Motorcycles and Cars: Tips for Sharing the Road – Part 1
Spring is in the air, and that means more people taking to the roads after being stuck inside all winter. It also means car drivers and motorcyclists having to learn how to share the road all over again. It is something we go through every spring here in Rockwall.
A big part of our business here at the Majors Firm involves tragic accidents between cars and motorcycles. Such accidents would not occur in a perfect world, but this world is far from perfect. So we do our best to educate drivers and bikers in hopes of not having to represent them at some point down the road.
This post is the first in a series of two posts dealing with the topic of sharing the road. Part 1 will discuss how car drivers can be better at sharing the road with motorcyclists. Part 2 will address the topic from the opposite side. It is our hope that this information will help our readers be safer on the road this spring and summer.
Motorcycles Are Harder to See
The first thing to establish is that motorcycles are harder to see. Because of their smaller size and more streamlined profile, drivers who normally have no problem seeing cars and trucks can completely miss a motorcycle coming down the road until it is too late.
To that end, our first tip is this: please make a concerted effort whenever you are driving to remind yourself of the fact that you won’t see motorcycles as easily. Be extra diligent in looking out for bikes. In fact, be as diligent about motorcycles as you are children.
Always Look Twice
Hand-in-hand with being diligent is always looking twice. In other words, look both ways before crossing an intersection. Then look again. Look twice when you are making left-hand turns, when you are backing out of parking spots, and when you are merging onto a divided highway. You can never look too many times.
Show Bikers Equal Respect
Our next tip involves the respect car drivers pay to bikers. Please understand that motorcyclists have all the same legal rights and responsibilities as car drivers. They must follow all the same rules of the road. As such, treat motorcycles and their riders in the same way you would treat other cars and their drivers.
For example, don’t tailgate a biker. Don’t stop short either. Give a biker plenty of space when you’re changing lanes or merging. And whatever you do, don’t get baited into racing a motorcycle from either a dead stop or down the center of the freeway. Just let it go.
In the Event of an Accident
The last thing we want to let car drivers know is that motorcycle accidents still happen even when car drivers are extremely respectful and diligent. We understand that. Should you be unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident with a motorcyclist, don’t panic. And please do not leave the scene.
Any accident involving a car and a motorcycle is likely to lead to significant injuries to the biker. Do what you can to render aid until help arrives. At that point, treat the accident like you would any other. Present your license and insurance information, take pictures, and give your insurance company a call. We also recommend calling an attorney, just in case.
The Majors Firm specializes in motorcycle and car accidents. We would be more than happy to discuss your case with you. Should you need legal representation, we can promise that we will do everything in our power to protect your rights under the law.