Spring is officially here, which means it’s time to enjoy some much-needed warm weather. It also means that motorcyclists will be hitting the road again, but doing so at their own peril. Each spring, the number of motorcycle accidents in the U.S. rises dramatically as other drivers are unprepared to share the road with these vehicles.
In 2017, 89,000 motorcyclists were injured while another 5,172 died as the result of an accident. So, this is a spring refresher for riders and drivers alike to help bring these statistics down and keep everyone safe.
Why So Many Accidents?
Motorcycles are a lot smaller than their automobile counterparts, which can make them difficult to spot while driving. It isn’t uncommon for a bike to seemingly come out of nowhere since motorcycles can fit right inside a driver’s blind spot.
If you’ve ever wondered why motorcycles are so loud, that’s the reason. Since you can’t always see them, a louder engine gives you the ability to hear them. Regardless, not noticing a motorcyclist is the main reason behind the high number of accidents.
Tips for Riders
The best way to protect yourself as a motorcyclist is to always wear appropriate safety gear and obey every traffic law. If an accident does occur, the last thing you want is to be held liable. Keep in mind that different counties often have their own regulations for motorcyclists. That means you would need a motorcycle accident attorney in Orange County if the accident occurred in Santa Anna and one in Cook County if you wrecked in Chicago, for instance.
The next best thing you can do is learn to ride defensively. Never assume that a driver can see you. Instead, always ride with your headlights on and stay out of their blind spots every chance you get. Don’t swerve between vehicles, and give yourself plenty of room between cars on the road.
Part of driving defensively also includes anticipating driver’s moves, keeping an eye out for lane changes and turns. You can keep an eye on a car’s back tires to give you a heads up when they’re about to move, even if they fail to signal.
Tips for Drivers
For the driver, it’s vital that you monitor your blind spots as best as possible. Positioning your side and rearview mirrors to give you the broadest viewing range around your vehicle is an excellent start, but you also need turn your head when changing lanes.
Like riders, drivers should also give themselves plenty of space between other vehicles on the road. It also helps to slightly reduce your speed when driving behind a motorcycle, giving you extra time to react and avoid a potential accident.
Finally, be careful when making a left turn. There are more blind spots on your left than on your right, making these turns more dangerous. Keep an eye and an ear out for motorcycles while driving and you can help cut down the number of accidents that take place each spring.