Safely Sharing the Road with MotorcyclesUtah Legal News
Roughly 3% of all vehicles on the road are motorcycles. Unfortunately, even with this minimal percentage, up to 13% of vehicle fatalities involve individuals utilizing this form of transportation. Given the fact that there are far fewer motorcycles on the road than other types of vehicles, most drivers are not fully accustomed to driving with a keen awareness for them.
Unfortunately, when accidents occur that involve motorcycles, the accident is typically caused by the non-motorcycle driver. Motorcycle safety is not solely the responsibility of motorcyclists; instead, it is crucial for every vehicle to remain cautious and alert when sharing the roadways. There are various steps that everyone must follow in order to avoid an accident with a motorcycle.
When Accidents Occur
The majority of motorcycle accidents occur in intersections where other drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to the motorcyclist. Other factors, such as dark conditions and inclement weather, can increase the risk of motorcyclists becoming victims in automobile accidents. Motorcyclists driving in inclement weather are at an increased risk of falling, which can be hazardous if other drivers are following too closely.
When traveling along roadways with motorcyclists, it is crucial to follow at a safe distance. Do not ever attempt to share a lane with a motorcyclist. They will need the full width of the lane to effectively swerve and miss road debris, potholes, animals, and other obstacles in the roadways. Although vehicles with four wheels generally drive right over these hazards with ease, motorcyclists do not have the ability to do so without the risk of a potential accident.
Avoid Traveling With Motorcyclists In Your Blind Spot
A lot of drivers are unfamiliar with the rules surrounding the right of way for motorcyclists. Quite often, individuals violate the right-of-way rule simply because motorcycles are much smaller in size than most vehicles and more difficult to see. Motorcycles often travel in the blind spots of other vehicles, which makes it difficult for them to anticipate the moves that the motorcycle will make.
A motorcyclist riding in another vehicle’s blind spot is particularly dangerous. When drivers are unable to see the motorcyclist, a collision can occur, which could result in life-threatening injuries to the rider.
Identifying The Blind Spots
To prevent an accident from happening due to traveling in a blind spot, it is crucial to identify where the blind spot exists. The first thing to consider is that larger vehicles have much larger blind spots than standard passenger cars.
The most common areas for blind spots include the area between what a driver sees when looking forward and what is in their rearview mirror and the area that is typically hidden from view when looking in the mirrors because of the bodywork of the vehicle.
Different vehicles have different blind spots simply because of how they are designed. Sometimes, blind spots can be caused by window pillars or even head restraints on a vehicle.
Reducing The Risk Of Blind Spot Motorcycle Accidents
Together, motorists and motorcyclists can help to reduce the risk of blind spot accidents by taking a few safety precautions.
First, drivers must exercise a high level of care while behind the wheel. They must properly adjust their rearview mirrors so they can view the entire rear window. Side mirrors should be adjusted so that they point toward the blind spot. Rather than relying on mirrors at all times, drivers should look over their shoulders before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This will help them see objects that are otherwise not visible in their mirrors. Furthermore, it will give them a true idea of how close other vehicles are to them.
When merging or changing lanes, it is imperative to use your turn signals every time. Provide others on the roadway a proper notice by signaling your anticipated moves. This will help them to prepare for your change by slowing down or moving out of the way when necessary. Finally, it is crucial to stay alert and aware of other motorists and vehicles on the roadway.
Motorcyclists can conduct various behaviors to help prevent blind spot accidents as well. Motorcyclists should take extra steps to ensure their own safety on the roadways. Some of the most important things motorcyclists can do to avoid blind spot accidents include:
Stay away from blind spots whenever possible. It is crucial for motorcyclists to ride either in front or behind other vehicles. Riding directly on the side of a vehicle can place them directly into a blind spot. Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to predict how motorists are going to control their vehicles, so it is important to remain cautious.
Drive defensively. It is important to constantly scan the area around you and give yourself extra space. Try to anticipate the actions of other motorists. When possible, give at least 20 feet of distance between your motorcycle and other vehicles on the road. This will provide ample time to react whenever necessary. Pass other vehicles quickly to avoid being trapped in their blind spot for any extended length of time.
Remain visible. Wearing bright or fluorescent clothing will ensure other drivers on the road see you. Furthermore, keeping your headlights on at all times will help to improve your visibility no matter what the weather is like.
A Utah Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
No matter how cautious motorcyclists are on the roadways, it is imperative for other motorists to remain just as cautious and alert around them. We all have a duty to provide care to others on the roadway. Unfortunately, many individuals do not pay attention to their surroundings or blind spots, which can lead to very dangerous situations.
If you are ever injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent or reckless driver, it is imperative to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. With over 30 years of experience, attorneys at Siegfried & Jensen can help you to protect your legal rights to justice and compensation should you be victimized on the roadways. Contact our law firm at (801) 845-9000 to schedule a free case evaluation.