One of the most common refrains when someone is involved in a car accident with a motorcycle is this: “I didn’t see them.” It is your responsibility as a licensed driver to pay attention to all parts of the road and all motorists around you when you are operating a vehicle. It is especially important to be aware of your blind spots so you can avoid causing a motorcycle accident when you change lanes or make a turn.
Ways Motorists Can Avoid a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycles are smaller than all other vehicles and this fact alone makes it that much harder for motorists to see motorcyclists on the highway. The bad behavior of some motorcyclists is also problematic, especially when operators reduce their own visibility by weaving in and out of traffic, lane splitting, and traveling much faster than the posted speed limit.
It is so important to drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings to avoid any sort of car crash. You can improve your chances of seeing a motorcyclist and safeguard against blind spot accidents and side-to-side collisions by following these precautions:
- Adjust your mirrors: Side mirrors are important. Positioning them properly to improve visibility is something you should do every time you get in the car to drive. You can further enhance your visibility by investing in inexpensive, small blind spot mirrors that easily attach to the sideview mirrors.
- Use your mirrors: Now that you have adjusted your mirrors to give you the most visibility, use them! Before you change lanes, always check your sideview mirrors, rearview mirror, and look over your shoulder.
- Use your blinkers: If you feel like you’re alone on the highway and there is no one close enough to see you use your blinker to indicate a lane change, you may not bother hitting the switch. Motorcyclists easily hide in blind spots – yours or another vehicle’s – and using your blinker every time, no matter how crowded or empty the road you are on, warns every other motorist and motorcyclist of your intended move and allows them to get out of your way if you don’t see them.
- Put your phone down: Distracted driving is a problem across the board. Sitting in the driver’s seat of a moving vehicle is not the time to be using a smartphone. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and pay attention to the most important task at hand – safely operating your vehicle.
Tips for Motorcyclists to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident
The fatality rate in motorcycle accidents is much higher for the operator of the motorcycle than for a motorist. Motorcyclists cannot depend on the vehicles around them to always look out for them, see them, and drive appropriately.
Because a motorist’s blind spots are such a hazard for motorcycle operators, it’s the motorcyclist’s job to do their part to stay safe on the road:
- Drive defensively: Maybe you are one of the motorcyclists who does follow all posted laws, behaves properly while out riding, and doesn’t speed or zoom in and out of lanes. Nevertheless, your own good behavior is not enough to save you from a collision. Focus on what you’re doing – and especially on what the drivers around you are doing – so you can stop blind spot accidents before they occur.
- Avoid the blind spots: Blind spots are on the sides of cars and trucks, especially at the rear. If you need to pass a vehicle, do your best to be seen in their rearview mirror, use your signal, and pass quickly and safely, staying alert of their movements in case they start to shift lanes when you are doing the same.
- Stay alert: If you are tired or you have been drinking alcohol, do not get on your motorcycle and ride. Distracted driving, drunk driving, and drowsy driving all mimic each other and interfere with awareness and judgment.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, contact Femminineo Attorneys to discuss your case.