May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and, with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation reporting a return of pre-pandemic levels of traffic, the influx of drivers on the road could mean an increased risk for motorcyclists. Additionally, as the weather gets nicer, more motorcyclists will take to the road. So this month, as well as every month, drivers need to be sure to keep an eye out for motorcyclists, and motorcyclists need to be aware of safe riding practices.
Why Is It Important for Motorists to Be Aware of Motorcycles?
Because they’re smaller and more maneuverable than cars, motorcycles can sometimes be difficult for drivers, especially ones that are distracted, to spot. Furthermore, unlike a car or truck accident, motorcycle accidents leave the rider especially vulnerable to injuries, as motorcycles lack the structural protection of a car or other vehicle. If a driver hits a motorcyclist with their car, they’re likely to severely injure the rider. The best course of action for drivers to prevent such an event is to keep an eye out for motorcyclists every time they drive, making sure to always check blind spots before merging and allowing more following distance between their vehicle and a motorcycle.
There are also steps motorcyclists can take to ensure their safety as they hit the road this spring. We’ve listed a few below.
5 Ways to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
- Wear bright colors. We know black is the standard color often picked by motorcyclists, but choosing to wear brighter colors will make you more visible to other vehicle drivers.
- Don’t split lanes. Lane splitting, or the act of riding between the individual lanes of a road, is illegal in Georgia. While it may sometimes be tempting to lane split in heavy Atlanta traffic, it is prohibited. Furthermore, lane splitting can lead to accidents because other drivers aren’t always thinking about vehicles traveling between the designated lanes of the road.
- Obey the speed limit. Like operating any motor vehicle, speeding can lead to an increased risk of accidents and injury.
- Be aware of traffic behind you. Motorists should give motorcyclists more following distance on the road, but that doesn’t mean all drivers do. Be aware of the vehicle behind you so if you need to stop suddenly at a crosswalk or for a pedestrian you can have a plan to avoid being rear-ended, too.
- Keep your bike well-maintained. As with any vehicle, regular maintenance is necessary to prevent unexpected breakdowns and accidents. Make sure your motorcycle is in good running condition and all its regularly scheduled maintenance issues have been handled.
What to Do if You’re in a Motorcycle Accident
Unfortunately, even safe motorcyclists can find themselves the victim of an accident. In the event you experience a motorcycle accident, we’ve compiled a checklist of what to do next here. It may also be a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling motorcycle accidents. At The Champion Firm, our Marietta personal injury attorneys ensure that our clients get the most for their motorcycle accident claims, and we’ve won more than $100 million in settlements for our clients to date.
If you or someone you know is in an accident on a motorcycle, contact us for a free consultation. Or, to learn about a past motorcycle accident claim we successfully litigated for a client, check out Brent’s story here.