No matter how much safety gear you wear or how much riding experience you have, your life is at risk every time you ride your motorcycle. Though the vast majority of Atlanta’s riders reach their destination safely, the threat of an encounter with a reckless car driver is always there. Just a few seconds of carelessness or hostility from someone behind the wheel of a much larger vehicle can leave you disabled for life. Or worse, take away the life of someone you love.
How motorists recklessly put motorcycle riders’ lives in danger
Negligent driving takes many forms, but here are three types of negligence that put riders in particular danger of a severe motorcycle accident.
- Failure to notice a motorcycle. Motorcycles are some of the smallest vehicles on the road. Every car, truck and SUV contains blind spots that can easily hide a rider. That is why cars come equipped with rear-view and side mirrors, and drivers are expected to glance over their shoulder before turning, merging or changing lanes.
- Tailgating. A driver who does not respect a rider’s right to the road could decide to follow too closely. Then, if the rider has to stop suddenly, the driver behind them does not have time to brake and smashes into the bike.
- Failure to yield. Careless motorists attempting a left turn often miscalculate how far away an approaching motorcycle is. Another common maneuver is to drive through a red light as a motorcyclist with right of way enters the intersection.
These behaviors increase the risk of causing any kind of car accident, of course. But riders tend to suffer much more serious injuries than the drivers and passengers inside four-wheeled vehicles, most of which come equipped with seatbelts, airbags, crumple zones and other safety features. Motorcycles have none of these. Thus, any collision has potentially life-altering consequences.