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Joseph H. Downer, Attorney

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Four tips for driving around motorcyclists

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2021 | Firm News

When you are on your daily commute in North Carolina, you may be well aware of other automobiles or large trucks driving next to you. However, it is all-too-easy to be unaware of smaller vehicles, such as motorcycles. This is dangerous, as motorcyclists are incredibly prone to serious injuries or death if they are struck by a car. The following are four tips motorists should follow if they are driving in the presence of a motorcyclist.

1: Understand size disparity

First, motorists should be aware of the sheer size disparity between a standard automobile or SUV and a motorcyclist. Simply put, an automobile can weigh thousands of pounds more than a motorcycle, meaning that if a motorist crashes into a motorcyclist, the motorist has sheer physics on its size, meaning the motorcyclist could be easily injured or even killed. Thus, it is important to be on the lookout for motorcyclists at all times.

2: Check your blind spots

Motorcycles are small vehicles. This means they can easily be driving in a motorist’s blind spots or be hidden by bushes, fences or bridges. Given this, it is especially important that motorists check their blind spots for motorcyclists when they are changing lanes or turning at an intersection.

3: Avoid tailgating

It is essential that motorists keep a safe distance from motorcyclists. A motorcyclist’s brake light may not be activated if the motorcyclist is downshifting or rolling off the throttle. This may make it more difficult to see if a motorcyclist is slowing down. For this reason, motorists should allow a three or four second following distance when driving behind a motorcyclist.

4: Understand lane changing

There are a variety of reasons why motorcyclists have to change lanes. Motorcyclists often must change lanes to avoid road debris, other vehicles or weather conditions such as rain puddles or wind. Motorcyclists who are changing lanes are generally not trying to be reckless or show off. It is important that motorists recognize why a motorcyclist must change lanes while sharing the road.

Learn more about motorcycle accidents in North Carolina

Ultimately, it is up to motorists to practice motorcycle awareness and safe driving habits when sharing the road with motorcyclists. Motorcyclists who are struck by a car can suffer catastrophic injuries or even death. Thus, they may be interested in learning more about their legal rights and options, including whether they can seek compensation for the damages they suffered.