Ways to Avoid a Car Accident When You’re on a Motorcycle
Let’s face it: Riding a bike, motorcycle, scooter, skateboard, or driving a vehicle is a privilege. When we go for a ride, we not only have to think about our bike safety and motorcycle safety but also the safety of others. Bicycle and motorcycle safety should be utmost in our minds because if you are riding a bike or motorcycle and are hit by a much larger vehicle, you will probably suffer a personal injury.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you are not making safety and common sense your first priorities, then your actions may put people’s lives at risk. Stay as safe as possible while on the road. Keep in mind that many of the bike safety rules listed below can also apply to motorcycle riders and maintaining their motorcycle safety.
See and Be Seen
- Wear a headlight and/or lights on your bike – Make sure you can see where you are going and ensure that others can see you, too.
- Wear bright or reflective clothing that differs from your surroundings – It is important that you stand out from all the other things in your vicinity. By wearing bright or reflective clothing, you make yourself more easily seen.
- Slow down – The faster you are moving, the less time you have to react to things around you, and the fewer time others can react to you.
- Wave to drivers – Let others know you are near them and are aware of their presence. Also, it’s easier to see someone if they are moving. Small movements such as waving your hands make you more visible.
- Be seen and heard – On busy roads, drivers are unable to see everything around them. It can be a struggle to see a relatively small bike in the grand scheme of trucks and cars that line the roads. Consider putting flashing colored lights and a bell on your bicycle in order to stand out even more.
- Stay out of blind spots – It can be difficult for drivers to see anything in their blind spots. When riding your bike or motorcycle, think about what types of accidents could occur at any given time. Then, alter your location in order to steer clear of it. For example, a driver who has stopped may decide to change lanes in order to turn a corner. If you are in their blind spot when that happens, you could be in an accident. If you see a car turn their wheels before making a turn, move out of the way if possible.
- Make your bike look different than others around – Add a pinwheel, a neon-colored pool noodle, or wear a reflective jacket while riding it. The more visible you are, you have a lower chance of sustaining a personal injury in car accidents.
- Anticipate drivers’ actions – Drivers sometimes do irrational things, like switching lanes without using turn signals or pulling in front of bike riders and stopping short. For your own well-being, be safe and learn how to anticipate the moves other drivers make.
Follow Rules of the Road
- Move with traffic, not against it – When riding a bike, always move in the same direction as motor vehicles. Drivers are not used to seeing bike riders heading towards them on the same side of the road. Riding in the wrong direction can cause loss of life or serious injury to you and those around you. Bike safety and motorcycle safety is first and foremost.
- Keep your distance – For example, don’t ride close to stationary cars because drivers may suddenly start moving, open their doors and hit you, or pull out from a parking spot. Keep your distance from other vehicles in order to minimize your chance of being involved in car accidents.
- Don’t ride on the sidewalk – Bicyclists who ride on the sidewalk pose not only a threat to others, but also to themselves. For instance, when a bicyclist rides from the sidewalk into the street, drivers don’t often see them. Drivers expect bike riders to be in the street and follow traffic rules, not on the sidewalk and outside of their field of vision.
- Look twice before you move – Don’t assume that since you are riding a bike you have the right of way. Obey the traffic rules as if you are driving a motor vehicle. Remember that bike safety is important to you and everyone who cares for you. Before moving in traffic, look twice before doing so.
- Use your mirrors – There is a very good reason why mirrors are put on many bicycles. Mirrors on bikes are utilized in the same way they are on cars. They provide bicyclists with a way to view traffic behind them without having to frequently turn around. Mirrors are excellent bike safety tools.
- Signal when turning – Signaling is a great way for bike riders to broadcast their intentions. Vehicle drivers don’t know what a bike riders intentions are without seeing the hand, brake, or turn signals.
- Stay in the middle of your lane – Traffic lanes are made to be utilized by both bikes and motor vehicles. If a bike rider is on the right side of the lane, a vehicle driver may misinterpret the bike rider’s intention and attempt to pass. That could be very dangerous if that isn’t the bike rider’s intention.
- Obey traffic signals – This rule is self-explanatory. For everyone’s safety, always obey traffic signals.
Common Sense is Your Friend
- Be a predictable rider – Don’t ride your bike like you are the only person using the road. If, for instance, you are weaving in and out of traffic, sooner or later you will cause an accident.
- Utilize less congested roads – The more congested a road is, the greater the chance that you will be involved in any car accidents.
- Ride on wider roads – Wide roads allow vehicles and bikes to have ample space to get where they are going.
- Choose areas with slower traffic – Slower traffic allows riders and drivers more time to respond, which in turn makes it less likely someone will get seriously hurt.
- Wear safety gear – Helmets, elbow and knee pads, shoes, and long clothing does a much better job of protecting the human body against damage than not wearing them. It may not be fashionable or cool wearing long clothing and protective gear, but we’ve never heard an injured person say they were glad they wore shorts and no protective gear. Safety gear is the first logical step in bike safety.
- Safety check your bike – Checking for poorly operating brakes, underinflated tires, etc. is as important on a bike or motorcycle as it is on a car.
- Stay alert and sober – Riding your bike with drugs or alcohol in your system is a recipe for disaster. You cannot be alert if you are under the influence. Be smart and safe!
- Don’t wear headphones or play loud music – It is far too easy to become distracted when you are listening to music or a talk show. Also, don’t use headphones when riding a bike. It is imperative that you hear the sights and sounds of things that are going on around you. Too many people have been seriously injured in car accidents because they couldn’t hear, and didn’t pay attention to the road.
Truck and car accidents involving bikes and motorcycles happen far too often. No matter how good of a rider you are, you may still get hurt. What you want to keep in mind is that you are not the only person on the road. You are out there with drunk drivers, people without much driving experience, people who don’t have valid driver’s licenses, and people who drive recklessly. Most of the time you will be safe, but not always.
Here at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers, we want you to be safe on the road. Whether you are riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or motorcycle, or driving your car or truck, it is important that you understand the rules of the road, take precautions to prevent injury, and use common sense. If you find that your luck has run out and was injured because of someone else’s negligence, you can give us a call. We will evaluate your personal injury case at no cost to you.