A Motorists Guide to Motorcycles – Share the Road
The best way to avoid a motorist-on-motorcycle crash is to drive defensively. As an experienced personal injury and accident attorney, I am particularly concerned with safety awareness among all road occupants and the consequences of the 2000 repeal of the Florida Helmet Law.
As the summer months approach, more motorcycles will be sharing the road with you. Keep in mind the following defensive driving tips to altogether avoid motorcycle crashes and share the road:
- Double check your blind spots. Motorcycles are small and can easily be overlooked. Always double check before changing lanes.
- Scan for motorcycles at intersections – they are particularly deadly. The National Safety Commission reports that more than a 1/3 of motorist-on-motorcycle crashes occur when the vehicle turns left and the motorcycle proceeds straight through an intersection. So, when turning or crossing an intersection, look left, right, and then left again.
- Predict that a motorcycle is closer than it appears. Motorcycles are small, so they can look farther away than they actually are.
- Don’t depend on a motorcycle’s brake lights. Motorcyclists often slow down by downshifting, so be prepared for speed decreases without warning.
- Even though the blinker is on doesn’t mean they’re turning. Motorcycle turn signals are not self-cancelling, so don’t assume the rider is turning. Make sure.
- Drive at least 3 to 4 seconds behind a motorcycle. Respect a motorcycle as you would any other vehicle. Motorcycles may weave a little to avoid potholes or other road debris, so give them space. The best way to avoid a crash is to give a motorcyclist enough road room.
- Think of a motorcycle in motion as a person. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable in crashes, so think of protecting the people around you.
- Keep your ears open and listen for motorcyclists. Many bikers make their bikes loud so as to be heard by vehicles.
For more motorcycle safety tips:
- Visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
- And the National Safety Commission.
- Hot Tips for Motorcyclists – Ride Safe This Summer
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