Motorists that drive distracted do not just put other motorists at risk, they also put the safety and lives of motorcycle riders at risk too. Distracted driving is a significant concern to motorcyclists, especially because they have more at stake than a driver protected by a vehicle. Riders are focused on one thing: riding – just like drivers should only be focused on driving.
Motorcycle riders are extremely vulnerable in an accident situation. In an accident, a motorcycle rider faces greater harm and a dramatic increase in the risk for fatality. According to the United States Department of Transportation’s website:
- 16 percent of fatalities in 2009 involved distracted drivers
- The number of fatalities reported that were associated with distracted driving increased from 10 percent in 2005 up to 16 percent in 2009
- In 2009, 20 percent of injuries were due to a distracted driver
The increasing numbers of distracted drivers that are causing serious injuries or deaths is cause for concern. Not only are law makers working hard to combat these issues, but influential media members and even actors are working hard to highlight the risks of distracted driving. In 2010, Distracted Driving Awareness Month was created by U.S. Representative Betsy Markey as a resolution for bringing more awareness to drivers across the country – but most of these awareness campaigns lack information regarding motorcycle riders and their passengers.
Things to Know About Motorcycles and Their Riders
Motorists and truck drivers need to be aware of motorcycles on the road with them – whether they are distracted or not. Just some things to consider include:
- There are more cars and trucks on the road than motorcycles; therefore, drivers often don’t look for them or they ignore their presence unintentionally. Drivers must look for motorcycles, especially when merging into traffic or making sudden turns.
- Riders may appear further away than they really are and it can be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed; therefore, cars and trucks should always assume the bike is closer than it actually appears.
- Motorcycles easily hide in a driver’s blind spot; therefore, drivers must check lanes thoroughly before entering into them.
- A motorcycle can slow down by downshifting or rolling off their throttle – without using brakes. Therefore, drivers should never follow a motorcycle too closely.
- Motorcycles can easily swerve out of danger on the road, but only if they are given ample room to do so. Drivers should always provide motorcycles next to them enough space so that they can maneuver and avoid deadly accidents.
- Motorcycles need adequate stopping distance – just like passenger vehicles. Avoid applying brakes suddenly especially when another vehicle or motorcycle is behind you.
- Turn signals on motorcycles do not always self-cancel like they do on vehicles. So, if a rider has their signal on and forgets to turn it off, keep an eye on the rider’s behavior and make sure they are turning or not turning before you pull out in front of them.
Injured in an Accident on a Motorcycle?
If a distracted driver injured you while you were riding your motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. Contact Horn Law today to schedule a free consultation at 816-795-7500 or contact us online with your legal concerns.