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

Why aren’t safety systems helping motorcyclists?

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Particularly when you ride your motorcycle on Virginia highways, you hope that the people in the cars and trucks around you are doing a head check to look for you before changing lanes. Ideally, you can avoid a sideswipe accident by staying out of motorists’ blind spots, but in real life, traffic does not always allow you to take advantage of this defensive riding technique. According to, blind spot technology that should keep you safe from careless drivers may actually increase your risk of a motorcycle crash.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety performs rigorous studies and tests on new technology to make sure it performs the way it should. When researchers evaluated the effectiveness of blind spot warning systems, they discovered some surprising issues that are particularly relevant for you when you are on your motorcycle:

  • Drivers who rely on the technology are even less likely to do a mirror and head check, increasing their chances of running into you.
  • Some systems do not identify anything in vehicle blind spots until it is too late to prevent a crash.
  • When vehicles are driving at highway speeds, the technology does not work well.
  • Constant alerts from various safety systems often irritate and distract drivers rather than helping them identify hazards.

Perhaps the issue most significant for you is that you and your motorcycle are even less visible to the technology than cars are. It takes 26 percent longer for your presence to register with a system, and that does not give the motorist time to react. This information is provided as a general warning about highway safety problems, but it should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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