Simple steps for drivers to increase motorcycle safety on the road
Motorcyclists are often seen on the roads in Fort Wayne and throughout Indiana. But let’s face it – many drivers think of them as annoyances. That can lead to risky driving behaviors. And it only takes one negligent driver to cause a motorcycle accident that leaves a biker with serious and possibly life-changing injuries.
Here are ten simple things that all drivers can do to help keep the roads safer for motorcyclists and everyone else on the road.
1. Check your blind spots.
Motorcycles can be difficult to see when you’re driving and are easy to overlook. That’s why it’s important to check your mirrors and blind spots carefully before changing lanes, turning, or merging.
2. Give motorcycles plenty of space.
If there’s a motorcycle in front of you, keep a safe distance behind in case the motorcyclist needs to brake suddenly. Also, leave several feet of space when passing a motorcycle on the road, and be sure you are a few car lengths ahead before re-entering the lane in front of it.
3. Treat motorcycles as you would another car or truck.
Remember that motorcyclists have the same right to use the road as you do. Keep in mind that motorcycles don’t accelerate or brake as quickly as cars. A little patience will go a long way toward keeping everyone safe.
4. Watch for turning motorcycles.
Because motorcycles are much smaller than cars and maneuver differently, it may seem as if a motorcycle is going straight before it starts to make a turn. Also, motorcycle signals are typically not self-canceling, and it’s possible that a motorcyclist forgot to turn a signal off.
5. Signal your intentions.
Always use your signals when you will be making a turn to alert motorcyclists and other drivers. Turn on the signals well before you actually make the turn.
6. Check twice for motorcycles before turning left.
Your view of an approaching motorcycle can be obstructed by other vehicles. It’s also easy to misjudge a motorcycle’s distance or speed, so it’s safer to give the motorcyclist the right of way.
7. Be mindful of road conditions.
Potholes, gravelly surfaces, grooved pavement, railroad crossings, and wet roads can be especially dangerous for motorcycles. Give motorcycles even more space in these conditions.
8. Check before opening your door.
If you park on the side of the road, don’t open your door until after you have carefully checked your mirror for oncoming motorcycles. Opening the door suddenly gives a nearby motorcyclist no time to react to avoid a collision.
9. Avoid distractions.
Distracted driving is always dangerous, but if you take your eyes off the road even for a few seconds, you can miss seeing a motorcyclist and cause a crash. Keep your focus on the road. Don’t use your phone, adjust dashboard controls, or eat or drink while you are driving.
10. Check your speed.
Speed is often a factor in motorcycle crashes. Follow the posted speed limit at all times, and drive slower if road conditions are poor or if it is raining, snowing, or windy.
Contact an Indiana motorcycle accident lawyer
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you deserve financial compensation. But the claims process can be complicated and frustrating, with many obstacles to overcome. That’s why getting legal advice is important.
Boughter Sinak, LLC has a proven record of getting results. Learn more about your legal options and get answers to your questions during a free consultation. Contact us today to set up a time that is convenient for you.