As a motorcyclist, one of your biggest safety challenges is making sure that drivers see you. The most serious motorcycle crashes involve cars and even larger vehicles. In fact. the most common cause of motorcycle accidents is drivers who turn in front motorcyclists at intersections.
Often, this happens because a driver is only looking for cars when checking to make sure the intersection is clear before entering it. Sometimes, the cyclist is in their blind spot. Other times, they may be distracted. That’s why cyclists need to be particularly cautious when there are gaps in traffic before proceeding — even if they have the right of way — and be prepared to take evasive action at a moment’s notice. If you see a car waiting at an intersection, look at the way that their wheels are pointing. Even if they don’t have their turn signal on, they may be planning to turn.
Another common type of crash also involves drivers not looking for — or at least not seeing — motorcyclists. Cars will sometimes change lanes and hit a motorcyclist that’s in the lane.
Again, motorcyclists can help prevent this by watching the vehicles around them, particularly if they’re on a busy highway where everyone’s trying to get in to the lane that’s moving the fastest. If you see a driver who appears to be anticipating a lane change, whether they’re signaling or not, stay out of their way.
A type of collision you definitely want to avoid is being hit from behind by a vehicle. Rear-end collisions are often just “fender-benders” for drivers. For motorcyclists, however, they can be fatal. It’s essential to be aware of traffic behind you, especially if you’re coming to a stop sign or light. Be prepared to move out of the way quickly if you see that the driver behind you isn’t slowing down or is hitting the brakes too late.
While cyclists have to be conscientious about drivers with whom they share the road, that doesn’t absolve drivers of responsibility when they behave negligently or recklessly. If you or a loved one was injured on a motorcycle by an at-fault driver, it’s essential to seek the compensation you need for medical costs and other expenses.