Across the nation, warmer weather has meant more and more motorcyclists are hitting the roads. Along with the influx of bikes on the roads, however, is an increase in motorcycle accidents. Many times these accidents can be avoided. We have previously addressed ways that motorcyclists can exercise precautions when riding, but we also want to provide guidance to car and truck drivers.
- Motorcycles have a much smaller profile and can be easily hidden in your blind spot. Make sure that you check your mirrors and turn your head to look before you maneuver or change lanes. Remember that motorcyclists may not be in the center of the lane. Often they alter their position in order to maximize visibility.
- Allow an extra cushion of space around a motorcyclist in order to prevent accidents. Motorcyclists are instructed to maintain a large cushion around their bike along with an escape route should they become crowded. Remember that bikers deserve their space on the road and do your best to not encroach upon it.
- Motorcyclists may slow their bikes by downshifting or letting up on the throttle. Therefore, the brake light may not activate. Watch carefully for indications that a motorcyclist is braking. This is another reason why it is helpful to leave a sufficient cushion of space around motorcycles.
- Do not rely on your senses when gauging distance. Most drivers are used to judging distances of cars and trucks on the road, but bikes have a smaller profile and may be much closer than they appear.
- Weather conditions may be especially challenging for motorcyclists. Wind gusts and rain that may be little more than a nuisance to a car driver can present treacherous conditions for a motorcyclist. Recognize this and allow for greater braking distance and space in case winds put pressure on the bike. Poor visibility and bad weather conditions may increase the risk of accidents.
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Above all, respect the biker’s right to share the road. Whether we travel via car, truck, motorcycle, or airplane, we all simply want to reach our destination safely. The few additional seconds that it may take to double check your blind spot before changing lanes or allow for extra braking distance may mean the difference between life and death. Stay safe, enjoy the beautiful weather, and as always, if a motorcycle accident does occur, remember that the attorneys at Kass & Moses are on your side.