Common Motorcycle Crashes and How to Avoid Them

The open road appeals to motorcyclists with the promise of freedom and exhilaration. Yet, the thrill of riding on two wheels carries inherent risks, particularly on the congested roads of Maryland. Recognizing the typical scenarios that lead to motorcycle accidents and practicing defensive riding techniques can greatly diminish the chances of encountering such an accident. In this guide we will discuss the prevalent causes of motorcycle mishaps and preventative measures, while also spotlighting the invaluable assistance Jack J. Schmerling, Attorney at Law, can offer in the aftermath of a motorcycle crash.

Motorcycle Accidents in Baltimore

The Most Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents

Operating a motorcycle on city streets or scenic highways riders encounter various challenges. Some situations are notoriously more hazardous than others:

  • Left Turn Crashes – This common scenario unfolds when a vehicle executes a left turn, failing to notice an oncoming motorcyclist or misjudging their speed, leading to a collision. The limited visibility of motorcycles compared to cars makes this type of accident particularly prevalent.
  • Lane Changing Accidents – These incidents occur when a vehicle changes lanes without recognizing the presence of a motorcycle. The smaller size of motorcycles makes them easily lost in vehicle’s blind spots, escalating the risk of such accidents.
  • Head-On Collisions. – Among the most perilous encounters for motorcyclists are head-on collisions, typically resulting in severe outcomes. They usually happen when a vehicle veers into an oncoming motorcycle’s lane, often due to distracted or impaired driving.
  • Lane Splitting Accidents – Riding between lanes of traffic, a practice known as lane splitting, poses significant dangers due to the close proximity to cars and reduced maneuverability and space.
  • Open Car Door Crashes – Urban riding presents unique dangers, such as the unexpected opening of a car door in a motorcycle’s path, leaving little time for the rider to react and avoid impact.
  • Rear End Collisions– A sudden stop by a vehicle could lead to a motorcyclist crashing into its rear end, often caused by the vehicle driver’s inattention or abrupt braking.
  • Unseen Road Hazards – Road conditions that are merely inconvenient for cars can be treacherous for motorcycles. Hazards like potholes, uneven surfaces, wet leaves, or gravel can easily destabilize a motorcycle.

Strategies For Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents

Mitigating the risks associated with motorcycling in Maryland demands constant vigilance and preemptive measures. Here are some detailed strategies to help riders steer clear of accidents:

Stay Visible

  • Enhancing your visibility is key to ensuring that you’re noticed by other road users. Opting for brightly colored gear and employing reflective materials can make a significant difference, especially during dawn, dusk or at night.
  • Activating your motorcycles headlights, even in broad daylight, can catch the attention of other drivers, reducing the likelihood of being overlooked.
  • Positioning plays a vital role in visibility. Position yourself in the lane where you’re most likely to be seen by other drivers, especially in their rearview mirrors.

Anticipate Hazards

  • Intersections require heightened caution. Be particularly wary of vehicles indicating or preparing to make left turns, as these are frequent points of conflict.
  • Maintaining a safe following distance from vehicles ahead provides a buffer to react to sudden stops or maneuvers.
  • Regular checks of mirrors and blind spots are important when navigating lane changes or preparing for turns, so that you are aware of your surroundings at all times.

Practice Defensive Driving

  • Enrolling in a motorcycle safety course is not just for beginners. Such courses can refine your driving skills, teaching advanced techniques for avoiding accidents.
  • Operate under the assumption that you might be invisible to other drivers. This mindset encourages proactive safety measures such as positioning and speed adjustments.
  • Adjust your speed according to weather conditions and road quality. Wet roads, debris, or potholes require a more cautious approach.

Be Mindful Of Road Conditions

  • Approach areas with loose surfaces like gravel or sand with care, reducing speed and avoiding sudden movements.
  • Weather conditions can drastically alter the riding experience. Be particularly cautious during or after rainfall when oils on the road surface can make conditions slippery.
  • Although lane splitting can save time, it’s important to practice it judiciously, adhering to local laws and only when traffic conditions. Are conducive.

How Jack J Smerling Can Help With Your Motorcycle Crash Claim

Should you unfortunately become involved in a motorcycle crash in Maryland, Jack Jay Schmerling, Attorney at Law, stands ready to provide expert legal assistance. With a profound understanding of Maryland’s legal landscape and a dedication to the rights of motorcyclists, our firm is poised to advocate on your behalf. Here’s how we can make a difference.:

  • Comprehensive Legal Knowledge – Our firm is well versed in the nuances of traffic laws and motorcycle accident litigation in Maryland, positioning us to navigate your claim effectively.
  • Tailored Legal Strategies – Recognizing that each case is unique, we craft personalized legal approaches that align with your specific circumstances and objectives.
  • Commitment To Compensation – We are relentless in our pursuit of the compensation you are entitled to, covering medical bills, lost earnings and other pertinent damages.


Embracing safe riding practices and being prepared for the unexpected are vital for every motorcyclist. In the event of an accident, know that Jack J. Schmerling, Attorney at Law, is here to support you through the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected and your recovery is prioritized. Ride safely and with confidence, knowing you have a strong advocate in your corner.

Jack J. Schmerling, Attorney at Law, in Glen Burnie, MD, is your go-to-attorney. With a rich history of nearly four decades in law and a wide-reaching practice area, we are committed to delivering top-notch legal assistance and personalized service to clients throughout Maryland. Whether you’re navigating the complexities of an auto accident claim or seeking justice for a workplace injury, our firm stands ready to advocate for your best interests.

For more information about our practice, or to schedule a free consultation, contact us via our website or give us a call at 443-354-4107. We look forward to meeting you!