Any accident that involves a motorcycle can be incredibly dangerous, so it’s important that motorcyclists and other drivers take ample precautions to help keep each other safe. Here are some motorcycle safety tips from motorcycle accident attorney Paul Galm to help all types of drivers safely share the road.
How to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents: Tips for Motorcyclists
The best way to practice motorcycle safety is by riding defensively. Because motorcycles lack the external protection of other types of motor vehicles, it’s important for motorcyclists to be hyper-vigilant of their surroundings. Never assume that a driver sees you. In fact, many accidents occur when a driver violates a rider’s right of way, so be conscious of other car’s blind spots and anticipate their potential moves.
Use (And Turn Off) Turn Signals
Whether you’re a motorcyclist or a driver, it’s vital that you use your turn signal when turning or changing lanes. Because most motorcycle turn signals don’t automatically shut off after a turn, safe motorcycle riding requires motorcyclists to be extra vigilant about making sure their turn signals are only on when they’re preparing to make a turn or change lanes.
Stay on the Left
When you’re riding a motorcycle, you should try to remain toward the left side of the road to increase visibility for drivers who will be looking in their driver side mirror. Visibility is key to motorcycle safety, so you should also be sure to wear reflectors, use your headlights, and take other precautions to make sure you’re seen.
How to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents: Tips for Non-Motorcyclists
Give Enough Space
Motorcycle safety doesn’t just fall on motorcyclists. Other drivers must also practice safe driving. Even though motorcycles don’t take up as much space as other cars, trucks, and vans, you still need to give motorcyclists the whole lane, even if you’re trying to pass them. Because motorcyclists often slow down by downshifting or releasing the throttle rather than hitting their brakes, it’s also wise to give them some extra following and passing distance.
Be Cautious of Turn Signals
Unlike most vehicles, motorcycle signals aren’t self-cancelling, so it can be easy for motorcyclists to forget to manually turn the signal off after turning or changing lanes. Be sure to take the time to decipher whether or not a motorcyclist intends to turn and drive accordingly.
Pay Attention to Blind Spots
It’s a good idea to frequently check your mirrors and blind spots, but it can be incredibly important when sharing the road with motorcycles. Because they are often smaller and harder to spot, taking the extra time to be vigilant could end up saving a life.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Paul Galm Law today for your free consultation. In the meantime, follow our legal blog for helpful information, including what you need to know about motorcycle lane splitting and Oregon helmet law.