Motorcyclists have to be on alert every time they get on their bikes, even for the shortest trip. Why? Too many drivers neglect to see or pay attention to them, sometimes, assuming that the roads are merely meant for their cars, pickups and SUVs.
As a result of such actions, these drivers often make mistakes that can lead to serious, debilitating and fatal injuries to a motorcyclist and his or her passengers. If this group only paid better attention.
Left turn, changing lanes and crash from behind
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), New Mexico accounted for 46 of the nation’s 5,579 motorcycle-related fatalities in 2020. Some of these crashes likely were due to mistakes made by a driver.
There are at least three common mistakes made by drivers that threaten the lives of motorcyclists. They include:
- Making a left turn in front of a motorcyclist: In this situation, the driver may be distracted by a cellphone, failed to see the motorcyclist, or misjudged the speed of the motorcycle and the distance between their vehicles. Of the more than 2,700 fatal crashes in 2020 that involved a motorcycle and another vehicle, 42% of these collisions occurred when the other vehicle turned left in front of the motorcycle, according to the NHTSA. In these instances, the motorcyclist was either traveling straight, passing or overtaking the other vehicle.
- Changing lanes in front of the motorcyclist: Swerving into the path of the motorcyclist is a mistake that may happen due to the driver not checking his or her blind spots. Also, these drivers may be distracted or suddenly change lanes without using their turn signals. Motorcyclists must remain alert to the driver’s blind spots and stay out of them.
- Hitting a motorcycle from behind: Stopping at a stop sign, traffic light or crosswalk could lead to serious injuries to a motorcyclist. Why? Because the driver behind him or her may crash at a high rate of speed into the motorcycle. In most motor vehicle accidents, this is a “fender-bender.” However, for a motorcyclist, such an accident may prove fatal.
A motorcyclist can take every precaution necessary to try to ensure a safe trip on residential streets and highways. However, a single mistake made by an inattentive, distracted or reckless driver can lead to drastic consequences.
Anticipate driver mistakes
On any ride or trip, motorcyclists must rely on the extra sense of anticipation. That is, they must anticipate the actions and mistakes of other drivers. Doing so, just may help you avoid a serious crash.