Sharing Roadways With Automobiles
Other vehicles can be a significant hazard to motorcyclists on the road. Many areas of California experience extreme traffic congestion, increasing the likelihood of driver error causing an accident. If you ride a motorcycle, it is important to understand how you should interact with other vehicles.
Common Vehicle Accidents
Here are some of the most common causes of accidents with automobiles and how to avoid them:
- Head-on collisions. Head-on accidents cause the majority of car-motorcycle fatal accidents. The car is typically the vehicle responsible for causing the accident, and the resulting injuries to the motorcyclist tend to be catastrophic or fatal.
- Cars making left-hand turns. Cars may strike a motorcycle while the motorcycle is on a straight trajectory across the intersection – causing an intersection accident, passing a car, or trying to overtake a car.
- Lane splitting. This practice is legal in California, but requires an extra level of caution while driving. Vehicles may not see you coming up beside them and may swerve into you on accident.
- Opening doors. In crowded areas, someone may open a car door without noticing a motorcycle approaching.
All of these common car-motorcycle accidents occur due to distraction or lack of visibility. While you have no control over another person’s distracted driving habits, you can try to avoid these types of accidents by:
- Always keeping your headlight on. This is required by law in California.
- Using your horn if you have enough time.
- Keeping your distance from cars on the roadway.
- Always looking around for parked cars and drivers who seem to be behaving erratically.
- Wearing bright, reflective clothing amongst other motorcycle safety equipment, allow motorists to see you more likely.
- Riding outside of common blind spots. Remember the rule that if you can see someone’s side mirror, he or she should be able to see you.
Every driver should get into the habit of doing an easy inspection before hopping on the bike. Check your lights, horns, and turn signals as well as the brakes, chain, and belt. Tires should have solid tread and be inflated to the appropriate pressure. Do not perform maintenance on your own unless you have experience with the task. Even minor complications like a slightly under-inflated tire can greatly affect your ability to steer on the roadways. Regularly maintaining and inspecting your bike will protect you and other motorists on the road.
By getting to know the CA State Laws you can better ensure both yours, and your passengers safety. Do not get on a motorcycle if you are distracted or have been drinking. A motorcycle moves where you look, so practice looking where you are going and maintaining your course when you turn your head to check your blind spot. Always practice with a passenger in a safe environment before heading out onto the open road. A passenger will change the feel of your bike, and you must get used to compensating for his or her weight to stay safe.
Practice cornering on mountain roads. This fundamental motorcycle skill requires anticipation, feel, and planning. While a textbook can tell you the rough concept of encountering a corner, experience is the best way to master the skill. Take the time to practice in a safe environment to get a feel for your bike. With a little common sense, practice, and focus, safely operating a motorcycle alongside automobiles will quickly feel like second-nature to you.
Accidents With Automobiles
In the event you cannot avoid an accident, you may suffer injuries and other after-accident complications. If another driver’s careless actions caused your accident, call the experienced attorneys at the BD&J Law Firm for a free consultation. We can help you determine if legal action against the responsible party is the best way to address your situation. Contact us today on 800.820.1111