Most drivers do not understand just how dangerous driving a motorcycle can be. In exchange for fuel economy, convenience and an unmatched feeling of speed and freedom, bikers take on considerable risk. Though motorcycles only make up 3% of the vehicles on the road, riders account for 14% of all traffic deaths.
Bikers themselves are not completely at fault, either. Many crashes stem from another driver violating a biker’s right-of-way. So how can drivers help keep motorcyclists safe?
Practice safer driving
Drivers can keep the following tips in mind when encountering motorcycles on the road:
- Double-check blind spots: People can lose entire cars or trucks in the blindspots of their vehicle’s mirrors. Drivers should double-check that all blindspots are open before changing lanes, especially if they know a motorcycle is near.
- Give more road to motorcycles: When near a motorcycle, drivers can give the bike more space to operate. Slow down, follow at a farther distance and allow the rider more time to make decisions.
- Use turn signals: When drivers neglect to use turn signals, they fail to communicate with fellow drivers about their intentions. This behavior can endanger any person on the road and may be lethal to a biker.
- Dim the headlights: With less UV protection from a windshield to block harmful light, a car’s high beams can severely blind a motorcyclist.
- Take care with left turns: Left turns are more dangerous than others as they create blind spots that can hide motorcycles. Most motorcycle accidents occur within intersections, so drivers should take extra care at stop signs and traffic lights.
- Do not drink and drive: It is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drunk driving claims more than 10,000 lives every year, many of them motorcyclists.
Consider legal representation
Those involved in a car accident can reach out to a local lawyer familiar with Atlanta’s motor vehicle laws. An attorney can assess one’s case, work with the courts and draft comprehensive settlement agreements.