Partially as a result of the 2008 Recession, more motorcycles have ended up on the road, as riders have realized they use up less gas. On the other hand, more inexperienced bikers are sharing the same streets as drivers who aren’t always expecting a motorcycle to be there in the first place.
So, to be better about sharing the roads with all motorists, remember these tips when you drive:
1. Check Your Blind Spots: When you’re changing lanes, bikes are more difficult to spot because of their smaller size and narrower shape. As a result, to avoid colliding with a motorcycle, always thoroughly check your blind spots before changing lanes or making a turn.
2. Always Show Your Intentions: While this may seem like an obvious rule of the road, it’s especially important to use your turn signals when you are near bikers. Let them know where you plan to move and, before you do, always make sure the rider is at a safe distance. If not, the gust of wind from your car changing lanes could cause the biker to swerve or stumble.
3. Give Yourself Enough Distance: With other cars, the general rule of thumb is to give yourself three seconds of space. However, when dealing with motorcycles, realize that rear-end accidents can be fatal for the rider. Allot at least four seconds between your car and a biker.
4. Always Stay in Your Lane: This applies to all riders, but especially motorcyclists: While riding, try not to ride in the blind spot of the car or truck in front of you. Doing so puts your safety at risk by greatly increasing the chances of an accident.
5. Check for Motorcycles at Intersections: Nearly half of all collisions that cars have with motorcycles occur at intersections. Typically, an accident occurs because a motorist is making a left turn and doesn’t see a motorcycle from the opposite lane traveling in a straight line. To minimize the chances of this happening to you, it’s recommended that cars come to a complete stop once at the intersection. Once there, look at all signs, observe traffic and make sure no motorcycles are traveling straight before you make a left turn. As a motorcyclist, remember to make eye contact with any vehicle at an intersection and be prepared to make a defensive maneuver, in case the car pulls out in front of you; even if you have the right-of-way!
6. Be Considerate of Weather Conditions: Precipitation on the roads might make it feel like your car has less traction. For a motorcyclist with no protection other than his gear, the safety risks are far greater. As a result, if you’re driving in inclement weather this summer, go slow, obey the rules of the road and give bikers more space than you ordinarily would.
Should a motorcycle accident occur despite following these tips, Trantolo & Trantolo’s lawyers are here to help. Our experienced staff not only works on and represents victims of these cases, but several team members are riders themselves. This distinction makes us more familiar with the specific techniques, mechanics and risks involved in taking a motorcycle out on the road. To make a claim, bring it to the attention of our lawyers today.