What Precautions Should be Taken By a Driver When Traveling Near a Motorcycle?

A motorcycle and car driving close together

As a driver, you are expected to share the road with diverse types of vehicles. That includes motorcycles, bicycles, 18-wheelers, and more. However, each type of vehicle has different needs, amounts of support for the driver, and more, meaning that certain precautions should be taken with certain drivers.

That means you may need to focus more when a motorcycle is traveling near you to avoid an accident. These drivers are generally more vulnerable in an accident, especially if the driver is not wearing a helmet, so taking these precautions should be a priority. If you are unsure what precautions to take as a driver when around motorcyclists, or if you are recovering from an accident with a negligent motorcyclist or other driver, reach out for aid from our motorcycle accident attorneys at The Text Kevin Accident Attorneys.

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Dangers of Motorcycle Crashes: Why Motorcyclists Are at Risk

When you choose to drive a motorcycle, you are more vulnerable than many other drivers because motorcycles simply do not have the same safety protections that cars and other vehicles have. While your car has a metal frame to prevent crushing damage, airbags, and seat belts, among other precautions, these features are not available for motorcyclists. Unfortunately, helmets and appropriate riding gear only prevent some injuries.

This lack of safety protections means that accidents tend to be more likely to be fatal for motorcyclists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 24 times more likely to die in a crash than those in passenger vehicles. Dangerous injuries may include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, internal organ injuries and bleeding, and broken bones.

Unfortunately, motorcyclists are also simply less visible than passenger vehicles, especially when near commercial trucks, which have much larger blind spots. If a driver cannot see the motorcycle, or if the motorcyclist is unaware they are in the driver’s blind spot, it can lead to a dangerous accident if the driver changes lanes. Sadly, many drivers are careless or simply unaware of the driver’s presence, leading to devastating crashes.

Pro Tip
If you are a motorcyclist or are involved in a collision with one, always seek medical care, even if the motorcyclist feels fine. Delayed injuries may not show up for days or even weeks, but they can do damage if not treated right away.

5 Safety Tips for Drivers: How You Can Protect Others on the Road

An unfortunate part of driving is that you can never fully predict what other drivers will do and whether someone is driving distracted, drowsy, or drunk. Unfortunately, that can lead to dangerous surprises and lethal accidents, which can be challenging to avoid. While accidents are sometimes difficult or impossible to avoid, you can still take action to reduce the chances of an accident by ensuring you are driving carefully yourself.

Taking steps to drive safety can help you drive defensively, protect yourself, and reduce the chances of an accident. Driving carefully can also help you avoid accusations that you caused the accident, which can reduce the value of your claim under California Civil Code 1714. Below are a few key ways you can help avoid a serious accident when traveling near a motorcycle.

Use Turn Signals

When navigating the road, remember to use your turn signals any time you turn or change lanes. This signal notifies those around you that you are about to change lanes, giving them a chance to move out of the way, slow down, alert you to danger by honking, or otherwise stay away from your next move. When other drivers know what to expect, they have more time to act.

Check Your Blind Spots

Blind spots can put any driver in danger, but motorcyclists are especially vulnerable. Because of their size, you may be completely unaware that they are in your blind spot until it is too late. Staying alert alone can help you stay aware when a motorcycle rider enters your blind spot, but frequent checking can also help.

In many newer vehicles, sensors have been installed to alert you when another vehicle is in your blind spot, but your car may not have this feature. In some cases, you may ask a passenger to double-check for you where possible. Taking extra time and avoiding sudden action can help avoid a collision in these situations.

Always Look Before You Change Lanes

One of the biggest dangers to motorcyclists is blind spots, which can be dangerous places to travel. Mirrors cannot show the full area around your vehicle, and larger vehicles, especially commercial vehicles, may have much larger blind spots. That makes it difficult to see a motorcycle rider if they are passing you and in your blind spot until it is too late.

Because of this, it is always safer to look twice after signaling that you intend to turn or change lanes. That gives you extra time to gauge whether you are doing so safely and can give the other driver time to signal to you if they are in your blind spot. Taking this extra step can prevent you from suddenly changing lanes and striking a motorcyclist, causing an accident.

Never Drive Distracted

Driving distracted is a serious danger to you, other drivers, and pedestrians, leading to many accidents across the state. Distracted driving is a serious enough issue that California has initiatives to stop it, especially cell phone use behind the wheel, by making cellphone use behind the wheel illegal. While this does not stop every driver who chooses to drive distracted, it can make a difference to commit to driving focused.

This is a massive aid in avoiding accidents with motorcyclists, who are already more difficult to spot. Driving distracted means you are more likely to miss when a motorcyclist enters your blind spot, and it can impact whether you are focused enough to follow the rules of the road. Keeping your focus on the road can save lives and prevent careless mistakes that can hurt others.

Follow Guidelines for Safe Following Distances

When following a motorcycle on the road, it can be easy to miss signals and be unaware that they are stopping. They may even need to stop suddenly due to road hazards or other vehicles, giving you little time to stop. If you are unfocused and following too closely behind, you may find yourself involved in an accident.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, it can take much longer to stop than you realize, and giving yourself extra space to brake is crucial to avoiding accidents. When you have more time, it can help you avoid emergency situations, which can be extra dangerous for the motorcyclist. This can also help if a motorcyclist is following you, as braking suddenly can lead to them being unable to stop in time.

When traveling near a motorcyclist, it is always advisable to keep some distance and wait before changing lanes. This gives you and the other driver extra time to react.

Other Hazards Can Put Motorcyclists in Danger

While human error is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, other conditions can cause hazardous situations that leave motorcyclists injured or killed in these accidents. Whether you are a driver or motorcyclist, avoiding certain conditions or exercising extra caution when in these situations may be life-saving. Below are just a few of the other common causes of motorcycle accidents you should be aware of before you ever start your vehicle:

  • Road hazards
  • Uneven road surfaces
  • Weather conditions
  • Driving at night

While many of these conditions cannot be avoided, being aware of them can help you avoid more serious danger for yourself and others. If you can avoid traveling in these conditions, such as leaving during the daytime to give yourself better lighting on the road, it can help reduce the chances of a lethal accident. If you cannot avoid these conditions, being alert and aware of the risks can help with this issue.

How Can an Attorney Help Me If I Am In an Accident with a Motorcyclist?

Unfortunately, not every accident is avoidable, and you or another driver may have been injured. Now, you may need help, but you are unsure where to turn. So how can a lawyer help you in these situations?

If you are struggling to recover following a motorcycle accident, an attorney at The Text Kevin Accident Attorneys can provide professional guidance, decades of experience, and aid that can help you determine the best path forward for your case. That makes your recovery easier.

Professional Guidance on Legal Statutes

As you navigate a legal claim after an accident, you may find it easier to make mistakes if you are unfamiliar with state laws regarding your case. For example, according to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, you only have two years from the date of the injury to file your claim. If you do not have a lawyer to help you remember this short deadline, it is easy to make a mistake and miss this deadline.

You may also need their guidance when identifying the at-fault party. For example, while California Civil Code 1714 identifies the negligent party as the one financially liable for your damages, other factors may obscure who is actually at fault. For example, if you are injured by a faulty product, the manufacturer may be financially responsible for your injuries.

Assurance You Know What Your Damages Are

When calculating the damages you have faced, it is easy to leave out damages, both compensatory and punitive. If you are unsure what your damages are worth and settle for less than you are due, you may pay out of pocket for your recovery. That starts by ensuring all your damages are being compensated fairly.

Your compensatory damages cover economic and non-economic damages, as described in California Civil Code 1431.2. Your economic damages should include any financial losses you have suffered because of the accident, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost income. In contrast, your non-economic damages cover the mental and emotional pain and suffering you experienced because of the accident.

You may also be due punitive damages, which do not compensate for a specific loss but may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer under California Civil Code Section 3294. Keep in mind that these damages are only awarded when you have evidence of extreme negligence or an intent to harm you, meaning they are not available for many claims. Even so, if you are eligible, your attorney can help you gather evidence that supports further compensation.

Personal Representation in the Courtroom

One of the most important facets of your professional legal care is the representation an attorney can provide in the courtroom. For many people, a lawsuit like this is their first time in the courtroom, which can be a stressful situation that a lawyer can help mitigate. With their guidance, you can spend less time worrying about making mistakes and more on healing.

Your personal injury attorney can handle the ongoing court process, ensuring your case is handled correctly and without leading to accusations of shared fault. If you are accused of being partly at fault for your injuries, your attorney can provide the powerful defense you need during litigation to combat the at-fault party. Reach out for guidance if you are concerned about taking these correct steps in the courtroom.

Motorcycle accidents can be complex for all parties, especially when seeking a settlement through the insurance company. Your attorney can provide guidance specific to these accident types.

Our Team Offers Top-Quality Legal Aid If You Are Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident

While driving with care when traveling near a motorcycle can help prevent dangerous accidents, you cannot predict the actions of other drivers. In fact, you may have been extra careful, only for another driver to cause a serious accident. That leaves you struggling to recover from your injuries and the growing expenses you are now facing.

That is where The Text Kevin Accident Attorneys can step in. If you are struggling to get compensated fairly for your injuries, your attorney at our firm can represent you in the courtroom, pursuing the maximum compensation for your injuries and protecting your claim from accusations of fault. These tools give you a stronger opportunity to get the compensation needed to recover from the suffering you experienced.

When you are ready to speak with an attorney, getting help is a call or click away. We offer free consultations, which give you the opportunity to speak with our attorneys before you ever agree to seek out our services. To learn more, simply reach out for a free consultation by calling or filling out our online contact form.

Kevin Crockett

Kevin Crockett

Kevin Crockett is an award-winning personal injury lawyer who understands the impact an accident can have on someone’s life. That’s why he aggressively fights for each of his clients.

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