Summer is a dangerous time of year for motorcyclists, and it seems like recently there has been a new tragic story about an Illinois rider being injured or killed every week. Government agencies have estimated that the number of traffic fatalities per mile traveled is about 30 times greater for motorcyclists than it is for the occupants of passenger vehicles, but that doesn’t mean some of motorcycle accidents can’t be prevented. Our lawyers want to take this opportunity to provide you with a few little known facts about motorcycles, which we hope will help keep both drivers and motorcyclists a little safer.
Perception-Because of its small frame, and also because of the fact that many people have their traffic perception calibrated for cars, motorcyclists may look farther away than they actually are. By the same token, it can also be very difficult to estimate the speed of a motorcyclist at a distance. If you are checking traffic to turn at an intersection, or are using your mirrors to merge into another lane, always assume that a motorcycle is closer than you think.
Brake Lights-If you are a motorcyclist or a driver, you can back me up when I say, absolutely no one likes tailgaters. This is especially dangerous for motorcycles because riders often decrease their speed by downshifting, or simply letting off the throttle, and this doesn’t activate their brake light. When riding behind a motorcycle, it is important to be ready to slow down, even in the absence of a visual warning.
Turn Signals-A lot of motorcycles don’t have automatically canceling turn signals. Consequently, a lot of new riders, and even some of the veterans forget to turn them off, confusing drivers. Try your best to determine whether or not a motorcycles turn signal is purposeful. Remember too that when you are driving a car, your turn signals are one of the best ways in which motorcyclists can tell what you are doing.
Maneuverability, Stopping Distance, and Weather-Sometimes drivers overestimate the ability of motorcycles to react the things on the road. It is true that motorcyclists are more maneuverable than cars, and have a shorter stopping distance in good whether, but when conditions are windy, rainy, icy, etc., they are at a serious disadvantage. Never assume that the maneuverability of a motorcycle makes it okay to leave them less space on the road. (RideApart)
These intricacies are things that most people have never been told about motorcycles, things that find no place in advertisements or drivers training courses. Every day our attorneys talk with clients who have been permanently injured, or who have lost loved ones because of a negligent or reckless driver. When you get behind the wheel of your car, or start up your bike, remember that your choices affect everyone around you.