Ten Things All Car and Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles

The experienced attorneys from Azrael, Franz, Schwab & Lipowitz discuss things to be aware of when sharing the road with motorcyclists.

It is a common assumption that motorcycles are dangerous, especially when on the road with trucks and cars. However, there are many misconceptions about motorcycles in the community. Find out how to navigate your commute, cross-country trip or ride to the store with these ten helpful hints regarding motorcycles.

Overseen motorcycles are a common problem with individuals driving cars or trucks. Over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. There are more instances of larger vehicles that motorcycles on the road. Some drivers don’t “recognize” a motorcycle, or unintentionally ignore it.

Narrow profiles are also deemed a hazard of motorcycles. Since motorcycles have such a slim frame, they can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spot or masked by objects outside of the car. Take an additional second to look out for motorcycles whether you’re changing lanes or turning at an intersection.

Skewed distance also plays a part in motorcycle accidents. Due to the smaller size of the motorcycle, it may look farther away than it truly is. It may also be difficult to accurately identify the speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection, expect a motorcycle to be closer than it looks.

Slowing down for motorcyclists is different than for car or truck drivers. Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting (or rolling off the throttle) thus, neglecting to activate a brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 to 4 seconds for motorcycles. Predict that a motorcyclist will be slowing down without visual warning when sharing the road.

Adjusting lanes is also an area to be wary about. Motorcyclists often adjust positions within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles and wind. Keep in mind that they are usually shifting lanes for a purpose.

Turning signals are not self-cancelling, thus some riders (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Understand that a turning signal could very well be left on accidentally.

Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle’s better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with proper road conditions. However, do not ever assume that a motorcyclist will be able to dodge out of the way in any circumstance.

Stopping distance can be easily affected by slippery pavement for motorcycles and other vehicles alike. Again, allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because you cannot always cease motion immediately.

Motorcyclists themselves are real individuals under the helmet. Imagine that motorcyclist is someone you know – a friend, a neighbor or a relative, because it very well could be.

Crashes involving cars/trucks invoking serious injury to a motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian are generally severe and irreparable.

These ten tips will help you assess certain motorcycle situations while driving. There are plenty of things individuals are unaware of as it pertains to unfamiliar vehicles. For more information, contact experienced personal injury attorneys at Azrael, Franz, Schwab & Lipowitz today.

 

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