When a motorcyclist is sharing a Texas roadway with other vehicles, the risk of collision greatly increases if they approach an intersection at the same time. In fact, more than 40% of fatal motorcycle collisions occur at intersections when another vehicle is turning left. There are several things you can do while riding a bike to improve safety at a crossroad.
One of the most common mistakes motorcyclists make at intersections is to proceed when there is a visual obstruction in front of them. For example, if you’re approaching a traffic light and a commercial truck is in front of your motorcycle, you might not be able to see the light or anything beyond the truck. In such circumstances, it is always best to pause, even if you think the light has turned green. Enter the intersection only after your entire field of vision is clear.
What else can you do to improve motorcycle safety at intersections?
You might be traveling on a Texas road and notice a motorcyclist in your rearview or side-view mirrors. Perhaps, moments later, you glance again and no longer see the motorcycle. Never assume that the rider has turned off onto another road. He or she may simply be in your vehicle’s blind spots.
If you’re in a car, be aware that motorcycles can hide from view in your vehicle’s blind spots. If you’re on a motorcycle, try to always maintain a lane position that keeps you visible to other drivers. At least 41% of motorcycle collisions occur because of drivers failing to see motorcycles on the road. Traffic, bright sunlight or rain and fog can impede visibility, which can make it even more difficult to see someone on a motorcycle.
Increase following distance if you’re behind a motorcycle
If you don’t see brake lights on a motorcycle, it doesn’t necessarily mean the operator is not slowing down to stop. Motorcyclists often downshift to decelerate. If you’re traveling too closely behind a motorcycle when the operator downshifts, a rear-end collision may result. To improve safety, especially when approaching intersections, increase the average space between your vehicle and a motorcycle to at least four seconds of stopping distance.
When a driver’s negligence causes a Texas collision involving a motorcycle, the results are often disastrous and, perhaps, even fatal. If you survive your injuries, state law allows you to seek restitution for damages, which most recovering accident victims pursue by filing personal injury claims in a civil court.