Every year, thousands of motorcycle accidents happen on our roads, leaving many with catastrophic injuries and causing death to others. In fact, according to the NHTSA, over 5000 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle accidents, accounting for 14% of all traffic fatalities witnessed in 2021.
While riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience, the risks of catastrophic accidents are incredibly high, and these accidents are often a result of the actions of negligent drivers. As such, drivers of passenger vehicles, vans, and trucks must exercise caution to prevent motorcycle accidents. This can be effectively done in several ways, as discussed in this article.
Use Your Turn Signals
Motorcyclists rely heavily on drivers’ signals to know when they can safely cross the road or keep their distance. As a driver, you should always use your turn signals to prevent accidents from happening. Even if you do not see other vehicles, it is crucial to use your turn signals.
Yield to Motorcyclists
Often, motorcycle accidents happen due to drivers failing to share the road and yield to motorcyclists. You should give motorists their right of way to maneuver safely, thereby avoiding collisions.
Keep a Safe Distance
Never drive too close to a motorcycle; they have a shorter stopping distance. So, if you are following too closely behind a motorcycle, you will likely rear-end them, as vehicles need more distance to halt. A good rule of thumb when following a motorcycle is to observe the four-second rule to give yourself enough space to stop in case of an emergency.
Always Be Alert for Motorcycles
Motorcycles are smaller and maneuver so fast that spotting them on the road can be difficult. This can make you easily overlook their presence than if it were a car. Always be alert for motorcycles while driving because most motorcycle accidents happen because the driver does not see the motorcycle until it is too late to react appropriately.
Distracted driving is one of the common causes of collisions on our roads. Texting, talking on your cell phone, programming your GPS, or any other activity that drives your attention away from the primary one, driving, is dangerous to you and other motorists, including motorcycle riders. Focus on driving; you can be better positioned to spot other drivers and motorcyclists on the road and avoid accidents.
Be Ready for an Influx of Motorcycles
You may notice an influx of motorcyclists on the road during spring and summer. Many drivers are never fully accustomed to having more motorcycles on the roads when spring arrives, so it is imperative to watch out for motorcyclists, especially during these warmer months.
Be Careful at Intersections and Crossroads
Many motorcycle accidents occur at intersections and crossroads when drivers fail to notice them until it is too late. Drivers should always follow the safety procedures at intersections by coming to a complete stop, observing posted traffic signs and signals, checking their left- and right-hand sides at intersections and crossroads, and not being in a hurry. Additionally, check twice for motorcycles when making left-hand turns to prevent severe T-bone accidents.
Exercise Caution During Bad Weather
Bad weather, particularly rain, wind, and snow, adversely affect motorcycle riders more than automobile drivers. Such weather can make it difficult for motorists to travel on the road and reduce a driver’s ability to see them. Always keep several car lengths of distance during bad weather to have enough reaction time in case of hazards and prevent motorcycle accidents.
Watch Out for Turning Motorcycles
While self-canceling turn signals have become a standard on motorcycles, many motorcycles on our roads still do not have this feature. If you are behind a motorcycle with an activated turn signal for an abnormal distance, increase your following distance to have ample reaction time should the motorcyclist decide to turn.
Stay in Your Lane
Cars and trucks should never share a lane with motorcycles. Even if motorcycles are small or appear to leave so much room in their lane, they are entitled to their traffic lane. Sharing a single lane with a motorcycle is illegal and a recipe for an accident. If you need to change lanes, use your turn signal, and check your blind spots before merging in front of a motorbike.
Talk to a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in El Paso, TX Today
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, we understand the injuries can be severe, and you could be facing staggering expenses and income loss. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement or litigate your claim to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your losses. Talk to a skilled El Paso, Texas, motorcycle accident lawyer at the Ruhmann Law Firm today at 915-910-5600 or online to book your free consultation.