Many accidents are caused when other motorists do not observe motorcyclists due to their smaller size and more narrow profile. If a motorist does not see you and collides with your bike, you may suffer serious injuries that require extensive medical care and years of rehabilitation.
If you were injured in a blind spot accident, the law firm of Schmidt Kramer can help. We can investigate your case and determine if the other driver was negligent by not keeping a proper lookout. Our compassionate Harrisburg motorcycle accident lawyers are committed to your safety and have prepared these motorcycle safety tips below to help you stay safe while enjoying the open road.
Identify Blind Spots
The first step in minimizing blind-spot accidents is to identify blind spots. These are locations where another driver cannot see you in their mirror.
Although drivers are taught to look over their shoulder to check a blind spot, they often do not do this and instead they rely exclusively on mirrors. This increases the chances of hitting motorcyclists or other vehicles in these blind spots.
Blind spots are in different locations depending on the type of vehicle:
The exact locations of a vehicle’s blind spots depend on the size of the vehicle and the number of mirrors equipped.
Blind spots for passenger vehicles include:
- The areas directly next to a car
- The area in adjacent lanes near the back of a car
If you cannot see the driver’s face in his or her side-view mirrors, he or she cannot see you. Move out of this blind spot as quickly as possible to avoid a blind-spot accident.
Blind spots for larger trucks are much wider, up to approximately 200 feet behind the vehicle. The blind spot on the right side is nearly twice as long as the equivalent blind spot on the left of the truck. If you must pass a truck, do so on the left side.
In addition to side blind spots, the areas immediately in front and back of the truck may also be blind spots. This is why motorcyclists should try to avoid traveling directly in front of or behind a truck.
If you are traveling behind the truck, you will not be able to see around the truck to know if it is about to slow down. This could increase your risk of rear-ending the truck if it suddenly stops. These types of accidents are often fatal because motorcyclists can slide under the rear of the truck.
The area 10 to 20 feet in front of the truck can be hazardous for motorcyclists as well. Trucks can take longer to stop, so if you have to stop suddenly, you could be rear-ended by the truck.
Truck drivers may have more blind spots when they turn. Mirrors are fixed and may only show one side of the truck and a wider view of the other side, which creates a larger blind spot while turning. This is why you should try not to get too close to a large truck when it is turning.
Do Not Travel Beside Another Vehicle
The areas immediately next to another vehicle are often blind spots. Motorcyclists should avoid being in these areas.
It is usually better to stay ahead of a vehicle or well behind it, so drivers can easily see you in front or behind them. This holds true even if you are in another lane. Be especially careful about avoiding blind spots when you are changing lanes.
Tap Your Brakes
When slowing down, tap your brakes. This maneuver can help capture another driver’s attention.
Creating a visual effect like tapping your brakes, moving your arms or even slightly swaying your bike within the lane can make it easier for other drivers to notice you. This can be especially helpful on long freeways where drivers may not look around frequently enough.
Check Your Own Blind Spots
Always remember to check your own blind spots around your bike, particularly when changing lanes. If necessary, install additional mirrors on your bike.
Use Turn Signals
When turning, always use your signals. You may use electronic signals in addition to hand signals.
Using both electronic and hand signals can help other drivers to be aware of your intentions. The other drivers will then know to slow down or move away from you, allowing you enough room to maneuver safely.
Many blind spot accidents occur simply because other motorists do not see motorcyclists. Other motorists do not expect motorcyclists.
You can increase your visibility by doing the following:
- Installing reflectors on your bike
- Wearing a brightly colored jacket
- Riding a brightly colored bike
- Wearing bright or reflective clothing and safety gear
- Using high beams when necessary
- Using your horn to alert others to your presence
Be Prepared for Evasive Actions
Always be prepared to take evasive action when necessary. Keep your eyes on the road in front of you to look for potential dangers. You should always be prepared to move quickly and safely out of the way of danger.
Contact an Attorney if You Are Injured
Despite how safe you try to be on the road, you may still wind up being injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a motorist who did not look out for possible hazards. The personal injury attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have represented many bikers injured in blind-spot accidents.
We can help investigate your claim to show how the other motorist was negligent, and we can help you pursue the compensation you need after sustaining serious injuries in an accident. We provide a free consultation so you can assess your legal options.