Driver distraction is one of the most frequent causes of motorcycle crashes. Distracted driving is defined as an activity that interferes with the driver’s attention or focus. Cell phone use as well as an assortment of different car entertainment options all contribute to this problem. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver distraction is a factor in approximately 14 percent of all motorcycle crashes.
Driver distraction can come in many forms. It includes:
- Cell phone use. Whether talking, texting, or surfing the internet, using a cell phone while driving is a significant distraction. According to NHTSA, using a cell phone while driving increases your likelihood of being involved in a crash by as much as four times.
- Eating and/or drinking. Many of us eat or drink while driving. Whether you are munching on a quick snack or sipping on a cup of joe, eating or drinking represents a major distraction while driving. It can make it difficult to notice and respond quickly to changes in traffic.
- Grooming. We’ve all seen people primping and grooming themselves while driving. Whether applying makeup or brushing your hair, this can make it nearly impossible to focus on the traffic around you.
- Daydreaming or zoning out. Most of us have been guilty of daydreaming or zoning out from time to time while driving. This can especially happen during long drives, or when you are tired or mentally focused on something. In fact, daydreaming or being inattentive while driving can be just as dangerous as other forms of distraction. It interferes with your ability to perceive and rapidly respond to changes around you.
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These forms of distraction are dangerous for anyone on the road, but they are especially dangerous for motorcyclists. Motorcycles have a smaller profile and therefore are less visible than cars. This makes them more vulnerable to accidents. Furthermore, motorcycles require a higher level of concentration and skill to operate than cars. Minor distractions can have serious consequences.
How can we prevent driver distraction and motorcycle accidents?
First, it is important to recognize that distracted driving is a problem that can lead to motorcycle crashes. This means putting away your cell phone, not eating or drinking while driving, and avoiding other possible distractions.
It is also important to maintain a proper distance between you and other vehicles on the road. This will allow you more time to react if a distracted driver makes a sudden swerve or stops in front of you.
Taking a motorcycle safety course can help you learn more about how to be mindful of distracted drivers. You may also learn how to maneuver defensively if you need to in order to avoid a motorcycle accident.
Laws and regulations can help reduce the likelihood of motorcycle accidents caused by a distracted driver. Some states prohibit cell phone use while driving. These laws are becoming more and more common as legislators realize just how dangerous distracted driving can be.
We should all advocate for stricter laws for distracted driving. This can include lobbying for higher fines and greater penalties as well as public education campaigns to teach others about the dangers of distracted driving.
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Driver distraction is a major problem that leads to many motorcycle accidents and countless injuries. All motorcyclists should be aware of the potential distractions and take steps to avoid them. Further, they should be cognizant of the fact that many people on the road may be distracted and unaware of the presence of a biker near them.
By practicing safe driving habits, taking a motorcycle safety course, and supporting stricter laws and regulations, we can help to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents caused by driver distraction and make our roads safer for everyone.
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The consequences of motorcycle accidents are often severe. If you have been struck by a distracted driver, contact the Law Firm of Kass & Moses today at 1-800-MOTORCYCLE. We work diligently to represent motorcycle crash victims and help them get the justice they so rightly deserve.