On average, motorists file a claim for a collision once every 17.9 years. What this statistic means for motorcyclists is that if you ride like the average motorist drives, you have anywhere between zero and 17.9 years before you get into your next accident (depending on when your most recent accident occurred).
Unfortunately, that time span could be shorter because other motor vehicles have difficulty seeing motorcycles in busy traffic situations. It also means that you may never experience the 3 or 4 accidents the average motorist have in a driving lifetime. That’s because collisions are far more deadly to motorcyclists. The next one, or the one after that, could be the last one.
That’s why you can’t afford to ride like the average motorist drives and why defensive motorcycle riding is so important. Here are five defensive riding tips:
Motorcycles are small and don’t resemble the four-wheeled vehicles that motorists look for. You are off their radar, which means you have to compensate by wearing highly visible gear. Choose the same high visibility colors used by road construction workers or the traffic police. Ride with your headlights on during the day and night, and wear reflective materials at night.
Ride as Though You Aren’t Seen
Even with high visibility gear, motorists may not see you. Never make a traffic move that assumes a motorist sees you. Many motorcycle accident victims say that they thought a motorist made eye contact and therefore saw them. This so-called eye contact occurred seconds before getting hit by the motorist. The driver of the car may be looking straight through you if he is focused on something behind you or is distracted.
Use Cars as Shields
When moving through a multilane intersection, position yourself so that a car making a left turn in front of you is blocked by a car riding beside you on your left side. The car physically protects you and is exactly the type of vehicle other motorists watch out for.
Know Where You’re Going
Looking at a map or GPS takes your mind off your defensive riding. Memorize the directions before your ride. Finding your way, even when using memorized directions is a distraction, but can’t be helped. At least your eyes are on the road.
Scan the Road
Never fixate your eyes on any one thing for too long. Scan the road ahead well beyond the car in front of you and make a habit of checking your rear view mirrors, especially when braking or waiting at an intersection.
If a distracted or otherwise negligent driver injured you in an accident, get legal advice from an experienced St. Mary’s County accident lawyer. Contact us at 844-Take-MyCase or visit our website at www.844TakeMyCase.com.
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