In the first part of our 2 part series on defensive driving techniques for motorcyclists, we went over the things you should do before you take your bike out on the road. Now, we will discuss on-the-road defensive driving techniques that will help avoid an automobile accident while on the road.
While riding a motorcycle, the core principles of defensive driving found here still apply, but the techniques we will be discussing here are motorcycle specific defensive driving techniques.
Be an Assertive Rider
The road is no place to be timid. Many new riders are fearful of getting too close to a car, and so, they hug the outside edge of the lane. This is a mistake. Riders that hug the outside edge of their lanes encourage other motorists to share the lane. This can lead to an accident. Instead of hugging the inside of the lane, ride close to the line on the inside of the lane. That will keep other motorists from trying to ride alongside you in your lane.
Use Other Vehicles as Shields
As mentioned in part 1, drivers often don’t see motorcyclists. Their eyes aren’t trained to spot you, and many accidents between car drivers and motorcyclists occur at intersections. By using a car as a shield at intersections, you reduce your risk of being the victim of a traffic accident. Ideally, you will have a car in the left hand lane while you are in the right. This will prevent another vehicle from turning into you when they make a left hand turn. Always make eye contact with the other driver. This ensures that they see you and understand what you are trying to do. Then pass through the intersection simultaneously.
Ride in the Bubble
Your motorcycle is smaller and more maneuverable than a typical car. You have the ability to quickly find space in traffic. There is no reason to ride close to other vehicles. There is usually a “bubble” where traffic is relatively light. You should do your best to always look for and ride within that safe “bubble” on the highways.
Ride in the “Safe” Lane
On multi-lane highways, some lanes are safer than others are for motorcyclists. The right hand lane is rarely the safest lane. The reduced visibility of your motorcycle means that there is a greater potential for drivers to fail to notice you when they merge onto the highway. For this reason, the middle or far left lanes are normally your “safe” lanes. The left lane is the safest if there is a shoulder. If not, you should ride in the middle lanes. Even though some lanes are safer, you should remember to try to avoid riding alongside other vehicles. If they make a lane change, they could cause an accident or run you off the road.
If you follow the above tips on your next ride, you will greatly reduce your chances of being in a traffic accident. The key to maintaining your safety is to always be aware of your surroundings and what other motorists are doing around you. Motorcycles rarely win when they get in a tangle with a car or truck, and the rider is usually injured. Don’t be another statistic.
At our law firm, we often see the results of traffic accidents involving motorcycles, and they are rarely pretty. While it is our profession to help our clients obtain the compensation to which they are entitled, we would be all too happy to never see another motorcyclist injured in an automobile accident, but if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, we are here to help you through the claims process. Just fill out the contact form found on this page, and one of our expert attorneys will contact you shortly.