As a Motorcyclist Concerned About Safety, What Should I Watch Out For?
Motorcyclists who are worried about safety when on their motorcycle, can take certain precautions to help minimize the chances of an accident unfolding. For example, try to limit riding at night and on major freeways, always wear protective gear, practice defensive driving, don’t ride between vehicles, and take riding safety courses. But even the most safety-focused rider may find themselves in a collision because of a careless driver. So, while out riding around it is important to keep an eye out for some of the biggest dangers to motorcyclists.
What is one of the more common ways motorcycle accidents happen?
Motorcycle accidents can easily happen if a car or truck turns onto a street or changes lanes without seeing the motorcyclist. The rider has barely any time to observe the driver and maneuver out of the way. A couple of things a motorcyclist can do to reduce the chances of this happening is by riding with their lights on and slowing down when traveling through an intersection.
You have to make yourself as visible as possible, such as wearing gear that is high-visibility or adding more lighting to your motorcycle. If you slow down at intersections, this can give you enough time to respond if a driver decides to make a turn, cutting you off.
What does it mean to get “doored”?
Being “doored” means that a motorcyclist has been hit by the door of a parked car as a driver or passenger was exiting. Drivers who pull over to park on the side of a street rarely look first before getting out, which means that a motorcyclist who is passing by could clip the car door and be thrown over their handlebars. To help prevent this, it is suggested that a rider avoids riding close to parked cars if they have the option of more than one lane. Or, stay in the middle of the lane to allow extra room in case a door suddenly gets opened.
What are the signs that a driver is drunk?
Due to being vulnerable to serious injury in the event of an accident, motorcyclists must be wary of their surroundings, and that includes car drivers. There may not be much else more dangerous than a driver is under the influence of alcohol while operating a vehicle. A drunk driver is likely to be impaired in decision making, judgement, and reactivity. Additionally, a drunk driver may quickly become aggressive towards other drivers, so it’s best to avoid and report them quickly.
If you notice a driver is doing any of the following, immediately pull over or get out of their way as soon as possible and call 911:
- Swerving slowly or rapidly across lanes
- Braking or accelerating without reason
- Driving much faster or much slower than the speed limit
- Driving on the shoulder of the road
- Making too wide of turns
- Failing to halt at stop signs or street lights
- Tailgating other vehicles
- Almost hitting a vehicle, curb, property, or another object
- Jerky movements