of time to make the turn before you arrive. Slowing down at intersections means you have more chance of stopping when faced with the side of a car across your path.
A driver not seeing you
This is a particular problem where traffic is stacked up, or there are large vehicles such as trucks or buses. Drivers may lose you among the mass of larger, higher vehicles. A brightly colored helmet can help you stand out.
A driver shunting you from behind
People can get impatient when sitting at lights. Some have their foot poised on the gas pedal, ready to hit go as soon as the light turns green. If you are at the front of the queue, make sure you count down, ready to accelerate as soon as the light changes.
However hard you try to stay safe on your motorcycle, you will soon realize that not everything is within your control. The roads are full of drivers who could kill or seriously injure you through a moment’s negligence. If someone knocks you from your motorcycle, be sure to get legal help to hold them responsible.