Share the Road: Considering Motorcycle Riders When Traveling
Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on August 27, 2019
Driving is dangerous regardless of how good of a driver you are. There are thousands of small factors that aren’t considered when driving that have the potential to cause a serious accident. From spots of black ice when temperatures are below freezing to debris in the road from an overly full dump truck, the hazards on the road are numerous and unpredictable. However, one factor that can be considered on the road, and should be every time a driver gets into a vehicle, is motorcycle riders. By just being aware of motorcycle riders, motor vehicle operators can prevent motorcycle accidents.
Motor vehicle operators cause eight of the ten most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Due to the nature of a motorcycles more exposed makeup, motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to die as the result of an accident than motor vehicle passengers are. If a motorcycle accident doesn’t result in death it can still result in traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and broken bones. And most motorcycle accidents are completely avoidable if motor vehicle operators make sure to consider motorcycle riders while traveling.
Motor vehicles cause 80% of the most common accidents that involve a motorcycle. Out of the top ten causes, motor vehicle operators are responsible for eight including:
- Changing lanes without checking their blind spots or using their blinkers to signal they are shifting from one lane to another.
- Opening car doors on side streets without checking to see if a motorcycle driver is traveling down the road.
- Speeding is a leading cause of all road accidents; however, it has more severe consequences when it involves a motorcycle rider.
- Driving under the influence is another leading cause of accidents on the road. However, it is also often much more deadly when it involves a motorcyclist.
- Lane splitting is the dangerous act of driving while your vehicle is straddling a lane divider. This results in half your vehicle being in one lane with the other half in the adjacent lane. Lane splitting causes multiple motorcycle accidents each year.
- Stopping suddenly without giving warning to braking. This is a leading cause of rear-end accidents which can be fatal for motorcycle riders.
- Making errors in regards to the right of way turns or misjudging distances while making left turns are another common cause of accidents involving motorcycle riders.
- Being an inexperienced driver is also a major cause of motorcycle vehicle versus motor vehicle accidents. Most inexperienced drivers make at least one unsafe move on the road that risks compromising the safety of surrounding motorists and especially puts motorcycle riders at risk.
Unsafe road conditions including damaged pavement, uneven roads, potholes, etc. and motorcycles that have manufacturing defects or defective parts are the other two top leading causes of motorcycle accidents.
When operating a motor vehicle, it is important to be sure that your mirrors are adjusted correctly. It’s also important to remain aware of all your surroundings. By being aware and exercising caution on the road, motor vehicle operators can avoid accidents involving motorcycle riders.
Some steps that drivers can take to ensure their own safety, and the safety of others including motorcyclists, on the road, include:
- Always checking their surroundings before switching lanes and using their turn signals. Turn signals make other drivers aware that they’re making a lane change, exiting or merging onto the interstate.
- Staying in their lane while driving down the road. Then other vehicles, including motorcycles, can safely use the lanes around them without a risk to their own safety.
- Operating their motor vehicle at the posted speed limit. This allows enough time for stopping without coming to a jarring halt.
- Never get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Awareness is key when driving. When motor vehicle operators consider motorcycle riders while driving, motorcycle accidents are less likely to happen. It is important to share the road with all drivers. However, exercise extra caution when a motorcycle operator is on the road.
Contact Cooper & Friedman if you have been involved in a motorcycle versus car accident and need legal assistance. The attorneys at Cooper and Friedman in Louisville, Kentucky are able to help. We offer free consultations to every prospective client and would like to hear about your case. Contact us today by using our website or by calling our office directly at 502-459-7555 today.