It's hard to believe, given the winter storm expected to pass through Missouri this weekend, but spring will be here in a matter of weeks. As temperatures begin to warm, Joplin drivers can expect to see area motorcyclists getting back on their bikes once again. Since there isn't much motorcycle traffic during the winter months, many drivers have forgotten all about sharing the road with motorcycles by the time spring rolls around. In this post, our Missouri personal injury lawyers review some important motorcycle safety tips that all motorists should keep in mind this riding season.
Sharing the road: What drivers can do to reduce motorcycle accidents
• Be aware of motorcyclists traveling near you and respect their right to the road. Remember, under the law, motorcycles are entitled to the same rights and privileges as other kind of motor vehicles.
• Allow extra space for motorcycles. Always increase your following distance when traveling behind a motorcyclist. Motorcycles handle differently than other kinds of passenger vehicles, so it's essential to give riders plenty of room in case they need to swerve or stop suddenly. Also, importantly, a larger vehicle should not attempt to share a lane with a motorcycle. Though there may appear to be plenty of room, a motorcycle needs a full lane to maneuver safely.
• Signal your intentions. Always use your turn signals when you're preparing to make a turn, change lanes, or merge into traffic. Doing so will help motorcyclists anticipate your next move and respond accordingly.
• Expect riders to make sudden adjustments for roadway conditions. Hazards like loose gravel, uneven pavement and wet roads can be especially dangerous for motorcycles. Riders often need to change their speed or adjust lane position when they encounter these conditions.
• Always look twice. Many motorcycle accidents happen because other drivers simply don't realize a motorcyclist is there. It's paramount that you check your mirrors and your blind spots, especially at intersections and when making left turns. It just might save someone's life.