What are 4 Safety Precautions Motorcyclists can Take to Avoid Fatal Accidents?

Motorcyclists face incredible risks every time they head out on the roadway. The reality is that a motorcyclist does not have the same type of protection surrounding them as traditional vehicle drivers and passengers do. Simple mistakes, either made by a motorcyclist or other drivers, can lead to serious injury or fatal accidents. Here, we want to discuss four safety precautions that motorcyclists can take to avoid fatal accidents on the roadways of Tennessee. If you had a family member who was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident, call our motorcycle accident lawyers in Nashville to see if we can help with your case.

1. Take it Slower

This may seem rather obvious, but this is not meant to imply that motorcyclists speed on a regular basis. The reality is that motorcyclists have much less protection in the event they are involved in a vehicle accident than do those inside traditional passenger cars. This means that motorcyclists must be extra vigilant about the speed at which they operate. The faster motorcycles go, the less time the rider will have to react to other cars, debris, or any other roadway hazards.

Motorcyclists should never go above the posted speed limit, and they always need to be aware of changing roadway conditions. Even the posted speed limit may be too fast for conditions in some situations. If it has been raining out or if the roadways may be icy (this happens during the Tennessee winters), it is crucial for motorcyclists to adjust their speed accordingly. Additionally, if traffic is heavy, motorcyclists need to slow down significantly.

2. Be Careful at Intersections

The reality is that other drivers on the roadway are not likely to extend courtesy to motorcyclists, so motorcycle operators have to take extra steps to be safe. This is particularly true at intersections. Studies have shown time and time again that intersections are the most dangerous area for motorcyclists. One of the main causes of intersection motorcycle crashes includes vehicle drivers making left-hand turns in front of a motorcyclist even if they do not have the right-of-way.

Additionally, it is not uncommon for vehicle drivers to speed up when they see a yellow light in an effort to beat the red light, only to slam into a motorcyclist who is attempting to make a left-hand turn at an intersection. Motorcyclists need to be extra vigilant when they are approaching intersections. This is the area to cut down on distractions, reduce speed, and proceed carefully.

3. Never Ride Between Traffic (lane splitting)

California is the only state that has legalized lane splitting, which is the practice of a motorcyclist traveling between two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. This is incredibly dangerous in Tennessee, not to mention illegal. When a motorcyclist tries to lane split in this state, they will very likely catch motorists off guard. There are various ways that accidents can occur when a motorcyclist’s lane splits, including drivers changing lanes into the motorcyclist’s path.

Additionally, motorcyclists should not operate their bikes in between parked cars. Accidents could occur if a driver or passenger decides to open their door or if a pedestrian steps out in between the vehicles.

4. Never Ride While Impaired

It is never safe to operate a motorcycle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. It takes a significant amount of concentration and coordination to properly handle a motorcycle, and the chances of an accident occurring when a motorcyclist is impaired are significantly increased. Alcohol slows a motorcyclist’s reaction time and impairs judgment, and impaired riding is one of the leading causes of fatal motorcycle crashes.