If you are like many American drivers, you may make a habit to move over or avoid driving behind motorcycles whenever possible. Many drivers feel nervous when they see motorcycles on the roadway, not only because they can be tougher than traditional cars to spot, but also because the nature of the bike offers little protection to riders.
While there is only so much you can do as a traditional motorist to avoid motorcyclists who are not driving safely or properly following the rules of the road, there are some steps you can take as a driver to avoid contributing to the problem. These steps include:
Regularly checking your blind spots
They are called "blind spots" for as reason, and just as cars can find their way into them, making it hard to see other vehicles, motorcycles can do the same. Motorcycles are even more likely to make their way into your blind spot due to their size, so take the time to check once and then again before making any lane changes if you cannot clearly see all around your vehicle.
Obeying the "four-second" rule
As a general rule, it is wise to make sure you are traveling at a safe distance behind motorcycles to ensure you have plenty of time to stop if the need arises. It is recommended that you travel about four seconds behind a motorcycle to make sure you have enough time to take action.
Taking note of inclement weather
Riding a motorcycle in a rainstorm is not only not fun, it can also prove quite dangerous. As a motorist, take even more care than is typical if you see motorcycles on the roadway during times of inclement weather. While bad weather increases the risk of an accident for all drivers, it poses even more of a heightened risk for motorcycle riders.
Making eye contact with riders before making turns
Many motorist and motorcycle-involved collisions result from drivers failing to see motorcycles and then attempting to turn toward them. A possible reason for this lies in the fact that, while most cars come equipped with technology that automatically turns off the blinker, most motorcycles lack this feature, and riders may forget to turn it off.
Taking these steps should reduce your risk of involvement in a motorcycle crash, but there is only so much you can do when other drivers and riders do not obey the rules of the road. If you suffered an injury because of a highway collision, consider contacting an attorney.