A common refrain often heard after a driver of a passenger vehicle strikes a motorcyclist is, “I just didn’t see the motorcycle.” Visibility problems are no excuse for negligence on the road, but we can take steps to mitigate the risks.
Avoid driving in foggy or inclement weather. Have your headlights inspected to ensure they are providing optimal illumination. Pay special attention when changing lanes or when making a left turn at an intersection. Blind spots are an area of concern worth special consideration, especially in relation to driving alongside motorcycles.
Overcoming design limitations
Rear-view mirrors don’t see everything. Almost every passenger vehicle has blind spots on either side, where neither the center nor the side mirrors reveal objects to the side of the vehicle. Potential solutions to the blind spot problem include:
- Convex mirrors that allow for a greater rear-view visibility
- Properly adjusting mirrors for the individual driver to maximize visibility
- Looking out the side windows
- Always signaling in advance of making turns or lane changes
- Slowing down so that you and other motorists have more time to react in the event of a collision
You can also reduce blind spot problems by eliminating unecessary objects in your car that may limit your view, such as large boxes in the back seat or clothing hung up on the hooks attached to the interior walls of your vehicle.
Drivers must not only see their surroundings but listen to them as well. Motorcycles are noisy for a reason, but some are quieter than others. If you hear what sounds like a motorcycle nearby be very careful before changing lanes or making other traffic maneuvers.
Stay safe on Virginia roads
By following a few simple safety tips, you can reduce your chances of getting injured in an accident involving a motorcycle or other vehicle. If you have suffered an injury, you should explore your legal options as compensation may be available.