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Safety Tips for Sharing the Road With Motorcyclists

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Posted By Legal Team | May 10 2023 | Motorcycle Accidents

A motorcycle ride is an exhilarating experience at fast speeds out in the open air, but the freedom of that unenclosed design and the open road ahead, also comes with significant risks, especially when drivers sharing the roadways with bikers don’t take reasonable precautions to avoid a collision or crash. The smaller size and slim profile of a motorcycle make it more difficult for a driver to see, and judging the speed of a motorcycle may be more of a challenge than that of a larger motor vehicle. Drivers should avoid distractions and remain vigilantly aware of others on the road—particularly vulnerable motorcyclists. Some good tips for helping to keep motorcycle riders safe on the road also help to protect drivers in Georgia from liability in the event of an accident with a motorcycle.

Treat a Motorcycle as You Would a Full-Sized Vehicle

Motorcyclists must follow all traffic laws just as any driver on the roadway, and drivers must treat a motorcycle with the same courtesy and precaution that they’d use for full-sized vehicles on the road. This means:

  • Leaving plenty of following distance so you have ample time to stop. Remember that motorcycles sometimes slow down by downshifting which doesn’t engage brake lights
  • Allowing a motorcycle to fully occupy a lane and never trying to pass them in the same lane
  • Avoiding using your horn unless it’s an emergency
  • Using the same rules for motorcycles that you would for full-sized vehicles at 4-way stops and intersections 
  • Waiting until it’s safe to pass a slower-moving motorcycle just as you would a full-sized vehicle

Check and Double Check Blind Spots

The slim design of a motorcycle makes them more difficult to spot in rearview mirrors in your blind spots. It’s important to check and double-check your rearview mirrors for motorcycles before making a lane change. The safest way to avoid a collision with a motorcycle in a blind spot is to physically look over your shoulder in the direction of the lane change before you leave your lane.

Make Eye Contact and Check for Hand Signals

Whether you’re on a motorcycle or in a car at an intersection, it’s always a good idea to make eye contact before making a move forward or into a turn so that both driver and biker are aware of each other’s presence. It’s also helpful to watch for hand signals. Many bikers use hand signals in addition to their signal lights as an additional safety measure in high-traffic situations.

Second Looks at Left Turns

Many motorcycle accidents occur when a driver is crossing a lane of traffic to make a left turn. Motorcycles don’t always catch a driver’s eye the way a full-sized vehicle would and it’s much more difficult to judge an approaching motorcycle’s speed compared to a car or truck. Pulling out in front of a motorcycle to make a left turn may result in a T-bone accident that’s deadly for the biker, according to our trusted truck accident lawyers in Atlanta

Avoid Driver Distractions

It’s always important to avoid your phone while driving, but even more so when sharing the road with motorcycles whose riders are especially vulnerable in accidents. Besides avoiding texting, scrolling social media, or checking phone notifications, drivers should also avoid other distractions such as fiddling with sound equipment or eating while driving.

When motorists and motorcyclists share the road, sharing rules of common courtesy and carefully adhering to traffic laws can help minimize the risk of accidents and keep motorcyclists safe and drivers safe from liability.

If you have been affected by the devastating event of being hit by a motorcycle, don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated team of Atlanta motorcycle collision lawyers today. 

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