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Law enforcement officers frequently hear one statement on the scene of motorcycle accidents. That statement is made by drivers whose cars have collided with a vulnerable motorcyclist:
“But I did not see that motorcycle coming.”
Despite these being common words after a motorcycle wreck, the responsibility for seeing motorcyclists to prevent an accident still falls on the shoulders of auto drivers. As motorcyclists, it can be difficult to get the attention of drivers, to help them see you before a dangerous incident can occur.
If you are an injured motorcyclist or when you are in an accident that is someone else’s fault, it is important to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages. Having an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer on your side will protect your interests when dealing with insurance companies. A motorcycle accident attorney phoenix will negotiate a positive settlement or stand up against those companies for a beneficial judgment in court.
Why Motorcycle Accidents Happen
Most motorcycle accidents happen because other drivers fail to see the motorcycle, in the first place. This is especially true during rush hour, other times of heavy traffic, or low visibility hours of night. No matter what causes a collision with a motorcycle, it is almost inevitable that the motorcyclist will be injured as a result of that wreck.
10 Ways to Help Other Motorists See You on Your Motorcycle
Although you cannot control other drivers or how they pay attention while operating their vehicles, as a motorcycle rider you can do some things to improve your chances of being seen by those motorists. If you are easier to see on the road, you are less likely to be injured in an accident with another vehicle.
- Wear reflective, high-visibility clothing and gear.
Bright, reflective clothing and gear helps you to stand out on the road, helping drivers to recognize that you are within their line of sight. Wearing dark colors, especially black, makes you blend in with the road, dark conditions of night and other vehicles.
- Use reflective tape on apparel and gear that is black or dark in color.
If you prefer to wear black, as many motorcyclists do, apply reflective tape to your gear and clothing. The more you apply, the better. This tape can be used on your helmet, jacket sleeves, pant cuffs, exposed waistband and just about anywhere else on your clothing, gloves, chaps or helmet.
- Ride a bike that is brightly colored.
Yes, black is the most popular color for motorcycles, by far. But a brightly painted bike is much easier for other motorists to see.
- Install a motorcycle safety light system.
Motorcycle safety light systems can be installed on your bike to make it much more visible. There are several versions of these light systems available on the market today, as an aftermarket addition. Ask your motorcycle dealer or repair shop for their recommendations of locally available lighting systems and installation.
- When slowing to a stop, weave slightly within your lane to alert others to your presence.
A slight, safe weaving action as you are rolling to a stop can help motorists register that you are present. The slight action of this weave is more quickly recognizable as being something other than a four wheeled automobile from both the front and behind. This is particularly true when your headlight is on, so always make sure your headlight is used when out for a ride.
- Use hand turning signals in addition to your bike’s blinker.
When making a turn, do not just use the mechanical turn signals of your motorcycle. Add hand signals learned through driver training to help other vehicles realize you are making a turn.
- Tap your brakes to help others see your brake light.
Like slightly weaving as you stop, tapping your brakes lightly helps others recognize and mentally register that your motorcycle is present. Tapping the brakes activates the brake light in a broken pattern, instead of one steady light. In addition to making you more visible, this careful method of braking can also alert others that they are following you too closely.
- Maintain awareness of your driving position.
When riding your motorcycle, ensure you are not adjacent to other vehicles. You need to stay out of their blind spots, particularly at the side of vehicles. Try to remain in the front view of drivers, not on their periphery. Always be ready to make an adjustment if a vehicle driver starts to encroach on your lane.
- Keep your eyes open for escape lanes.
An escape lane is a lane you can divert into, if another driver does not see you and starts getting too close to your motorcycle. You always need to maintain awareness of these places you can escape into, should a driver not be able to stop behind you in time or if one is taking your lane over because they do not see you at their side.
- Keep plenty of space between you and other vehicles.
You need time to react to obstacles in the road, vehicles ahead of you and other issues that can crop up as you ride your motorcycle. A car can better manage debris, potholes and other hazards on the road, so these can creep up on you too fast if you are following other vehicles too closely. You also need adequate braking space and to be clearly visible to oncoming traffic.
When You Are Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
If you are in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, remember that you first need to seek medical attention for an assessment of your injuries. You should then contact an experienced phoenix personal injury attorney for help and guidance in your personal injury claim. Statutes of limitations in your state may apply.