Motorcycles can be extremely fun to ride, but the potential dangers always need to be carefully considered. Motorcycle drivers are statistically overrepresented in fatal traffic accidents in the United States, with more than 5,500 fatalities in 2020. This makes it absolutely crucial to take all possible safety precautions when riding a motorcycle. This includes being aware of your surroundings and understanding your blind spots as well as other vehicles’ blind spots. 

What is a Blind Spot?

Most people have heard the term blind spot used before regarding a car or a truck accident. It’s an area around the vehicle that the driver cannot see by looking ahead or to the sides, or in the mirrors. Motorcycle riders also have blind spots that need to be taken into account. Blind spots are incredibly dangerous, as they may cause a motorcycle or another motor vehicle to make a movement that they otherwise would never make. This can lead to serious accidents. 

The Dangers of a Blind Spot for Motorcycle Drivers

Blind spots are dangerous for all types of motor vehicles because they can cause accidents to occur, but motorcyclists face even more potential consequences because of blind spots.

More Difficult To Be Seen

Motorcycles are significantly smaller than all other motor vehicles, making them much more difficult to see on the road, especially if the motorcycle is traveling in someone’s blind spot. When riding on a motorcycle, you must be extra cautious of your blind spot and everyone else’s blind spot. The safest way to drive a motorcycle is to assume that the other vehicles on the road don’t see you; always watch what the other vehicles are doing and wait until there is more than enough space to pass another vehicle.

Higher Risk of Serious Injury

Anytime a motorcycle rider is in an accident with another vehicle, they are at much higher risk of serious injury. With a truck or other type of motor vehicle, there is at least the frame of the vehicle to provide some protection to the driver or passengers. This is clearly non-existent in a motorcycle, which creates substantial risk for serious injuries, including fractures, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries. 

Tips For Motorcyclists

Because there is such a high risk of serious injury as motorcycle rider, it’s important to take as many safety precautions as possible when riding. To avoid getting caught in someone’s blind spot and to prevent accidents, all motorcycle drivers should consider taking the following safety precautions:

1. Drive Defensively

When driving a motorcycle, you should always be on the defensive. Give yourself as much space from other vehicles as possible, and scan the road around you before making any lane changes or turns. 

2. Wear Bright Clothing

Wearing brightly colored clothing can help other motorists see you sooner, which can help prevent accidents. 

3. Remember Your Blind Spots

Don’t forget that you as a motorcyclist have blind spots as well. Always look to both sides and over your shoulder if you can do so safely before changing lanes or turning to ensure you aren’t merging into another vehicle.

4. Avoid Riding in Blind Spots

This probably goes without saying, but it’s worth mentioning again: never ride in another vehicle’s blind spot. You won’t know the exact spot, but you can usually get a pretty good idea of where a vehicle’s blind spot would be. Never assume that they see you simply because you’ve been driving next to them for a while; you may have been in their blind spot for the majority of that time.

5. Pass Quickly

If you do need to pass a vehicle and therefore cannot avoid entering their blind spot temporarily, make sure you do so quickly and safely. The sooner you exit their blind spot, the sooner they will be able to see you, which will help prevent accidents.

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident and need help determining your next steps, contact our Gulfport motorcycle accident attorneys  today to schedule a free consultation.