by Tim O’Hare
Cooler fall weather is approaching, and that means you may see more motorcyclists out on Texas roadways. Did you know motorcyclists are more likely to die in a crash than drivers or passengers of a car or truck?
Ninety-eight percent of motorcycle riders who are involved in accidents are injured. In 2010, the federal government estimated that the number of fatalities in motorcycle accidents was about 30 percent higher than the number of fatalities in car crashes.
Motorcyclists must do their part to stay safe by riding smart, riding sober, and always wearing a helmet, but keeping motorcyclists safe on the roads is also the responsibility of all drivers. No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, it is your responsibility to share the road with motorcyclists and other motorists and take certain precautions to avoid an accident that could otherwise be prevented.
Do your part to keep all drivers safe with these tips:
- Check twice for traffic when changing lanes or turning at intersections. The profile of a motorcycle is much smaller than that of a car or truck. A motorcycle’s small size can not only make it more easily hidden from the sight of a vehicle driver, but it can also make it appear further away than it is. The smaller size of motorcycles can also make it difficult for other motorists to judge how fast a motorcycle is traveling.
- Don’t follow motorcyclists at close distances. Some motorcyclists slow their speed by downshifting rather than breaking. Motorists should allow at least 3 to 4 seconds following distance, and predict when a motorcyclist in front of them may slow down. When roads are wet, motorcycles can have a difficult time stopping quickly, and should be allowed more space from other motorists.
- Be aware that a motorcyclist may often change positions in a lane. Motorcycles do not respond to road hazards, such as debris and potholes as well as other vehicles might. Because of this, a motorcyclist might often be seen changing his or her position within a lane, to avoid potential hazards. Motorcyclists may also change positions in a lane to be seen more easily by other drivers.
When we put down distractions and keep ourselves aware of our surroundings and of others who are on the roads with us, Texas roads will be safer for all drivers. If you would like more information on sharing the road with motorcyclists, read this list of tips from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a family member in a motorcycle accident, contact the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, the Dallas personal injury attorney who has been riding motorcycles for most of his adult life. Hiring a lawyer who also rides to handle your motorcycle case is the right choice.
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