Millions of people love to ride motorcycles, and there are few activities that give you a greater sense of freedom. In South Carolina, our weather allows for year-round riding, and the Palmetto State hosts numerous motorcycle events throughout the year. While motorcycle riding is fun and exhilarating, it can also be very dangerous.
Motorcycle deaths have been on the rise for the past two decades. In fact, the number of fatalities from motorcycle accidents more than doubled in the 22-year period from 1994 to 2016, going from 2,320 fatalities up to 5,286 fatalities during that period.
There are many factors that are said to be contributing to the rise in motorcycle fatalities. Alcohol, weather, road conditions, and driver and rider negligence all play a role, but the one factor that seems to correlate with the rise in motorcycle accidents during the past couple decades is the increased use of cell phones while behind the wheel.
Distracted driving has always been an issue that contributes to auto accidents. However, texting while driving and similar activities take this danger to a whole new level, because they take the focus of the driver completely off of the road.
Approximately two-thirds of the time, the driver of another vehicle is the one most at-fault for a motorcycle collision. And in and large number of cases, the reason vehicles collide into motorcycles is because the vehicle driver fails to see the motorcycle in their blind spot.
Tips for Avoiding Blind Spot Motorcycle Accidents
All cars and trucks have blind spots, and the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot is. When another vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, or even a pedestrian enters a vehicle’s blind spot, the vehicle driver cannot see whatever is there when they look at their rearview or sideview mirrors. This is the cause of thousands of motor vehicle accidents each year, and it is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents.
Many newer vehicles come equipped with blind spot monitors, and hopefully, this will vastly reduce the number of blind spot accidents in the future. That said, most vehicles do not have these monitors yet. And to avoid blind spot motorcycle accidents, it is important for vehicle drivers and motorcyclists to take extra precautions.
Here are some tips for drivers to help them avoid blind spot motorcycle accidents:
- Properly adjust mirrors: Adjust your rearview mirror so that your rear window is completely framed; and adjust your sideview mirrors so that they are pointed toward your blind spot. This tutorial from Car and Driver provides more detailed instructions and illustrations on how to ensure that your mirrors are adjusted properly.
- Look over your shoulders: Even with your mirrors properly adjusted, you can still miss a motorcycle that enters your blind spot. For this reason, it is always good practice to look over your shoulder to the side you are turning to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
- Use your blinker when changing lanes: Always signal before changing lanes, so motorcyclists and other drivers know your intentions.
- Stay alert: Pay attention to vehicles and motorcycles that may be entering your blind spot. This means avoiding smart phone activity and other distractions when you are driving.
Here are some tips for motorcyclists to avoid danger when driving near other vehicles:
- Stay out of blind spots: Ride behind or in front of the vehicle and avoid riding alongside a vehicle to help ensure you are not in their blind spot for any length of time.
- Practice defensive driving: Stay alert and try to anticipate what the vehicles in front of you and behind you might do. Allow plenty of space between you and other vehicles and avoid distracted driving.
- Pass carefully: When you pass another vehicle, complete the pass as quickly and safely as possible, so you are able to limit the amount of time you spend in their blind spot.
- Stay visible: Wear brightly-colored or fluorescent clothing and keep your headlights on at all times to help other drivers see you.
Injured in a Blind Spot Motorcycle Accident? Contact a Seasoned Auto Accident Lawyer
There are times when you do everything right and still end up in an accident. If you or someone close to you was injured in a motorcycle accident that was the fault of another party, you may have a right to compensation. After you have received medical attention for your injuries, get in touch with a skilled personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.
At Peake & Fowler, we have in-depth experience successfully representing clients injured in motorcycle accidents and all other types of personal injury cases in South Carolina. For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 803-998-2412 or send us a message through our online contact form.