May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a time when safety advocates ask drivers to consider what they can do to help keep motorcycle riders safe. A significant percentage of motorcycle accidents involve other vehicles, and a huge percentage of these come about because a truck or car driver violated the motorcyclist’s right of way.
What to watch for
Motorcycles navigate the road differently than larger passenger vehicles. Motorcycles may need to react quickly to unexpected changes in the roadway, traffic or weather conditions. They need the space to safely navigate. Drivers of passenger vehicles should allow for a greater following distance behind motorcycles to allow them to travel safely. Along those lines, drivers should also never try to share lanes with a motorcycle and should always allow the motorcycle the full width of the lane.
Drivers should also keep on the lookout for motorcycles at all times because they may be more difficult to spot. Drivers should be especially aware of motorcyclists at intersections. Most motorcycle accidents occur because the driver failed to see the motorcycle and turned left in front of the motorcycle. Drivers should always take a second look for motorcycles when changing lanes or entering or exiting the roadway and should always make a visual check for motorcycles.
The number of motorcycle riders on the road typically increases when the weather gets warmer. Car and truck drivers should exercise additional caution when more motorcycles are on the roadways.
All of the above is important because motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable in any traffic accident. Victims of motorcycle accidents can suffer catastrophic injuries even in cases that might be no more than a fender-bender had it involved just two cars of equal sizes. A personal injury claim for damages may be able to help them recover compensation from the negligent driver responsible for the motorcycle accident and the injuries they suffer.