Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law

Safety precautions for sharing Virginia roads with motorcyclists

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Virginia motorcyclists usually take safety seriously when they climb on their bikes. Whether by wearing a helmet, obeying traffic laws, or using their headlights and taillights when appropriate, they often take precautions to ensure their own safety. Vehicle drivers also ought to be taking precautions to prevent dangerous motorcycle wrecks. There are many steps drivers can take to help make the roads safer for motorcyclists and themselves.

Drivers should never try to share traffic lanes with motorcyclists. Despite their smaller size, motorcycles have the right to occupy a full lane. To crowd a vehicle in next to a motorcycle creates the risk of a motorcycle collision.

Similarly, drivers should allow motorcyclists ample room to maneuver their bikes, following no closer than three or four seconds behind a bike. This is particularly important in areas with railroad crossings, pavement transitions or if the terrain is uneven, due to potholes or other obstacles. It can take motorcyclists more time to maneuver their bikes in these situations than it might take a driver of a larger vehicle. Drivers ought to cautiously look before changing lanes as well, as motorcycles can be hard to see due to their smaller profile.

Motorcyclists frequently drive on weekends, and, therefore, drivers should be aware of the increased likelihood of motorcyclists and use caution when traveling on those days. Whatever day of the week, however, the safety of motorcyclists on the road depends on all drivers to take proper precautions to prevent accidents. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of a driver who did not take proper safety precautions, you may wish to consider seeking legal counsel in Virginia to discuss your options against a negligent party.

Source: aaa.com, "Motorcycle Safety," accessed Mar. 4, 2016

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