Avoiding common motorcycle accidents


Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. Here’s a few quick tips on how to avoid some of the most common motorcycle accidents.


The most common accidents that we bikers get involved in are collisions at junctions, collisions while overtaking, loss of control, either from a shunt or, and, surprise, surprise, failing to get round a bend.

The key to minimizing the risk of any of these happening is anticipation, whether that’s reading the road ahead or another road users’ intentions, if you can react in plenty of time to prospective hazards, you should keep out of trouble.

Lots of these skills can be learned on various advanced rider courses that are available.

Look out for clues

When you’re out in the countryside always look for clues to the way a bend is going to run, whether that’s a line of trees, telegraph poles or the hedges.

If you’re heading along a busy urban street, cars pulling out are your prime danger, so look for signs that they are going to move, like the driver’s hands moving on the steering wheel, the wheels starting to move, or an oncoming vehicle flashing to let someone pull out on you.

Work on road positioning

Shunts happen when you don’t leave enough room between you and the vehicle in front, so work on your road positioning and get to know how well your bike’s brakes work so you can always stop in the distance you can see to be clear.

Respect the conditions

With just two small tyre contact patches we have got to have lots of respect for the road surfaces. Poor weather, diesel spills, manholes, mud and painted road surfaces can all catch us out.

So, look for clues like harvesting or ploughing going on, a bus station with lots of diesel-laden coaches turning in and out of, or back clouds ahead and oncoming vehicles with headlights blazing.

This is all part of a lifetime of learning these new skills, which will give you a great deal of satisfaction, and keep you safe. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in an accident read our article on what to do after an accident here.

Read our next article on making a claim here.

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Written by Dan Sutherland, motorcycle journalist for MCN.
Reviewed on 2nd April 2019 by Andrew Campbell, MCN Legal Advisor.
Edited by Sian Daly, MCN Compare content editor.