Monroe and Ouachita Parish residents who ride motorcycles are vulnerable to a myriad of potentially life-threatening injuries. Even under the best possible circumstances, they can be difficult to see, and normal debris in the roadway creates particularly hazardous conditions for them.
Add distracted drivers to the list of perils and you have a recipe for disaster. Distracted driving is an issue for everyone on the road – but for bikers, the chances of a distracted driver seeing a motorcycle is less than the chance of them seeing a car or truck, simply because of the size differential.
As a recent article from the Wisconsin Journal noted, more than 40 percent of motorcycle accidents involve a distracted driver, so bikers must be more aware, and they must find ways to drive defensively.
Distractions harmful to bikers
Relaxing rides are a common theme for people who ride motorcycles – bikers often mention taking in the beautiful Louisiana scenery as the reason they originally purchased their motorcycle. Sometimes bikers can be distracted by the view, but far more often, it is the driver of the car or truck that fails to see the biker.
Common distractions that cause car and truck drivers to strike motorcycles include:
- Conversing with passengers
- Talking or texting on cell phone
- Applying make-up
- Checking rearview mirror or side mirrors
Playing defense: what to look for
Experienced bikers know that spotting a distracted driver can be the difference between life and death.
- Accelerating past the distracted driver or slowing down so that you can keep an eye on their erratic driving helps avoid crashes that can cause catastrophic injuries.
- Bikers should watch for car and truck drivers who speed up and slow down often, without cause. This is a clear sign of distracted driving.
- Drivers who change lanes to pass other drivers but fail to use turn signals are often distracted.
Drivers who do not seem to be aware of their surroundings, for example, they sit at green lights, or plow thorough a yellow warning light. These drivers can be on their phones, talking or texting, changing radio stations or simply spacing out.
If you are involved in a crash
If you or a loved one are involved in a crash while riding a motorcycle – even if it is a seemingly minor accident – please pay close attention to how you feel, both at the scene of the accident and hours after.
Campbell, House, & Cummins has a team of qualified personal injury lawyers with experience in a wide range of legal areas. They have the skill and the legal knowledge to help you fight for your rights. They stand beside you every step of the way – to help you get the positive results you deserve. Call 318- 855-0285 to schedule a free case evaluation.
Tailgating, blind spots, lane wandering and right-of-way issues – these just a few of the problems that motorcycle riders face every time they take to the roads.
Oftentimes, bikers can mitigate some of the crash risks by traveling together and looking out for each other.
Whether traveling together or alone, these are a few tips for motorcycle safety:
- Always wear a helmet – never ride a motorcycle without a helmet
- Always use hand signals, in addition to blinkers when changing lanes
- Use your headlight to signal other drivers, a flickering headlight might catch the attention of a distracted driver
- Constantly observe and evaluate the abilities of your fellow drivers, the best defense is awareness and a good offense
Under the best of circumstances – even following all of our tips – accidents will happen. Distracted driving is rampant and poses particular harm to motorcycle riders, simply because they do not have the protection of a ton of metal around them.
Motorcyclists face a higher risk of fatality or catastrophic injury from a crash with a car or truck than any other accident victim – except for pedestrians. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a distracted driver, please contact personal injury lawyer Wade L. House at Campbell, House & Cummins. Call 318-855-0285 to arrange your free consultation.
Campbell, House, & Cummins
1815 Roselawn Ave
Monroe, LA 71201