Intersections – Increased Dangers to Motorcyclists

Statistics indicate that nearly one-third of motorcycle crashes occur at intersections. Of the collisions that occur at intersections, most involved a vehicle making a left hand turn at the intersection into the motorcyclist. While you, the motorcyclist, have the right to go through the intersection on a green light, sadly this does not mean that the drivers of the vehicles around you will see you.

While intersections are inherently dangerous for all vehicles on the road, motorcycles and pedestrians suffer greater injury when a collision occurs due to the lack of protection they have. Complicating matters is that many drivers, of cars and motorcycles alike, have a bad habit of accelerating through stoplights and/or jumping the light which increases risks of accidents.

Below is a list of idea to protect the motorcyclist while traveling through intersections.

  1. Ride assertively through the intersection.
  2. Maintain the same rate of speed throughout the crossing of the intersection.
  3. Avoid accelerating through intersections. Surrounding drivers become confused with acceleration and falsely perceive – based on the speed before the motorcyclist accelerated – that they have more time and/or space to clear the intersection.
  4. Avoid eye contact with drivers while going through the intersection. At times, establishing eye contact, gives the impression the motorcyclist is giving permission for the other driver to go.
  5. While making turns, move away from the nearby cars, especially if they are turning left in front of you. Some motorcyclists make movements with their bike to attract the eye of the drivers around.
  6. Ideally, keep distance between yourself and the car turning left in front of you. The greater distance between both parties gives extra seconds to correct course and avoid a collision.
  7. Avoid braking or slowing down unnecessarily near the intersection which make confuse the driver of nearby cars. It may encourage the driver to believe that you are yielding the right of way and encouraging him to proceed on the left turn which could result in an accident.
  8. Motorcyclists who keep front headlights on at all times can help other drivers recognize the presence of the motorcycle and its rider.
  9. Auxiliary lamps that are on the handlebars or at a width of approximately the handlebars can aid in helping drivers ‘perceive’ the motorcycle at night.
  10. Use both hand and foot brakes in cases of emergency.

 Despite using safety precautions while traveling through an intersection a collision may still occur. If you find yourself injured after a collision and need advice on how to handle your motorcycle injury claim, the Edward A Smith Law Offices would be more than happy to provide a free consultation to discuss your options. Their office has been handling injury claims, including motorcycle claims, since 1982. Many of their employees are avid motorcyclists themselves. Please contact us at 916.921.6400. You can also look at their website to evaluate their successful verdicts and settlements and see what their clients are saying.

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