May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the risks of being a motorcyclist on the road and encourage safe driving and riding. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle riders continue to be overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes—in 2019 alone, more than 5,000 motorcyclists died, and motorcyclists are about 29 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a car crash.
There are various reasons why motorcyclists are more at risk of getting seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes, a major one being that motorcyclists have fewer safety protections than drivers and passengers of other vehicles. While car occupants are protected by seat belts, airbags, and the exterior of their cars, motorcyclists have little else protecting them besides a helmet. Additionally, car drivers are less likely to acknowledge motorcyclists as having the same rights on the road and are known to give them less space and cut them off as a result.
This Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, our team at Clawson & Clawson, LLP is raising awareness by providing some tips on sharing the road safely with motorcyclists. By keeping these tips in mind, you can avoid a potential accident that results in severe injuries.
Always Check Your Blind Spots
Failing to check one’s blind spots is perhaps one of the top reasons for accidents involving cars and motorcycles. Due to their smaller size, it’s relatively easy for motorcycles to be hidden in the blind spots of other vehicles, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to be struck. It’s a driver’s responsibility to check their blind spots before they merge or change lanes to avoid hitting and injuring a motorcyclist. Don’t forget to check your rear-view and side-view mirrors.
Don’t Forget to Signal
It’s important to signal to others on the road when you’re going to make a turn or change lanes. Signaling sooner when you know there are motorcycles around is helpful because you can avoid accidentally cutting off a motorcyclist and causing a collision or pile-up. If you’re making a left turn, take a moment to look out for approaching motorcycles to prevent a T-bone accident.
Be More Cautious at Night
Night riding can be especially dangerous for motorcyclists. If you see a motorcycle on the road, increase your following distance and make sure your high beams are off to avoid blinding approaching riders. Refrain from passing motorcycles on the road to err on the side of caution.
Stay in Your Own Lane
Motorcyclists have many of the same rights and responsibilities that drivers do in Colorado, including being entitled to full use of a traffic lane. This means that under no circumstances is it okay to ride side by side with a motorcycle in the same lane, no matter how small the motorcycle is or how much room there is. Stay in your own lane at all times and give motorcyclists the space you’d give any other vehicle on the road.
Handling Motorcycle Accident Claims in Colorado Springs
Clawson & Clawson, LLP has more than 100 years of combined experience handling a variety of personal injury claims for individuals in Colorado, including motorcycle accident claims. If you were injured by a negligent driver in a motorcycle crash, you’re likely facing painful injuries and expensive medical bills, among other damages. Our Colorado Springs motorcycle accident lawyers can work closely with you to identify the at-fault party and ensure you’re able to obtain the compensation you need to make a full recovery.
Our firm is proud to fight for the rights of motorcyclists in our state of Colorado. Learn more about our legal options by contacting us online or by phone at (719) 602-5888.