Here’s How Drivers Can Help Motorcyclists Stay Safe On The Road
According to the NHTSA, thousands of motorcyclists die or sustain severe injuries in motorcycle accidents yearly. Unfortunately, when a motorcycle accident does not result in death, the chances are, it will result in severe injuries. This is because motorcyclists, unlike motorists, do not have a steel frame surrounding them or standard safety equipment such as seatbelts and airbags. Even though helmets are said to be effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders, wearing a helmet does not eliminate the risk entirely.
Because accidents involving motorcycles and automobiles are often the fault of the automobile driver, drivers need to play their part when it comes to ensuring motorcyclists stay safe on the road. Every driver must keep in mind that motorcyclists have rights and privileges just like any other road user. Motorists should respect motorcyclists’ rights and strive to ensure those rights remain protected. In order for drivers to help motorists stay safe on the road, they need to, among other things, understand the safety challenges that motorcyclists face every day, such as visibility and size.
Below are some things motorists can do to help motorcyclists stay safe on the road:
Avoid Distracted Driving
It is crucial to communicate this rule to teenage drivers. Unfortunately, even though teen drivers know that texting, talking, or using social media while driving is dangerous, they tend to assume it. According to the NHTSA, sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. Therefore, if you are driving at 55mph, it is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes shut. Maintaining control over your vehicle and being aware of other road users should be your focus when driving.
Always Check Your Blind Spots
Many accidents involving cars and motorcycles occur because drivers fail to check their blind spots. Blind spots are particularly dangerous when a driver is about to merge or change lanes or make a turn when a motorcyclist is riding next to them. As the driver, always make sure mirrors are in the correct position every time you enter your vehicle. Also, always take time to check your blind spots before proceeding with an intended maneuver.
As a driver, you should avoid tailgating other cars as much as possible. If that is the case, then keep at it. However, you should also avoid tailgating motorcycles. Motorcyclists deserve enough space between them and your vehicle. Tailgating a bike can have serious results, especially because motorcycles react more quickly than cars.
Open Car Doors Carefully
Dooring a motorcycle can seriously injure a motorcyclist or even lead to their death. Therefore, always check your mirrors, and make sure a motorcyclist is not approaching before opening your car door.
Be Careful at Intersections
One of the main causes of collisions involving automobiles and motorcycles is a motorist failing to notice a motorcycle at an intersection. Therefore, always slow down at intersections and follow the safety protocols for intersections whenever you approach one.
Let Motorcyclists Know When You Want To Turn
Motorists should always initiate their turn signal sooner than they normally would when they know a motorcycle is driving behind them.
Share the Road With Motorcycles, Not the Lane
In Florida, motorcyclists are entitled to the entire width of a lane as it is highly dangerous for a driver to share a lane with a motorcyclist. Regardless of how much space there appears to be, drivers should avoid sharing a single lane with a motorcycle. A motorist who shares a lane with a motorcyclist could easily run the motorcyclist off the road or cause the motorcyclist to lose control of their bike.
Pass Motorists With Care
As much as it is legal for a driver to pass a motorcycle in the same way they would an automobile, drivers must be extra cautious when passing motorcycles. The gust of wind that increases as a driver passes a motorcyclist can cause a bike to become unstable and blow the motorcyclist off the road. Always use your turn signal before switching between lanes or merging to allow motorcyclists to find a safe lane position. When you pass a motorcycle, make sure you are a few car lengths ahead of it before returning to your lane.
Contact a Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney
When motorcycle accidents happen because of the negligence of another motorist, a personal injury attorney can be a source of legal guidance and representation for injured victims and their families. If you, a loved one, a friend, or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident because of another driver’s negligence, contact The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. today at 239-649-8050 to speak to an experienced Fort Myers personal injury attorney.