Riding a motorcycle is an exciting pastime, yet it also comes with many inherent dangers. Motorcyclists must be hyper vigilant when riding to avoid causing or being tangled in a crash. Though many motorcycle accidents are single-vehicle collisions, a significant number of crashes are caused by motorists hitting bikers. Since motorcycles lack the crashworthiness of larger passenger vehicles and are much harder to see than cars and trucks, it is generally the biker who suffers far more serious injuries than the drivers of passenger vehicles when the two collide. What all this means is that both motorcyclists and motorists need to practice safe driving in order to prevent serious motorcycle accidents from occurring.
Our Louisville car accident attorneys put together the following motorcycle accident prevention tips for motorists:
- Always use your turn signals. Signaling before making a turn or changing lanes can save lives.
- Be mindful of your blind spots. This is a major reason why turning or changing lanes causes injury to bikers. Since motorcycles are so much smaller than cars, and because drivers often forget to look out for bikers anyway, motorists often slam into motorcycles they didn’t even realize were near them. Make sure to always check your surroundings thoroughly and using more than just your mirrors when making such maneuvers.
- Don’t text and drive or drink and drive. So many multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents occur simply because the driver did not see the biker. Remember to always keep your eyes on the road, so avoid texting while driving and other distractions. Never get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol because your ability to focus on and react to what’s on the road will be compromised.
- Exercise extreme caution when making left turns. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about one-third of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes are a result of other motorists turning into the path of the motorcycle. Cars making right turns are dangerous for bikers, but motorcycle accidents are far more likely to occur when a vehicle is making a left. This one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities among bikers, so please be very careful when turning.
- Slow down around motorcycles and don’t tailgate. Giving bikers plenty of room to maneuver is crucial as it’s much more difficult to handle a motorcycle than it is a car. Allowing both you and the motorcyclist plenty of space can go a long way towards preventing collisions. Also, dim your headlights when following behind a biker—your high beams can blind them.
The best way for both motorists and bikers to save lives is to always pay attention to the road and look out for each other. Remember, motorcycle safety is a two-way street!