Motorcyclists have always faced increased risk from drivers who simply are not looking out for riders on the road. Motorcycles are smaller than vehicles and when drivers are turning or changing lanes, they may simply not be looking out for a vehicle that defies expectations and routine. Recently, however, motorcyclists have had to contend with another serious hazard—distracted drivers. According to Rider Magazine, more drivers are simply not aware that traffic may be stopped ahead. This can be more likely to occur if a driver is talking on his or her cell phone, or worse—is texting and driving.
So, what can riders do to protect themselves? According to Rider Magazine, wearing bright, high-visibility clothing can make it more likely that you’ll be seen. Brake light flashers can also help visibility. Changing your own behavior behind the wheel can also keep you safe. Stopping slowly rather than quickly can give a driver behind you more time to react. By slowing down, you also spend less time stopped. When you are stopped at a light, you should always be ready to move. Keep your bike in gear, your hands ready to steer, and your eyes on the mirror. Finally, give yourself space to escape if a car doesn’t seem to be stopping. If a car isn’t slowing down, you can always react.
Another practice that has created some controversy is lane splitting. California just recently declared lane splitting legal and provided guidelines for when it is appropriate to lane split. According to KEYT News, some bikers claim that by sharing lanes in stopped traffic, they are better able to protect themselves from being rear ended by distracted drivers. This seems like good common sense, especially if traffic is heavy. Yet, many states explicitly say that lane splitting is illegal, or don’t offer clear provisions on what is and isn’t permitted. However, lane splitting carries with it its own set of risks, including some riders who claim that it has led to instances of road rage. Some drivers are not happy when a motorcycle passes them in traffic by using their own lane.
Of course, road rage, distracted driving, and unsafe driving in general is against the law. If you have been hurt due to another driver’s negligence or error, you may be able to seek a recovery for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Visit www.Goodrichpc.com to learn more about your rights.
The laws in each state can vary for motorcycle riders. Many riders drive across the country on touring adventures, which makes it more likely that some riders will be in an accident in a state where the laws may be unfamiliar. If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, it is important to understand that you have rights under the law. However, you may only have a limited amount of time to seek a recovery for any damages you have suffered. Goodrich and Associates, P.C are injury lawyers who may be able to help you.

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