Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately common in the United States. Every year, motorcyclists suffer serious injuries and devastating fatalities in road collisions. Motorist negligence is often the cause of these accidents.
If you are a driver, it is important to know how to safely share the road with motorcycles. While driving, keep the following tips in mind to keep yourself and others safe on Bakersfield streets.
#1: Keep Your Blind Spots in Mind
Many motorcycle accidents occur because drivers do not see motorcyclists. Cars often have blind spots where they cannot see vehicles traveling directly beside them. If a motorcycle is in the blind spot, serious accidents can occur.
When driving, always check your blind spots, especially before merging or changing lanes. This behavior can help you avoid colliding with a motorcycle in your vicinity.
#2: Put Away the Distractions
Drivers can fail to see motorcyclists for many reasons. Certain distractions can remove a motorist’s concentration away from the road, such as electronic devices, music, food, or even other passengers. If a motorist fails to pay attention while driving, he or she could accidentally collide into a motorcycle.
While sharing the road with others, put away the distractions. Concentrate your mind, eyes, and hands on the act of driving at all times. Just a few seconds of distracted driving could lead to a disastrous collision.
#3: Be Careful While Passing
When passing a motorcycle, motorists should be careful. The law requires that drivers pass motorcyclists in the same way that they pass other vehicles. However, speeding past a motorcycle while passing could cause the motorcyclist to lose control of his or her vehicle.
To avoid catching a motorcyclist off guard, always pass at a safe speed and provide enough room to safely maneuver around the motorcyclists. Always make sure to signal your intent to pass by using your turn signal. Before returning to your lane, ensure that you are several spaces ahead of the motorcycle to avoid colliding into him or her.
#4: Provide Enough Room
Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. That means that motorcyclists are allowed to take up their own lane of traffic. Unfortunately, many cars drive too closely to motorcycles and expect them to share lanes.
When driving near a motorcyclist, always provide him or her enough room. Do not tailgate the motorcyclist and do not attempt to drive alongside him or her. Doing so could lead to a dangerous accident.
#5: Avoid the High Beams
At night, it can be tempting to use high beams. However, motorcyclists are very vulnerable during this time—and bright lights could make it even more difficult to safely drive. While driving at night, turn off your high beams and ensure that you keep a safe following distance.
Speak to an Attorney About Your Accident Claim
If you are injured in an accident on Bakersfield roads, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Whether you are a driver or motorcyclist, filing a claim can enable you to recover damages to pay for medical care, lost wages, property repairs, and more.
In these situations, it is important to speak with a Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can guide you through the claims process and advocate for your highest possible award. Contact a lawyer after your accident to identify your optimal path to compensation.