How to Avoid Blind Spot Motorcycle Accidents
Riding a motorcycle is fun and exhilarating, especially here in Florida where the weather is ideal for riding year-round. It can also be very dangerous, however. Bikers are more vulnerable than other motorists on the roadways, and when they crash with other vehicles, they are much more likely to be seriously injured or killed.
Fatalities due to motorcycle accidents have been on the rise for the past two decades. There are many factors that are contributing to the increase in motorcycle-related deaths. Distracted driving is certainly playing a role. With a growing number of motorists texting while driving and making similarly poor driving decisions, bikers are at greater risk of an accident than in the past. Whether it happens because of distracted driving, alcohol, or other factors, motorcycle crashes occur for one main reason; drivers fail to see bikers when they enter their blind spot.
What is a Blind Spot?
Blind spots are areas around a vehicle that the driver cannot directly see whether looking at their rearview or sideview mirrors. In a larger truck, a blind spot might also be referred to as a “no zone”. 18-wheeler trucks have multiple areas where they cannot see other motorists, and many trucking accidents occur in these no zones. Overall, there are nearly a million blind spot accidents each year on the nation’s roadways.
The important thing to know about blind spots is that all cars and trucks have them, and no matter how many times a driver checks their rearview or sideview mirror, they will not see a motorcycle or another vehicle that has already entered their blind spot. When there is a vehicle, bike, pedestrian, or another object in your blind spot, attempting to turn or change lanes can lead to severe and sometimes deadly consequences.
How to Avoid Blind Spot Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles must take precautions on the road to avoid blind spot accidents.
Drivers must exercise extra care and caution to ensure that they do not crash into another vehicle that has entered their blind spot. Here are some ways for drivers to avoid blind spot accidents:
- Properly Adjust Mirrors: By positioning your mirrors correctly, you can vastly reduce your blind spot. Adjust your rearview mirror so that the rear window is totally framed. Adjust the sideview mirrors so they are pointed toward your blind spot. This guide from Car and Driver provides more detailed instructions.
- Look Back Before Turning or Changing Lanes: Before making any turns or lane changes, always look over your shoulder to the side in which you are turning. If you are still not 100% sure your blind spot is clear, wait until you know for sure before leaving your lane.
- Avoid Distracted Driving: Stay alert and aware of vehicles and motorcycles that enter your blind spot. This means staying off your phone and avoiding other needless distractions.
Bikers need to practice defensive driving, because these days, you cannot count on other vehicles to pay proper attention to you. Here are some things motorcyclists can do to stay free from blind spot crashes:
- Stay out of Other Vehicle’s Blind Spots: The best way to avoid a blind spot accident is to simply stay out of the blind spots of other motorists. Always try to ride behind or in front of a vehicle, and only ride alongside a vehicle long enough to pass them. Also, when you pass a vehicle, do so as quickly as is safe and within the speed limit to do.
- Leave Extra Space Between you and Other Vehicles: When you are out riding, it is always a good idea to leave a buffer zone of maybe 20 feet or so between you and other vehicles. This is not only a good safety practice, it also reduces the number of times you end up in their blind spot.
- Dress for Safety: Wear florescent or brightly-colored clothes so you can get the attention of other motorists when you are nearby. Along these same lines, keep your headlights on even when it is a clear and sunny day.
Speak with a Skilled Pensacola Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
If you employ best safety practices on the road and still end up in a blind spot accident, it is important to understand your rights and options. If you or a loved one suffered serious injury or death in a motorcycle accident, contact the seasoned personal injury attorneys at Whibbs Stone & Barnett for legal guidance. We have over 60 years of combined experience, and we have helped countless Floridians obtain full compensation after being injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident. Call us today at 1-888-219-4561 for a free consultation or fill out our web contact form for a free case evaluation.