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Sharing the Road: Safety Tips for Drivers to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

A heavily damaged red sport bike on its side in the road after getting hit by a pickup truck in a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle wrecks can cause severe and fatal injuries

Motorcycle accidents can be some of the most catastrophic events on the road. One of the main reasons that motorcycle wrecks result in such severe injuries is the lack of protection that motorcycles provide compared to cars and other vehicles. As such, it's crucial for other drivers to share the road and look twice for motorcyclists.

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the dangers of motorcycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bikers are 28 times more likely to be killed in a crash than occupants of a passenger vehicle. These statistics have led to campaigns such as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which is observed nationwide in May.

As a motorcyclist, there is only so much you can do to protect yourself while riding, such as wearing a helmet, following traffic rules, and being aware of your surroundings. However, bikers are some of the most vulnerable road users, and their safety primarily depends on the actions of the drivers in larger vehicles. Remember, sharing the road means looking out for all road users, including motorcyclists.

Sharing the road with motorcycles

Here are some safety tips for drivers to avoid causing the most common types of motorcycle accidents:

Rear-end motorcycle accidents

Rear-end motorcycle accidents are often caused by other drivers following too closely and not leaving enough space between their vehicle and the biker in front of them. In many cases, the driver may be distracted, speeding, or not paying attention to the road ahead. As a result, when the motorcycle in front has to slow down or stop suddenly, the driver behind may not have enough time to react, leading to a collision.

To avoid causing a rear-end motorcycle accident, it's important for drivers to:

  • Leave plenty of space between their vehicle and the motorcycle in front of them (allow a following distance of 3-4 seconds), especially in heavy traffic or on the highway.
  • Stay alert and focused on the road, avoiding distractions like cell phones or other devices.
  • Always anticipate changes in traffic flow and be prepared to adjust speed or position accordingly to avoid hitting a biker.
  • Obey the posted speed limit.

Left-turn motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle wrecks are often caused by other drivers who fail to yield to an oncoming biker when making a left turn. This can happen when the driver misjudges the speed or distance of the motorcycle or when they are distracted and not paying attention to the road. As a result, the motorcycle may collide with the side of the vehicle or be forced to take evasive action to avoid a crash.

To prevent causing a left-turn motorcycle accident, drivers should:

  • Check carefully for oncoming traffic, including motorcycles, before making a left turn.
  • Use turn signals.
  • Wait until they have a clear view of the road ahead before making the turn.

Lane-changing motorcycle accidents

Lane-changing motorcycle accidents are often caused by other drivers who fail to see a biker in their blind spot when changing lanes. This can happen when the driver is not checking their mirrors or is distracted by something else on the road. Consequently, the motorcycle may either crash into the side of the vehicle or have to make sudden maneuvers to avoid a collision.

To prevent causing a lane-changing motorcycle accident, drivers are urged to:

  • Always check mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes.
  • Use turn signals.
  • Wait until they have enough space and a clear view of the road ahead before changing lanes or merging.

Head-on motorcycle accidents

Head-on motorcycle wrecks frequently happen in intersections and roadways without barriers on either side. Due to speeding, distraction, intoxication, and failure to yield the right of way, a reckless driver may veer into the opposing lane and collide head-on with the biker, often causing fatal injuries. In other instances, a biker may swerve or lay down the motorcycle to avoid a head-on collision with another vehicle, sustaining injuries in the process.

To prevent causing a head-on motorcycle accident, it's essential for drivers to:

  • Pass other vehicles safely. A common scenario that causes head-on motorcycle crashes involves a driver in the opposite lane trying to pass the vehicle in front.
  • Don't speed. The faster you go, the smaller your margin for error. Speeding greatly increases your odds of losing control of your vehicle and departing your lane into the path of a biker.
  • Don't text and drive. Motorists who aren't looking at the road are more prone to lane departure accidents and head-on collisions, which are almost always fatal for the motorcyclist.
  • Don't drive impaired. Drugs and alcohol affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. While under the influence, you're more likely to take risks, speed, lose control of your vehicle, and lose awareness of your surroundings. Driving while fatigued is impaired driving, too; getting behind the wheel after 24 hours without sleep is as dangerous as driving drunk.
  • Look twice before turning. Again, motorcycles are smaller and harder to see, so it's critical to ensure it's clear before turning to avoid a head-on crash with a biker.

Motorcycle accident lawyers in Mobile, AL

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Mobile or anywhere in Alabama, an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can make a meaningful difference in the outcome of your case.

Insurance companies are notorious for purposefully delaying, disputing, and denying motorcycle accident claims due to the unfair stereotype that all bikers are reckless. Moreover, the potential cost of medical treatment, lost wages, and other damages can be significant, and insurance companies often try to minimize their financial exposure by offering lowball settlements or disputing the extent of the injuries sustained.

At Dean Waite & Associates, LLC, we understand the uphill battle injured bikers face when dealing with insurance companies. Our experienced legal team has seen first-hand the unfair practices that insurance companies can engage in when handling motorcycle accident claims, and we don't stand for them. We are committed to advocating for our clients' rights and ensuring they receive fair compensation for their losses.

One of our notable cases resulted in a settlement of $1,250,000 following the tragic death of a loved one in a motorcycle accident. In another case, we obtained a settlement of $350,000 for a client who suffered injuries in a motorcycle wreck. We also secured a settlement of $125,000 for a motorcycle accident case in Tuscaloosa County. These outcomes reflect our commitment to fighting for the rights of motorcycle accident victims and obtaining the justice and accountability they deserve.

To learn more about how we can help with your potential legal case, don't hesitate. Contact Dean Waite & Associates today for a free case evaluation.

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