If you ride a motorcycle, chances are you have seen, or been involved in, some close calls on the road. Because of the mild winters in Southern California, it’s always riding season. So, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers other drivers may pose. Be prepared.
People who do not ride a motorcycle have a different perspective on road safety. Drivers of automobiles have seatbelts, airbags, and comfortable seats. They are not exposed to cold or hot weather, exhaust fumes, or changes in the road or highway the same ways as a rider. And they have all been aggravated by a motorcycle rider at one time or another. This means their instinct to recognize and avoid dangerous behavior may not be as sharp as yours.
Distracted drivers pose a risk to motorcyclists
Nearly 40% of accidents involving cars and motorcycles, it is claimed, are a result of a distracted driver. The use of electronic devices behind the wheel, including tablets, GPS, and cell phones have led to an increase in unexpected lane wandering by drivers. Even if your presence should be evident by a loud motorcycle engine or safety colors on protective gear, you may be left in a position to avoid a distracted driver while you are right next to them on the road.
How can motorcyclists stay safe?
The basics of safety are easy. Wear a helmet and protective equipment, never drink and ride, and always obey the rules of the road. Some elements of safety, however, are a bit more subtle. Visibility is often the key to avoiding a dangerous incident with an automobile. Your speed and position in your lane matter.
Motorcycle.com recommends riders pick a spot to the left or right of the lane where tire tracks are made by larger vehicles. These are the spots where the road is free from debris and allows you space to avoid other vehicles. If you are in the right lane, ride to the right. If you are in the left lane, ride to the left. Be aware of larger vehicles that may have larger blind spots. You should also speed up or slow down to avoid blind spots and avoid being boxed in.
Reactions to obstacles confronted with on the road
Remember, if you are suddenly faced with an obstacle or automobile turning in front of you, you have two options:
● Continue in the same straight direction – DO NOT TURN — and hit your brakes.
● Turn away from the obstacle, but DO NOT hit your brakes.
For many riders, a motorcycle is a place of freedom on the road. But, it should neve be a place free from safety and awareness of other drivers.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle incident, it is wise to seek a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. Call us at (714) 759-5461 for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your case.