Ways to Prevent Blind Spot Motorcycle Accidents
Motorists, motorcyclists, and even pedestrians can all do their part to prevent collisions. Here are 10 ways to prevent blind spot motorcycle accidents while on the road.
Know Where Your Blind Spots Are
Every vehicle has its blind spots. Usually, they are the spaces behind a driver they cannot see in their rearview mirrors. The exact location of your blind spots will depend on your vehicle size and type. Familiarize yourself with your blind spots before you go out on the road.
Avoid Driving in Other Motorists’ Blind Spots
You can reduce the odds of being in a blind spot motorcycle accident by spending as little time as possible in other people’s blind spots as you can. This means minimizing your time behind, to the back right, and the back left of other vehicles.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Of the 10 ways to prevent blind spot motorcycle accidents, this may be the most obvious and the most important. Staying alert can keep you from making careless mistakes—and protect you from other people’s carelessness.
You should always focus on the road and the people and vehicles around you as you drive. This means avoiding distractions (e.g., cell phones) when you are behind the wheel so you can pay attention to:
- Other people’s movements
- The locations of other people and vehicles
- Sudden hazards (e.g., debris) in the roadway
Make Yourself Visible
If you are a motorcyclist, you want to make sure everyone on the road knows you are there. You can do this by:
- Installing reflectors on your bike
- Wearing a brightly colored motorcycle helmet
- Wearing brightly colored protective clothes
Drive at a Safe Speed
Speed limits exist to protect everyone. If you drive at a reasonable rate of speed, you have more time to notice and react to potential hazards, such as a slowing vehicle or a slick spot on the roadway.
If visibility is low—for example, if it is very foggy—you should drive even slower than the speed limit mandates. You might need that extra time to avoid hazards that are hard to see in bad weather.
Always Drive Sober
Whether you drive a car or ride a motorcycle, avoid any substance that could impair your ability to stay alert and check your blind spots regularly. Such substances include:
- Recreational drugs
- Prescription drugs
If you are starting a new prescription drug, do not drive until you know for sure how the drug will affect you.
Check Your Vehicle’s Condition
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends you do the following before every single motorcycle ride:
- Check the tires.
- Make sure your mirrors are in the right positions.
- Make sure you are not leaking oil or gas (puddles around your vehicle may indicate such a leak).
- Properly secure all cargo.
If you are driving a car, you should perform similar checks. Do not attempt to drive a vehicle that shows any sign of being unsafe except to take it to the mechanic.
Use Caution When Turning
Switch on your turn signal well before you approach the spot where you intend to turn. You should also:
- Check all your mirrors for oncoming traffic before making a turn.
- Physically turn your head to check your blind spots for oncoming traffic.
- Do not attempt to turn until you are sure the way is clear.
Use Caution When Changing Lanes
Just like when you turn, you should use your turn signals and carefully check in all directions before you make a move. When you pass, do so quickly. Do not hesitate halfway through or reduce speed more than necessary because this increases the time you spend performing a potentially risky maneuver.
Give Others Enough Space
If you follow other vehicles too closely called “tailgating” you could spend a lot of time in their blind spots, increasing the likelihood of getting into an accident. In addition, tailgating gives you less time to react if the car makes a sudden, unexpected move, like slamming on the brakes.
It is respectful and safer to give other vehicles room to move. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommends leaving “at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length”—and more if you are driving over 40 miles per hour.
What if a Blind Spot Motorcycle Accident Happens?
No matter how many of these 10 preventative measures you take, you could still end up in a blind spot motorcycle accident. After such a collision, a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney can explain your options and next steps. Generally, Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a) gives you four years to take legal action against the liable party. Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato at (954) 633-8270 today so that we can figure out the best way to secure compensation for you.