As the weather gets nicer on Long Island, more will look forward to going outside. This includes motorcyclists, who will take advantage of the nicer temperatures and the longer hours of sunlight. On Long Island especially where our roads can be busy and unpredictable, motorcyclists always face a measure of risk when sharing the road with New York drivers. An astounding 98% of motorcycle accidents result in injury. And unlike cars, which have built in safety mechanisms (air bags, seat belts), motorcycle accident injuries are often severe due to the lack of such safety mechanisms. Therefore, whether or not you drive a motorcyclist, here’s how you can be safe when sharing the road with motorcycles.
Every time you go out on the road, you are potentially sharing the road with a motorcyclist. Many drivers do not know how to properly share the road with them, and can cause serious injury if they are not careful. Here are factors that result in a driver making the road unsafe for a motorcyclist.
Negligence from an automobile driver is very hard for a motorcyclist to account for. While driving negligently makes the roads unsafe for any driver, it makes it especially difficult for a motorcyclist to anticipate. If there is an accident with a motorcycle and the driver was disobeying traffic laws, the driver is at fault. Therefore, it is important to obey all traffic laws, you would not want to cause a motorcycle injury.
Additionally, being predictable is the best way to avoid accidents with a motorcycle. Using your directionals and following the speed limit make it easier for a motorcycle to safely be able to drive defensively as well. Remember, if you get in an accident with a motorcycle, they will most likely get injured, but you will most likely be fine. So being predictable is a courtesy to them to not be a danger to their life
Every driver should be checking their blind spots before they switch lanes. However, motorcycles are even harder to see since they are small vehicles. What can help is the fact that motorcycles are also louder than most cars. If you are a driver and hear a motorcycle nearby, pay special attention to your blind spots when switching lanes.
Oftentimes, a motorcycle accident is not the fault of the motorcyclist. However, it is not uncommon for motorcyclists to get into unsafe driving habits that greatly increase the risk of an accident and serious injury. Here’s how you can reduce the risk of an accident.
Just like motorists, motorcyclists should be careful about blind spots. Understand that drivers can have a hard time seeing you at their blind spots. Therefore, if you are operating a motorcycle be aware that a motor vehicle operator may not see you. Try and steer clear of any possible blind spots.
Traffic can be unbearable on Long Island, we all know this. But there is no reason to risk your life to try and skip traffic by lane splitting. This is a maneuver that motorcyclists use to pass traffic by going along the space between lanes to pass cars. This practice is not only dangerous, but is illegal in the state of New York. Motorcyclists should avoid this practice to prevent a serious accident.
A motorcycle is on only two wheels which makes it even harder to control or slow down when a defensive maneuver needs to be made. Speeding on a motorcycle would be no problem if it was guaranteed that there are no other hazardous drivers or roads. However, on Long Island, that will never be the case. Sharp turns, potholes and quick stops are always possible and can easily result in a motorcycle accident if the driver is going too fast.
Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.
His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.