Many people are quick to note the dangers of driving a motorcycle. Drivers often describe cyclists as reckless and may be ready to blame any accidents on driver error. The truth is not as simple.
Among the biggest dangers to motorcyclists on the road are other drivers. Research suggests that 67% of motorcycle crashes occur when another driver disregards a motorcyclist’s right-of-way. What else can car drivers do to keep motorcyclists safe?
Keep bikers safer with these 7 tips
The critical element of keeping motorcyclists safe is awareness. These 7 tips can help drivers maintain their concentration on the road and keep others safe:
- Put the phone away: According to the NHTSA, drivers of passenger vehicles spend 50% of their time distracted. To minimize distractions, just put the phone in the glovebox.
- Do not drive intoxicated: Driving while under the influence of drinking or drugs slows reaction times and impairs decision-making. Motorcycle drivers are 27 times more likely to die in a vehicle crash; do not leave room for error.
- Ask passengers for help: When driving with passengers, ask them to call out motorcycles as they see them. A driver who knows a bike is there can make safer decisions even if they cannot see them.
- Give motorcycles more: When aware of motorcycles, drivers should provide them more road space and more time to make decisions.
- Check mirrors: Check the position of mirrors before starting the car. Slight adjustments can move an entire motorcycle into a blind spot.
- Open doors slowly: When exiting a vehicle, take care when opening doors, especially if parked on the side of a road. Bikers may not react quickly enough to a door opening into their lane and crash.
- Take intersections slower: 40% of motorcycle accidents occur in traffic-heavy intersections. The high volume of cars blocks visibility and denies motorcycles their right of way.
Victims can reach out to a lawyer
Motorcyclists with questions about liability in a recent accident can contact a local attorney familiar with New Jersey’s motor vehicle laws. A lawyer can assess one’s case, help work with insurance companies or write up settlement agreements.