According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, there are over 857,000 motorcycles are registered in the State of California — more than double the next closest state’s count.
Each day throughout the San Fernando Valley, motorists share the roads with motorcyclists without giving it a second thought. After all, they have the same rights as passenger vehicle drivers and should be treated with the same respect as a much larger vehicle.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists represent only 3% of the registered motor vehicles throughout the country. Yet they account for 14% of all traffic-related fatalities — totaling nearly 5,000 deaths throughout the U.S. last year alone.
At Binder & Associates, our Encino motorcycle accident attorneys take pride in doing our part to help keep our riding community safe and have compiled a list of five important safety tips for drivers to do just that.
Driver Safety Tip One: Stay in Your Lane.
Never attempt to share a lane with a motorcyclist. Riders have the same rights to the road as much larger vehicles and should be afforded their own lane while riding to ensure their safety.
Driver Safety Tip Two: Do Not Tailgate a Motorcyclist.
Car, SUV, and truck drivers should never tailgate vehicles their same size, nor should they tailgate a motorcycle. A vehicle is heavier and harder to stop, especially in adverse weather conditions like fog or rain, and can easily rear-end a motorcyclist when traveling too close. Always keep a safe distance, for everyone’s safety.
Driver Safety Tip Three: Always Use Your Turn Signal.
Another safety tip that should always apply to all motorists: Use your turn signal. This simple application allows motorcyclists to slow down when traveling behind you or to gauge the traffic flow and safely adjust their position.
Driver Safety Tip Four: Be Mindful of Your Blind Spots.
Motorcycles are smaller, more agile, and harder to see than a larger passenger vehicle. Check your blind spots — around the perimeter of your vehicle — to ensure you can see all vehicles nearby before merging or changing lanes.
Driver Safety Tip Five: Be Careful When Making Left Turns.
Vehicles making left turns in front of motorcycles are one of the leading causes of car/bike crashes. Drivers often underestimate the approaching speed of a motorcyclist, which can lead to a serious collision. Be patient when making left turns and allow the motorcyclist to pass before proceeding.
Encino Motorcycle Accidents Cause Severe Injuries to Riders
When it comes to motorcycle collisions, minor accidents are rare occurrences.
These accidents are much more likely to cause serious injuries, including brain injuries that can disable the rider for the rest of their lives.
More frequently, these accidents are fatal. The NHTSA states motorcycle crashes are 27 times more like to end in a fatality when compared to their vehicle occupant counterparts. Motorcycle accident injuries and wrongful death cases leave families devastated, and account for nearly $13 billion in economic costs each year in injuries and fatalities.
As motorists, it is our responsibility to protect motorcyclists and keep the roads safe for everyone.
Have You Been Hurt in a San Fernando Valley Motorcycle Accident?
If you have been injured in a San Fernando Valley motorcycle accident, or have tragically lost a loved one in a crash, contact our Encino personal injury lawyers at (818) 659-8588 to schedule a free consultation today. We can help you determine who is responsible for your injuries or loss and design a strategic approach to pursuing the financial recovery you deserve.