North Carolina Motorcycle Safety
Statistically, motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur at intersections than anywhere else. In 2005, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that over half of all accidents reported involving a motorcycle occurred at an intersection.
The motorcycle accident attorneys in Raleigh with Owens & Miller find that motorcycle accidents at intersections are due to a number of reasons. First, there tends to be poor visibility at intersections. As always when riding your motorcycle, you should try and make yourself as visible as possible to other drivers. Ensure your gear is reflective with stickers or patches on your sleeves, boots, and the front and back of your helmet. Ensure headlights and brake lights work properly, and consider getting aftermarket lights like LEDs for better visibility at night.
Another reason for a higher risk of accidents at intersections revolves around left turns. The Insurance Institute for High Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute analyzed data involving fatal motorcycle crashes in 2009 that involved two vehicles. The majority of the data showed that 42% of the accidents reported involved a vehicle attempting to turn left in front of a motorcyclist.
Defensive driving is key for motorcyclists. You should always expect to not be seen, and act accordingly. As when you are in a car, keep your eyes open for those that might try to run a red light, cut you off, or attempt any other illegal maneuvers. Maintain a safe speed and always be alert. Stay out of vehicles’ blind spots. Use your horn if necessary to make yourself known to other drivers. In heavy traffic, you can also employ directional hand motions that cyclists use in addition to your signals, to give those around you an even more prominent way to identify your intended direction.
Motorcycle accidents are not always vehicle-vehicle. Motorcycle riders must also be sensitive to pedestrians. Some pedestrians can be under the misconception that it’s safer to attempt to cross when a motorcycle is traveling, rather than a car, because of the smaller size of the vehicle. This false sense of security is not only untrue, it’s extremely dangerous for the pedestrian and others on the road.
You can’t control the actions of other drivers, but there are ways that you can significantly lower your risk while on the road. Be aware and get the right motorcycle safety gear.
If you are a responsible rider, but were injured as the result of another person’s negligence, contact our motorcycle accident attorneys to review your case. Our consultations are complimentary. Our North Carolina accident attorney Kimberly Miller completed motorcycle safety courses. She presented at other safety programs and discussed legal issues of North Carolina’s Good Samaritan Laws affecting motorcyclists.