Almost every motorcyclist knows at least one rider who refuses to play by the rules. You know the one: they ride in the “dead zone” (the space between parked cars and active traffic). They weave in and out of traffic as if they own the road. They throw caution to the wind and act as though it is not their problem if another vehicle operator does not see them. Of course, you recognize that it is very much their problem, and you try to get through to your friend, but some people will only learn through experience.
You, on the other hand, take the extra precautions. You follow the posted speed limit signs. You avoid riding while intoxicated. You understand that you are less likely to be seen and you act accordingly. You avoid driving when the weather is slick (as best as you can), and you never assume anything of anyone – especially other road users. Sadly, though, your risk of an accident is still higher than that of other drivers. Further, you are more likely to experience a serious injury in a crash. Learn more about how to protect yourself from some of the most common motorcycle accidents, and what your rights may be in the event of a collision.
Left Turns at Intersections
Left-hand turns at intersections are extremely dangerous for motorcyclists. When you are the one turning left, you run the risk of another vehicle running a red or yellow light to get through the intersection (and perhaps hitting you because they did not see you). When the other car is turning left, you again run the risk of not being seen, but now you may have a vehicle cross directly into your path. Either situation can be deadly.
It is difficult to avoid these crashes because there is little notice that they might happen. However, there are a few measures you can take to reduce your risk. Watch for gaps in traffic and stopped vehicles for an indication that someone may be about to turn left. Keep a close eye on the speed of drivers as you are turning left to determine if they are planning on going straight through the light. You should also pay extra close attention to anyone sitting in a turning lane. Watch the wheels, not the vehicle, and always cover your brakes and prepare to take evasive action. Under no circumstance should you lay the bike down.
Vehicles Pulling into Your Lane
As the saying goes, vehicles simply do not see you. Your vehicle is smaller and easier to miss in a blind spot. Reduce your risk of a driver pulling into your lane by being aware of the various blind spots of vehicles and then avoid being in them. Stay out of lanes that are moving faster than others when traffic is stalled because more people are going to move into that lane. Also, watch closely for signs of a vehicle changing lanes: tires turning, a driver’s head moving, turn signals, a car wandering in its lane, etc.
Cars Hitting You from Behind
Distracted drivers do not always see other cars or trucks that have stopped in front of them, and they are far less likely to see motorcycles. To protect yourself, use the cars around you as a “crumple zone.” Either sit between lanes when stopped, with cars on either side of you, or politely move around to the front of another vehicle and wave to ensure they see you.
Pursuing Compensation After an Accident
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a motorcycle crash, contact Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. for assistance. Our seasoned Appleton motorcycle accident lawyers can help you navigate the claim process, and we will aggressively pursue the most compensation possible. Schedule your consultation by calling 920-739-7366 today.