What All Drivers Need to Know About Motorcycle Safety
Though motorcycles comprise just 3 percent of all registered vehicles on the road in the United States, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2020. Being involved in a motorcycle accident can be devastating. The injuries are often severe, if not deadly. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, you’ll want an experienced South Carolina motorcycle attorney on your side.
At Yarborough Applegate, we have seen firsthand just how tragic a motorcycle accident can be. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys have stood by many victims and their families, helping them navigate the aftermath of the wreck and fighting to secure the compensation they deserve. This Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, we want to spread the word about how drivers can play their part in preventing motorcycle accidents.
WHY ARE MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS SO DANGEROUS?
More than 80 percent of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is due to several factors. In the case of a collision, a driver or passenger of a car is often protected by various vehicle features (seatbelts, airbags, a roof to shield from debris). A motorcycle, by contrast, lacks these occupant protections. Upon impact, motorcyclists are commonly ejected from their vehicle and might forcibly strike objects in their path before hitting the ground. When this happens, a rider could suffer a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, lower extremity injuries, internal injuries, bone fractures, road rash, degloving, and more.
ABOUT MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH
As the weather warms up and we enter the height of summer travel, it’s important for all drivers to be vigilant about safely sharing the road with motorcycles. To promote safe driving and riding practices and reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on the roadways, The National Safety Council designated the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
MOTORCYCLE SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVERS
- Check your blind spots. Nearly 40 percent of the space around your vehicle consists of blind spots. Given its narrow profile, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in one. Check (and check again) before changing lanes or turning.
- Pretend a motorcycle is closer than it looks. Many motorcycle accidents involve a driver failing to yield and turning directly in front of a motorcycle, violating the motorcyclist’s right of way. Look twice before turning—the speed of a motorcycle can be deceiving to a motorist who is not paying close attention.
- Always use a turn signal. Of course, using a turn signal is always important when changing lanes or merging. But it’s a critical signal for a motorcyclist who might be near your car or in your blindspot.
- Give motorcycles the full width of a lane. Though motorcycles are more narrow than other vehicles, it’s never okay to attempt to share a lane with one. Motorcyclists need the full lane if they need to swerve to avoid debris or a pothole in the road.
- Keep a safe distance. Sometimes it’s difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed, and motorcyclists often slow by rolling off the throttle or downshifting, thus not activating the brake light. Allow for extra distance when you are traveling behind a motorcyclist, about 3 to 4 seconds.
HIRING A SOUTH CAROLINA MOTORCYCLE ATTORNEY
In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, it’s important you reach out to an experienced motorcycle attorney like Yarborough Applegate. Following a crash, we will work quickly to understand your gase, gather evidence, and collect testimony from witnesses. Contact our team today—your consultation is always free.