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How can North Carolina motorcyclists avoid crashes?

When a motorcyclist is involved in an accident with a bigger vehicle, the risks of injuries and fatalities are increased; as a result, taking all possible precautions while riding a motorcycle is extremely important. In order to help motorcyclists throughout the state, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has issued a Motorcyclists' Handbook that not only tells a rider how to avert crashes, but also provides plenty of other information that can be useful in a number of situations.

Probably the most crucial thing that a motorcyclist must do when in a tight spot is to brake and swerve to avoid an accident. However, studies show that most bike crashes occur because of under-braking or failing to swerve, when it would have been appropriate. Therefore, riders must know that to avoid being in a crash, they must ensure that their control over their motorcycle is adequate and they can apply brakes or swerve appropriately when required.

Another concern for many motorcyclists is handling dangerous surfaces. Dangerous surfaces could mean uneven roads or obstacles on the road, surfaces that are slippery due to oil spillage, rain or snow, railway tracks that cross a road or grooves and grating embedded in the roadway. A dangerous surface can not only result in a single-vehicle accident, but also can create a situation in which a motorcyclist is forced to leave his or her lane and risk being hit by another vehicle. Therefore, a rider must understand the correct ways of handling those hazards.

Sadly, in spite of all possible precautions taken by motorcyclists, a large number of motorcycle accidents occur in North Carolina, as well as throughout the rest of the country. While some of these accidents are no one's fault, there still remain a significant number of motorcycle crashes that are caused by another driver's negligence. In those cases, a rider must first receive all necessary medical attention and then may consider seeking legal recourse against the negligent driver.

Source: North Carolina Department of Transportation, "Motorcyclists' Handbook," accessed Dec. 31, 2014

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