Fall is underway, but for many Knoxville residents, autumn is the perfect time of year for a motorcycle ride. The combination of the crisp weather and beautiful fall scenery can create the perfect setting for an afternoon excursion. Motorcycle enthusiasts need to understand the unique dangers they face on the road and prepare as best they can to avoid serious injuries in a motorcycle accident.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in 2013, there were 137 fatalities in motorcycle crashes in Tennessee. These numbers were similar nearly every year in the previous decade. In more than 80 percent of crashes reported throughout the United States, motorcyclists suffered a serious injury or were killed.

What are the most common factors that make motorcycle accidents so dangerous to bikers? Most of the time in a crash involving another vehicle, the motorcyclist is ejected from the bike. Unlike cars and trucks, bikers have no protection from seatbelts and airbags. A helmet may provide some protection against head injuries, but is not a guarantee of safety. The same applies for protective biker clothing completely preventing a motorcyclist from sustaining broken bones or severe road rash.

It may be difficult for a driver to notice a motorcycle in his or her blind spot. Also, it is not uncommon for drivers to fail to watch for bikers sharing the roads. Cars and trucks frequently turn in front of motorcycles or change lanes without noticing the bike nearby. They may also not realize that motorcycles need extra following distance due to their ability to stop faster than larger vehicles. Motorcyclists who are injured by negligent drivers have the right to seek compensation.