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Share the Road: How to Drive Defensively When Motorcyclists are in the Area

When you took Driver’s Education, you probably learned about defensive driving. It’s a way of driving that looks beyond the mechanics and rules of the road and anticipates potential danger in order to avoid it. It can involve such practices as leaving enough distance between you and the car ahead of you, being aware of the actions of other drivers, and being mindful of exceptional conditions such as inclement weather and heavy traffic. Most defensive driving techniques are taught with other cars in mind, but cars are not the only type of vehicle with whom you share the road. Large commercial trucks require special attention, and the same is true for sharing the road with motorcyclists, whose vehicles allow them to move with great agility and speed, but without the benefit of the same protections afforded by a car. Accidents between automobiles and motorcycles are generally more injurious to the motorcycle rider, but that is not always the case. It is important for all involved that automobile drivers learn how to drive defensively when motorcyclists are in the area.

There are lots of ways that you can minimize risk when driving near motorcyclists, but these are the most important, most basic rules for sharing the road with these vehicles:

  • Increase your normal driving distance. If you generally leave a cushion between you and the vehicle that’s ahead of you, double it for motorcycles so that a sudden stop or turn does not lead to tragedy.
  • Be even more aware of the weather. You probably reduce your speed when driving in inclement weather, but if there is a motorcyclist in front of you, it is helpful to anticipate that they are having even more trouble then you are. Rain, snow and fog bring extra visibility challenges to motorcycle riders, and they often reduce their ability to control their bikes as well.
  • Be careful when making turns. Of all the accidents that motorcyclists are involved in, the majority are the result of a vehicle going straight and a vehicle turning into them. When you are about to turn and you see a motorcycle in the vicinity, wait the extra few seconds to be sure that it is safe for you to proceed.
  • Be aware of your blind spots. So many motorcycle accidents occur when a motorcyclist is riding in the spot that is directly in an driver’s blind spot. Make sure you actually turn your head for a second to see whether there is anybody there before you switch lanes.
  • Don’t drive aggressively around motorcyclists. Many drivers get annoyed at a motorcycle’s ability to weave in and out of traffic, and respond by driving aggressively. Let it go … it is not worth getting into an accident and potentially causing harm to either you or the rider.

If you are involved in an accident with a negligent motorcycle rider and you are injured, it is important that you seek legal representation to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call the experience attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today to learn more about how we can help.


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