How To Safely Share The Road With Motorcycles

Sharing the road safely with motorcycles should be a priority for every driver.

motorcycle-safety-st-louis-lawyersDrivers are often confused by the behavior of motorcyclists. This is often because many motorists do not understand the specific challenges that motorcyclists are presented with by choosing to ride a bike instead of driving a car. Drivers sometimes interpret motorcyclists’ behaviors as aggressive or obnoxious, when really the biker is doing their best to stay safe.

The responsibility for not causing an accident does not solely lie with the motorcyclists. Therefore, all drivers should be aware of how motorcycles operate, what to look out for, and how to share the road without endangering other drivers.

Some things that motorists should be aware of include motorcycle braking, the necessity of changing lanes more frequently, and turn signals. These are oftentimes a little different for motorcycles, and understanding this can help motorists to prevent motorcycle accidents from occurring.

Braking

For a motorcyclist, braking may look different than it does for an automobile driver. This is because operating a bike is different from operating a car and slowing down on a bike does not always engage the brake lights. Slowing down on a motorcycle can be achieved by downshifting or by rolling off the throttle, rather than braking. Because of this, someone driving behind a motorcycle may not notice when the bike slows down if they don’t see brake lights.

Accidents can happen when drivers do not notice a bike slowing down and have not left enough space between them and the bike. Allowing adequate space between your car and bike is extremely important and should be a top priority. Drivers should allow for a following distance of at least 4 or 5 seconds.

Changing lane position

Motorists sometimes complain about motorcyclists weave in and out of traffic and change lanes frequently. Because this can be an annoyance to drivers and because they do not understand it they may view it as a motorcyclist being reckless. The reality is, however, that this may actually be a safety technique. A motorcyclist may be changing lanes frequently to avoid debris in the road, minimize the effects of wind, or to stay out of the blind spots of other vehicles. Riding a motorcycle means constantly being aware and making adjustments when a situation seems unsafe. Little things like wind or debris in the road may not make much of a difference for someone in a larger vehicle but these can be a major concern for motorcyclists.

Turn Signals

Additionally, turn signals are something that other drivers should be aware of. Unlike most cars or trucks, turn signals on motorcycles may not be self-canceling. There are instances where a motorcyclist may forget to turn of his or her turn signal, making their behavior somewhat unpredictable. To avoid an accident in a situation like this, leave extra space and use extra caution when determining if they really are turning or not.

Shared responsibility

Sharing the road is a shared responsibility. Staying safe and avoiding accidents is not a burden shouldered solely by motorcyclists or solely by automobile drivers. Rather, everyone on the road must actively work to protect themselves and others. And drivers should understand that just as they are cautious around semi trucks and make an effort to keep a safe distance and stay out of their blind spots, motorcyclists are constantly doing this as well, with all vehicles larger than theirs.

St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact an attorney at our law firm. We all hope that drivers have our safety in mind when they’re out on the roads, but this is not always the case. If another driver’s careless behavior causes an accident, you may be legally entitled to compensation for any injuries and damages they may have caused. Zevan and Davidson has a proven track record of getting results for our clients. Call us today at (314) 588-7200 to schedule a free consultation.

 

photo credit: SoulRider.222

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