The onset of summer weather means more motorcyclists on the road. You’ve probably seen the bumper stickers that remind you to “Share the Road” with motorcycles, but what does that mean?
Let’s examine how you can remain alert and safe while helping motorcyclists stay out of harm’s way.
Quick Facts About Motorcycle Accidents
People commonly think of motorcyclists as risk takers and aggressive drivers. In reality, the majority of motorcyclists are more careful than car drivers because they realize that their risk of dying in an accident is much greater than that of a car driver (27 times more likely, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). However, alcohol does tend to play a big role in motorcycle crashes, with 43 percent of single vehicle motorcycle deaths occurring due to alcohol impairment.
Left-Hand Turn Accidents and Motorcycles
Cars attempting to make left-hand turns pose particular threats to motorcyclists. Left-hand turn accidents account for 42 percent of car-on-motorcycle collisions and typically result from the car attempting to turn hitting a motorcycle that is either traveling straight through an intersection, passing the car, or attempting to overtake the car. Collisions while turning left occur between two cars as well, but they are especially common in motorcycle accidents because motorcycles are smaller and less visible to the turning vehicle—and more vulnerable to injuries when accidents take place.
Because Georgia law dictates that left-turning drivers must yield to oncoming traffic—which has the right of way—and exercise caution when changing lanes, the driver of the vehicle that hits a motorcycle when making a left-hand turn may face liability for the injuries that result. However, motorcyclists who speed, run red lights, or travel in the wrong lane can also contribute to fault for the accident.
What You Can Do to Make Roads Safer for Motorcycles
No matter what type of vehicle you drive, remain alert and aware of your surroundings. Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than cars and trucks, so give them plenty of space and don’t let them take you by surprise. Remember, too, that it takes less time and distance for a bike to stop than a car, so always maintain a safe following distance.
Remember, when passing a motorcycle on the highway, that the airflow from your car can easily knock the motorcyclist off balance. Pass motorcycles slowly and don’t forget to signal. Check and double check your blind spots and get a few car lengths in front of a motorcycle before returning to your original lane. Take extra care at intersections, especially when turning left. Respect that inclement weather like rain, snow, and ice can make motorcyclists even less visible and prone to accidents.
Share the Road: Not Just a Slogan
There’s no such thing as a fender bender for a motorcycle. “Minor accidents” often have devastating consequences for bikers. That’s why “Share the Road” bumper stickers don’t just decorate cars—they serve as important reminders that it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep the roads safe for motorcycles, from riders to drivers to passengers.
By staying alert and respecting all other drivers, no matter what vehicle they drive, you’ll make the road a safer place for everyone.
Contact an Experienced Duluth Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Case of an Injury
Motorcycle accidents can cause significant trauma, resulting in medical bills and lifelong injuries. If you were involved in a motorcycle crash, get the legal assistance you need. Braun’s Law, PC, helps injured motorcyclists and their families understand their legal rights and potentially recover damages. Contact us online or call us at (404) 418-8244 to speak with someone today.