Last year, motorcycle accidents went up by 15 percent. Studies suggest that many of these accidents were likely due to four-wheel drivers. As such, automobile drivers need to know how to effectively share the road. And, with motorcycle awareness just around the corner, and one death in Wisconsin this year already, now is the perfect time to discuss just how.
Understanding Why Motorcycle Accidents Happen
So often, drivers who hit or nearly hit a motorcyclist say they did not see the rider. Psychology (our brains are not usually looking for motorcyclists), blind spots, and smaller profiles often make this a very true fact. However, even when drivers do see motorcyclists, many fail to recognize just how fast the motorcyclists are moving, or they see motorcyclists as less intimidating than cars.
Understanding the Risk
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in car accidents than those riding in cars, and are five times more likely to suffer injuries. Additionally, because motorcyclists do not have as much protection in an accident, their injuries are more likely to be serious.
Prevention Tips for Drivers
As previously mentioned, it is critical for drivers to watch carefully for motorcycles, and to give motorcyclists the same respect that they would any other vehicle. However, the most important tip is to never drive distracted, and to especially avoid using cellphones while behind the wheel. Other important safety tips include:
- Never tailgating;
- Staying out of the motorcyclist's lane;
- Watching carefully for motorcyclists at intersections and in your blind spots;
- Giving motorcyclists more time to make decisions and more following distance; and
- Never assuming maneuvers.
Prevention Tips for Riders
Motorcyclists must assume personal responsibility for their own safety. Above all else, this means never driving intoxicated (intoxication is still responsible for nearly half of all single rider accidents) and never riding while distracted with phones or other devices. Additional safety tips to adhere to include:
- Always wearing proper gear;
- Obeying all traffic laws;
- Wearing bright colored clothing and using reflective tape;
- Never riding in poor weather conditions;
- Combining hand signals with turn signals to bring more attention;
- Positioning in the lane to improve visibility; and
- Using turn signals for every turn.
Get Help with Your Accident Claim
Insurance companies often attempt to lowball any compensation to automobile accident victims. However, because the injuries are often more serious, it is absolutely critical that there is someone present to protect the victim and his or her family's rights. [[title]] can provide you with the aggressive representation you need. Call 920-739-7366 and schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced Appleton personal injury attorney or Green Bay personal injury attorney today.