The roars of Harley Davidsons and heavy bikes on the roads are the surefire sign that summers are here, and so is the motorcycle season. Motorcycle riders simply enjoy the thrill and excitement that comes with zooming on the roads and feeling the air through the hair. But with all this fun and thrill, the rider and those sharing the road with them must take extra care to avoid crashes that can result in severe injuries and sometimes even deaths.
Did you know that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 50% of the accidents related to motorcycles occur because of the negligence of other vehicle drivers such as car drivers, SUV drivers, and truckers? In 2015, about 4956 motorcyclists were killed in road accidents, while 88,000 sustained severe injuries. But let’s look on the bright side, and that is that these numbers can be avoided and minimized if vehicle drivers follow specific tips to safely and cautiously. Read on to learn the tips to sharing the road with motorcycle riders:
Give Space to Riders
That’s right; to avoid an accident, it is essential to keep adequate space between your car and a motorcycle. As motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles on the roads, it is easier for motorcycle riders to pass through tight spaces. Now, this is highly dangerous and not recommended, but it is often seen where motorcyclists make these kinds of maneuvers. However, as a responsible car driver, you need to exercise caution by keeping in mind that a motorcyclist in your proximity can make such a move. Thus, give them space to maintain a line of sight with the motorcycle rider.
Make Sure to Check the Blind Spots
Since motorcycles are small in size, it is often hard to spot them, and besides this, the shape of motorcycles often blend into the images of the side and rearview mirrors. This increases the risk of accidents. Thus, you should check blinds spots when changing or merging lanes. This will help you spot motorcycles, if any nearby, and avoid collisions.
Be Kind; not a Bully
Sometimes large vehicle drivers like SUVs and pickup trucks can get a little aggressive when they see motorcyclists on the road. They tailgate, thus follow at a close distance to motivate the rider to speed up. This is highly dangerous as it creates a short braking distance. In addition to this, the motorcyclist may also get stressed and provoked to make unsafe maneuvers. This can further increase the chances of an accident.
So, instead, try to be kind and courteous to motorcycle riders. Maintain your distance and keep in mind that all drivers, regardless of the size of the vehicle, have the same right to be on the road as you.
One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents caused by another vehicle driver is distracted driving. Some drivers, when they see the road is empty and there is only a motorcyclist sharing a road with them, often relax and assume that it’s safe to use their smartphones. But that’s where the danger lies. Regardless of the number or types of vehicles on the road, you must pay full attention to the road, keeping distractions aside. Bending the rules can put you in trouble. So, avoid doing makeup or using the phone while driving.
All these activities make you lose focus from the road and you may end up hitting a motorcyclist. Therefore, stay alert to motorcyclists’ movement in traffic as they can appear from nowhere and change their position and lanes.
Understand the Weather Warning
Bad weather is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. Weather conditions like rain, snow, and ice can have drastic effects on motorcycle riders making it impossible for them to ride in it. Windy conditions make it hard for motorcycle riders to control the vehicle while rain makes it difficult to apply brakes and increases the chances of slipping.
However, from an automobile driver’s perspective, bad weather conditions can reduce visibility and make it difficult to see motorcycles. Therefore, when driving in bad weather, car drivers need to be extra cautious of motorcyclists as they can lose control of their bikes due to slippery road conditions, rain, and fog. They can accidentally skid and get in your way. So, drive carefully.
Be Cautious at the Intersections
The majority of the accidents that involve motorcycles and automobiles occur at intersections. Thus, it is recommended that you follow safety protocols at the intersections every time you approach one. This includes:
- Coming to a complete halt when you reach the intersection
- Obey the traffic signals and signs placed on the road
- Look both ways
- Proceed slowly
What to do in Case an Accident occurs Because of a Motorcyclist’s Negligence?
Although approximately ½ of all motorcycle collisions involve other drivers, this doesn’t mean that they can never be at fault. Therefore, if you were practicing safety protocols and driving techniques and still had an accident with a motorcyclist because of their mistake, then try not to worry. Contact our experienced lawyer in North Carolina for legal guidance and case representation.
At the Law Office of Jason E. Taylor P.C., we are here to help. We can provide you with step-by-step legal guidance on your case and help you defend it. If an accident occurs because of the motorcycle rider’s fault, we can fight to lower your liability.
Our lawyer in North Carolina will investigate the case in-depth and collect crucial evidence. It is all necessary to try to prove that you are not guilty and were following traffic safety rules and regulations. Give us a chance to serve you. Schedule for a free case consultation today!