Motorcycles are small, lightweight, and efficient way to get from one place to another, provided you don’t have to carry a lot of cargo. While these vehicles can quickly reach high speeds and go for miles on just a small amount of gas, they also have a number of downsides, particularly when it comes to safety for operators. Riders don’t have the protection of a steel cage like regular car passengers do, so collisions frequently result in devastating injuries. This means that both drivers and riders must share the responsibility for avoiding these collisions, and there are several ways in which they can do so.
Tips for Drivers
The vast majority of collisions between motorcycles and cars are the result of the driver not being able to see the motorcyclist, or failing to notice them before making a maneuver. This means that drivers need to be particularly cautious whenever doing something like making a turn or changing lanes. A lot of collisions with motorcyclists come when drivers fail to check their blind spots, particularly because motorcycles often like to ride along near lane lines, which puts them in a difficult spot to see through side-view mirrors. Always be sure to watch the sides of your car to the best of your ability, even when you’re stopped at a red light.
Additionally, drivers should always assume a motorcycle can’t see them if they’re approaching from behind. While motorcycles don’t have the same view-restricting metal around them that cars do, they also don’t have a rear-view mirror that they can use to see what’s directly behind them. Instead they rely on two small mirrors on their handlebars to see what’s happening around them. Always try to make yourself visible to a motorcyclist as much as possible, especially when passing. Give them plenty of room and time to adapt to the changing road around them.
Tips for Riders
As a rider, the single most important thing you can do to avoid an accident is to improve your visibility to other drivers. This means staying where you can easily be seen both in front of and behind cars as well as along their sides. Never ride in a driver’s blind spot for longer than you have to, and always pay attention to the cars around you to make sure none of them are about to merge lanes when you’re in a vulnerable spot.
Splitting lanes is a popular riding technique that many motorcyclists use, but it can be extremely dangerous in some situations. While it’s perfectly normal to proceed along the lane line to the front of a traffic light (and presumably safe since the cars around you are already stopped), some riders choose to use this same technique to pass vehicles along busy, fast-paced roads and large highways. This is extremely dangerous. Not only are you giving drivers little to no chance to notice you, but you’re riding mere inches away from the traffic around you. Respect other drivers around you and give both them and yourself as much space as possible.
Finally, what you wear while riding will have a huge influence over avoiding accidents. While black might seem like the normal and most fashionable color, it’s also one of the hardest for other drivers to see, especially at night. Bright colors such as greens, reds, yellows, and oranges are all far more visible to drivers, and can be picked up by the human eye far faster. If you wish to wear black, you might want to consider also wearing a bright-colored safety vest with reflective material. That way you can easily be seen in car headlights and your risk of being hit due to simply being invisible to drivers is lower.
Proper protective gear is important. It’s strongly advised that you wear protective leathers including those with Kevlar or other pads built in to protect you from impacts from rocks and other debris as well as prevent broken bones. Always wear a helmet while riding, and we strongly advise wearing a fully-shielded helmet that protects your whole face as opposed to a half-helmet.If you have sustained a serious injury in a motorcycle accident, you should review your options with a Corpus Christi motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Brunkenhoefer, P.C. Injury Attorneys at (855) 812-1100 to request a case evaluation.