Spring is almost upon us and, as the weather turns warmer, the reappearance of motorcycles is inevitable. When sharing the road with motorcycles, extra care needs to be taken. Remember, motorcyclists do not have any of the vehicular protections offered by cars, trucks, and SUVs. Oftentimes all that stands between a motorcyclists and serious or fatal injury is whatever clothing they happen to be wearing at the time of a crash.
Cars Cause Motorcycle Accidents: A Quick Look at the Facts
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 40% of all motorcycle accidents are caused by other vehicles turning left in front of a moving bike. This means that nearly half of all motorcycle accidents are the result of other drivers not paying attention to or failing to cede the right of way to a motorcycle.
Common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents include:
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken or fractured bones
When these injuries are the result of someone else’s actions – for example, a driver turning left in front of a motorcycle – motorcyclists have every right to seek compensation through legal action.
How to Drive Safely Around Motorcycles
The number one rule for driving safely around anyone is to pay attention. Avoid all types of distraction. This includes both handheld and hands-free electronics (cellphones, GPS, on-board infotainment systems, etc.), eating and drinking, personal grooming, or anything else that is not directly related to the task of driving.
In addition to paying attention, avoid all forms of intoxication if you are going to drive. Staying sober and alert can help save lives. So too can:
- Allowing motorcycles a full lane
- Giving at least three car-lengths between yourself and a motorcycle
- Using your turn signals
- Looking twice and paying close attention to blind spots before turning or changing lanes
- Double-check blind spots before turning or merging
Motorcycles need more room to maneuver around road hazards such as potholes, wet surfaces, seams, railroad crossings, and grooved pavement. When driving in these conditions, give even more space to motorcycles – five to six car-lengths – to give the rider the room needed to safely travel the road.
A Shared Responsibility
Motorists have a responsibility to drive cautiously and attentively around motorcycles. Motorcyclists have a responsibility to do the same. Make sure you keep your motorcycle in peak condition, checking all safety equipment before each ride. Wear proper safety equipment, including a helmet, and follow the rules of the road. Be sure to ride defensively as well. Remember, other drivers are the biggest risk to motorcyclists.
If you are injured while riding your motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expense, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Call Brown & Brown at 314-333-3333 or 618-888-8888 to schedule a complimentary consultation and learn more.
Brown & Brown serves victims of serious injury with offices in St. Louis, Missouri and Fairview Heights, Illinois. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you get the justice you deserve.