Staying Safe for Motorcyclists and Drivers
Motorcyclists drive with added danger. Their exposure to the road can often have dangerous consequences. According to the New York Department of Transportation, only 2% of registered vehicles in New York City are motorcycles and yet motorcyclists count for 14% of traffic fatalities. How can drivers and cyclists make it safer for motorcycles? Both car and motorcycle drivers can do their part to reduce the risk of driving a motorcycle.
Motorcycle Safety for Motorcyclists
1. Make Yourself Visible
Unfortunately, motorcycles are often overlooked in a sea of larger vehicles. When driving a motorcycle, you should always strive to make yourself visible to all other drivers. Stay out of blind spots and peripheral lines of vision. Assume those driving cars will not check their blind spots and won’t register you in their periphery. Ride in the front line vision of a car. At an intersection, taking a slight weave toward the center line can help make you visible to drivers, especially those oncoming drivers turning left. If possible, watch for drivers’ line of vision at an intersection and be sure you and your bike are in it.
2. Be Aware of Escape Options
While driving a motorcycle, utilize what safety experts call “escape lanes.” Always have an eye for an area that you could quickly maneuver to if the lane you’re currently driving in becomes unsafe. These escape lanes will constantly change with traffic and road conditions. To be safe, be constantly looking for and aware of possible escape options. Additionally, assume any car around you might unexpectedly move into your lane. Give enough space so if that happens, you won’t be hit.
3. Wear Proper Gear
Safety laws require motorcyclists to wear a helmet at all times. Full-face helmets offer the most protection against debris and potential crash hazards. But even in a full-face helmet other parts remain exposed. Protective gloves and jackets should be worn in addition to a helmet. These can prevent dangerous road-burn and debris related injuries.
Motorcycle Safety for Other Drivers
1. Use Extreme Caution at Intersections
Motorcycles often go unnoticed by drivers looking to turn left, resulting in extremely hazardous crashes. When approaching an intersection while driving a car or other large vehicle, checking oncoming traffic and pedestrians is often the first instinct. But drivers should take this a step further. After assessing the intersection for other cars, take a second look for two-wheeled vehicles.
2. Be Aware of Your Blind Spots
Though motorcyclists strive to stay out of blind spots, they still must transit through them to make maneuvers and pass slower cars. As you’re preparing to make any move in traffic, be sure to check your blind spots for any other vehicle, two-wheeled or not. Check your mirrors but also be sure to take a look over your shoulder to check the areas the mirrors don’t reflect.
3. Slow Down
In general while driving a car, you should use your speed as your ally in safety. Leave enough space between you and any other vehicle to account for sudden movements. When creating space between you and a motorcycle, take into account that motorcycles respond quicker than larger vehicles to road conditions. Give yourself plenty of space to make maneuvers in time to keep everyone safe.
A driver’s choice of vehicle shouldn’t mean the choice between life and death. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, let the experts and Deliso Law fight for the justice you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at 718-238-3100.
by Allison Theresa