Cars vs. Motorcycles: It’s Not a Competition
After a long winter, motorcyclists across the nation are back out on the road. Drier weather and soaring gas pricing have turned an increasing number of car drivers into motorcycle riders. As more motorcycles and cars share the roadway, motorcycle-involved accidents are increasingly likely. Because motorcycle accidents often involve death or serious injury, it is crucial that drivers and motorcyclists look out for each other and always put safety first.
Drivers must remember that motorcycles enjoy the same privileges on the road as a passenger car, semi truck or any other motor vehicle. However, motorcyclists also have the same responsibilities as other motorists. Drivers and motorcyclists need to share the road with mutual respect and recognize that their actions can have serious consequences for those around them.
To help drivers be better prepared to share the road, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers the following tips:
- Give a motorcycle the full width of a traffic lane
- Check mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles at intersections and before changing lanes
- Allow a large cushion when following motorcycles as they can stop faster than cars
- Signal before changing lanes
- Be aware that turn signals on motorcycles often do not self-cancel and a motorcyclist may forget to turn off the signal; wait to see if a motorcycle will actually turn or change lanes before continuing
In the spirit of joint responsibility, motorcyclists can benefit from the following safety tips:
- Always be properly trained and licensed; even seasoned riders should take refresher courses
- Always wear a helmet and other protective gear
- Use reflective gear, tape and stickers to stand out
- Never drive while impaired
- Obey speed limits and other traffic laws
- Use both hand signals and turn signals when turning or changing lanes
By following these simple guidelines, both drivers and motorcyclists can enjoy the roadway and reduce the risk of motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities. However, accidents happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your situation and your options.