Thousands of Alabamans love to ride their motorcycles, especially as we get into the spring and summer months. There are few activities that are more exhilarating and give you a greater sense of freedom than riding your bike through the gorgeous Alabama countryside. But seasoned bikers know that, as enjoyable as it is to go out for a ride, you need to be constantly mindful of the potential hazards on the roadways.
There are numerous factors that play a role in motorcycle accidents. Weather, road conditions, alcohol, and driver and rider negligence are all potential contributing factors. But one of the major drivers that has led to a rise in these types of accidents in recent years is distracted driving. The growing use of smartphones has resulted in more motorists texting while driving and similar behaviors while behind the wheel.
In the majority of cases (approximately two-thirds), the driver of another vehicle (private or commercial) is the one at fault when they are involved in a crash with a motorcycle. Many times, the crash happens because the driver does not see the motorcycle when it enters its blind spot.
Avoiding Blind Spot Motorcycle Accidents
There are things both drivers of cars and trucks and motorcyclists can do to prevent blind spot accidents from occurring:
For Vehicle Drivers
Motorists need to be extra cautious when driving around motorcycles. As mentioned earlier, motorcyclists have small profiles, and it is easy not to notice when they sneak into your blind spot. Here are some things vehicle drivers need to do to avoid motorcycle blind spot accidents:
- Keep your Mirrors Properly Adjusted: Have your mirrors adjusted in a way that minimizes the size of your blind spot. Your rear window should be completely framed in your rearview mirror so you can see all of it, and your side mirrors should be turned toward your blind spot.
- Always Signal your Intentions: Some motorists have a poor habit of making quick lane changes and turns without signaling. Even if it is last minute, make sure to always signal before moving into another lane or turning in case there is a motorcycle or vehicle that you did not see in your blind spot.
- Look Back before Turning or Changing Lanes: Although you may think you saw everything that might have entered your blind spot, always be sure to manually look over your shoulder toward the direction you are turning before making any turns or lane changes just to be sure.
- Avoid Distractions: Stay off of your phone (other than talking in “hands-free” mode) while driving and avoid other distractions that can take your focus away from the vehicles and motorcycles that might enter your blind spot.
Bikers need to stay ever vigilant, especially in this day and age of distracted driving. Here are some things motorcyclists can do to avoid a blind spot crash:
- Minimize your Time in Other Vehicles’ Blind Spots: Of course, there are times when you need to enter a blind spot to pass another vehicle, but do not ride alongside the vehicle for any length of time.
- Give Other Vehicles Ample Space: Ride defensively and give other vehicles plenty of room to change lanes and make turns. A good rule of thumb is to stay about 20 feet away from vehicles in front of you, so you have plenty of time to react to what they do.
- Be Visible: Keep your headlights on even during the day and wear brightly-colored or fluorescent clothing so other motorists have an easier time seeing you.
Injured in a Blind Spot Motorcycle Accident in Alabama? Contact Burge & Burge Today
By following good driving and riding practices, we can all do our part to reduce blind spot accidents between motorcycles and other vehicles. And many new vehicles are coming equipped with blind-spot monitors that will also help accomplish this objective. There are times, however, when you follow all the best practices and still end up in an accident. When this occurs, you need strong legal counsel in your corner advocating forcefully for your rights and interests.
If you or someone close to you was injured in a motorcycle accident in Birmingham or anywhere in Alabama, call Burge & Burge today at 205-251-9000 or message us online for a free, no-obligation consultation and case assessment.