This content has been reviewed by Jason D. Stone.
Whether you’re driving a car, riding a motorcycle, or biking, one of the most important aspects of driving is that you share the road safely. Many car and truck drivers forget to look out for motorcyclists, which can result in serious accidents that have severe consequences for the motorcyclist and significant legal repercussions for the motorist. Failing to spot a biker or acknowledge their presence is the leading cause of bike crashes.
If you are involved in an accident with a motorcyclist, either as a biker or a car driver, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to help you pay for your medical expenses and property damage. Work with an experienced personal injury law firm to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Sharing the Road With Motorcyclists: A Guide for Drivers
Both car drivers and motorcyclists need to learn how to share the road. If you’re driving a car, truck, or another vehicle, look out for several things to protect yourself and motorcyclists from a disastrous accident.
First, always check behind you before changing lanes to see if there’s a motorcyclist in your blind spot. Sometimes, motorcyclists weave in and out of traffic, making it difficult to spot them from a quick glance in your mirrors.
Just like with other vehicles, you should also ensure you have enough distance between you and a motorcycle, leaving at least a 4-second stopping distance. This distance gives you enough time to stop if the motorcyclist suddenly breaks, swerves, or falls off their bike.
Pay additional attention when driving in inclement weather, including snow, hail, and rain. Puddles or potholes that wouldn’t bother a car could pose a significant danger to a motorcycle, so they could suddenly swerve to avoid one or decrease speed in response to a gust of wind or a wet surface.
Drivers should also avoid sharing a lane with a motorcyclist. Only pass them if you can change lanes first, since sharing a lane creates a greater chance for an accident. If there is heavy traffic, stay alert for motorcyclists driving between lanes, also known as lane splitting. Although this practice is illegal in Massachusetts, many bikers still take the chance since it reduces their time in traffic.
Sharing the Road Safely: Tips for Bikers
Although you have the same rights to the road as cars and trucks, in an accident, a motorcyclist is at a much higher risk of suffering debilitating or deadly injuries, with 80% of motorcycle crashes resulting in injury or death. Ensuring that you ride safely, defensively, and cautiously can help protect you from an accident that could cause paralysis, a traumatic brain injury, or extensive broken bones.
Before you get on your bike, make sure you’re appropriately dressed. Wearing bright colors with reflective properties and a helmet can help other drivers spot you and reduce your chances of a serious head injury if an accident occurs. Keep in mind that vehicles have limited visibility and you are on a small motorcycle that can disappear in any blind spot.
Whenever you slow down, always use your brake lights. This can help drivers react in time, especially if it’s dark out or you are braking to avoid a pothole. In the same vein, if you turn or change lanes, always use your signal. Your signal helps give a car advance warning, meaning they can brake to avoid you.
While you may be tempted to lane split during rush hour if you’re running late to work, resist the temptation. Lane splitting makes it significantly harder for cars and trucks to see you. If a vehicle changes lanes while you’re lane splitting, you could be seriously injured.
Another way to stay safe while riding is to be aware of drivers’ blind spots and avoid them. Additionally, riding in the same lane as a driver can put you in their blind spot, making it more dangerous for you.
However, despite all these precautions, you may still experience a motorcycle accident. If you do, immediately call 911 and seek medical attention. While waiting for the police to arrive, try to take images of the scene to show your motorcycle accident lawyer later. They may be able to help your lawyer determine who was at fault in the accident and whether you can file a lawsuit.
Get Compensation For Your Motorcycle Accident
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident or lost your loved one to a deadly crash, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact the Boston motorcycle accident lawyers with Jason Stone Injury Lawyers to schedule your free consultation and learn what damages you can claim from your accident.
Because of our extensive experience working with motorcycle accident victims and their families, we understand the impact a motorcycle accident can have on your life. We will work diligently to ensure you get the compensation you need to pay for your medical care so you can take the time to heal after your accident.