Young drivers, or inexperienced drivers, can be quite a liability to the roadway. This isn’t their fault. After all, we all have to start somewhere when it comes to managing highways, fast lanes, and bustling streets. However, when you’re a motorcyclist— inexperienced drivers present an added hazard to the roadway. Maybe it’s a student driver, new driver, or someone from outside of the area. No matter the reason, riders might find themselves surrounded by drivers who aren’t aware of bikers, and the etiquette you should use around them.
Inexperienced Drivers: Motorcyclist Dangers
If you are new to the roadway, you might not be used to driving around alternative vehicles, such as tractor trailers and motorcycles. Seasoned drivers tend to be more comfortable, and therefore respond in the proper manner when it comes to different vehicles. They might better understand how to share the roadway. A proper following distance makes all the difference in terms of biker safety, especially when an unexpected stop comes along. Moments such as this, is where proper training comes in…
Maybe you grew up in a low-traffic, rural area. But now, you’re moving to the city and the traffic is quite jarring. Every single one of us sat in a Driver’s Ed class. But, for many of us, that was quite a long time ago. Therefore, it’s important that we educate ourselves. If something in particular is difficult for you to understand— research it. We, even as adults, never stop learning. Look up proper etiquette for driving near a motorcycle, tractor trailer, or a vehicle that you’re unfamiliar with, such as a bicycle.
Ultimately, we are responsible for our own safety. But, staying safe yourself often means helping others to stay safe on the roadway. Increase your following distance, watch for coming obstructions, merging cars, and the like. The road is changing every day, and no two commutes will ever be the same. But, as drivers of all experience levels, we want to avoid accident, keep ourselves safe, and prevent issues from occurring. We encourage you to keep learning, take the long route if it makes you more comfortable, and do your part in keeping the roadway safe.
When it comes to car accidents, they often happen so quickly that we don’t have a chance to correct in the moment. Therefore, within a matter of moments, you find yourself seriously injured, with a totaled car, or just a few bumps and bruises. No matter the severity of your accident, you likely wonder what you could have done differently to prevent this from happening. The fact of the matter is, accident prevention is something we need to practice every single time we get behind the wheel of the vehicle. An accident can happen at any point in time, and we need to be prepared…
Accident Prevention: Avoiding Car Crash
Choose the right car, and maintain it
One of the best steps in avoiding car accident is choosing the right car. It can be easy to pick a car based on its design, color, or even speed. But when your focus is staying safe, you want to go for the most reliable, trustworthy vehicle. In addition to choosing the right car, you want to maintain the car properly. By keeping up with routine maintenance, you can help ensure the reliability of your vehicle over a long period of time. Which, in turn, assists in avoiding car accidents that could be the result of a lack of vehicle reliability.
When avoiding car accidents, a lot of responsibility comes down to the driver. Aside from an unreliable vehicle, one, or multiple, drivers are typically at fault for an accident. Therefore, check in with your driver. Or, if you are the driver, check in with yourself! How are you feeling today? Are you angry/sad/distracted/sober? Being able to react quickly is key to avoiding accidents in many cases.
Avoid driver distractions
To build on the previous section, driver distraction is one of the largest contributing factors in car crashes. These distractions can be anything that takes your eyes, hands, and focus away from the road. From in-car distractions, such as picking a song and eating snacks— to mental distraction, such as an argument you had earlier in the day, anything that takes your mind off of the road is dangerous to your driving ability.
While you will typically always have a passenger in the car, you can make them aware that you need minimal distraction. Keep the music at a decent level, don’t try and show the driver videos, and so forth. While you can keep your passengers in check, sometimes the cell phone is the problem. Most people get distracted by their cell phone at some point in time. However, you must make sure that doesn’t happen on the roadway. In today’s day-and-age, cell phones are a top reason for driver distraction, and the cause of many accidents.
In short, accident prevention comes down to a few simple factors that you have control over. As always, accidents do, and will, occur sometimes. However, by taking steps to prevent them, we improve our chances of staying safe on the road.
If you live in North or South Carolina, chances are you’ve heard of reckless driving before. Maybe you have a friends who has a charge of reckless driving, maybe you have, or you’ve just heard it on the news. No matter your relationship to the term, it’s important that drivers understand what this charge is, and how to avoid it.
Reckless Driving in NC: Understanding the Law
In North Carolina, there is a statute for reckless driving. Under the statute, reckless driving charges can be made when… (in words that are easier to understand):
- Someone driving on a highway, or ‘public vehicular area’ (PVA) with disregard and a lack of care towards the rights and safety of others.
- Driving in a PVA without caution, and at a speed that endangers others, or the proper of others.
If you are driving a commercial vehicle that needs permitting to be on the highway, the driver is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor in these cases:
- Driving carelessly, or in disregard of the rights and safety of others.
- Without caution, or in a manner that could endanger others or their property.
Someone may face conviction for reckless driving if they’re driving with neglect towards others, or their property. Reckless driving is typical when you’re traveling at high speed, and can often be cited like a speeding ticket. Of course, this applies to your every day passenger car drivers. But, when it comes to a commercial vehicle? The issue becomes a bit more serious. After all, your vehicle has the potential to cause a lot more damage.
A piece of terminology used in these statutes is: ‘willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others’. The court understands that not every single instance of speeding has this. In most cases, it comes down to an inquiry into the facts of the case, and whether you meet certain standards.
Finally, to avoid this type of ticket, it mostly comes down to making sure that you observe the speed limits, drive with caution, and do your part to keep the roadway safe. Most people will speed at some point in their adult life, that’s just common sense. However, reckless driving can be particularly damaging to your driving record, and the wellbeing of yourself and others.
A small fender bender typically doesn’t do massive amounts of damage to the drivers involved. Typically, at worst, they’ll face a bit of whiplash and residual headaches. However, when it comes to rear-ending motorcycles, the damage can be quite serious. Think about it: when you rear-end a car, it typically lurches a bit and stops. Then, you’ll have a cracked bumper, but typically, everyone— and even the vehicles, will be able to drive away. However, on a motorcycle? That hit can result in the rider ejecting from the bike and into your windshield, or even the roadway. These accidents are serious and, when they occur, they can cause quite a bit of damage.
Rear-Ending Motorcycles: A Dangerous Incident
There’s no denying that either party can be at-fault in this scenario. Bikers, just like drivers, must take responsibility for their own safety. However, bikers are already at a disadvantage when it comes to safety. One additional fact to consider, is that they don’t quite have as much ability to keep a strong following distance as passenger vehicles do. When driving in traffic, we can do a lot with out vehicles to keep our own space. From increasing your own following distance, to giving that quick ‘brake check’ to the driver who can’t seem to grasp the idea that you don’t control the pace of traffic. Motorcyclists can increase their own following distance, but if someone is riding them closely— they don’t have that same luxury of giving a warning tap to the brakes.
This can be quite dangerous for motorcyclists, as I’m sure you already guessed. There are plenty of ways in which this can result in an accident. For instance, they hit the brakes and the car driver does not slow down. Instead, the rear-end the motorcyclist. When you’re in a passenger vehicle, and you perform a brake check, you typically accept that the other driver might hit you. It’s part of that little game we play. An accident isn’t the ideal end result, but we are trying to prove a point… right? But when it comes to brake checking that leads to rear-ending motorcycles? The biker isn’t quite in the driver’s seat— no pun intended…
There is a quite a bit of bias that comes up towards motorcyclists
Being a motorcyclist comes with a few distinct challenges. Many of them are on the roadway, but another serious challenge— typically arises when they least expect it. Biker bias is very much an issue within the justice system, and amongst jurors. The problem with this, is not that bikers dislike the image others have of them. Rather, the problem is that that image leads to jury bias when they need it the very least.
In the unfortunate instance where a motorcyclist, or their family, ends up in court to reach a settlement for injuries or death— jury bias can be particularly harmful. Let’s face it: most people on that jury likely drove a passenger vehicle to get there. Therefore, they likely have a certain image in their mind when they think of bikers and the way in which they drive. These biases do not typically apply to the average biker. However, they can be harmful to them when they are in the court room.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a motorcycle accident— you deserve proper representation when going before an unintentionally stacked jury. So, do your research, find the right fit for you, and get the compensation you deserve. You should not have to pay for the damages caused by another driver. Especially at the hands of a misunderstanding jury. We wish you luck in handling your case, and offer our services if you might need them.
Rear-view cameras are a staple in newer vehicles, and they come in handy most of the time. However, this technology, just like all other technology, has it’s failings. One failing in particular, is the blind trust that many drivers have in it. Many rear-view cameras will beep if there is an obstruction in your path for backing up, so many people don’t think to actually look behind them. Therefore, when that object doesn’t register for your back-up camera, you are at risk of hitting someone or something. One object at particular risk, is a motorcycle.
Motorcycles and Rear-View Cameras: Putting Bikers at Risk
Bikers are already more difficult to spot
Therefore, we must take added precaution when backing up. A back-up camera serves the purpose of aiding your backing up, not dictating it completely. So, it’s important that while your rear-view cameras play their role, you also take some responsibility in it. Keep in mind that disclaimer that pops up on the screen when you use the camera; something to the effect of ‘not liable for damages or injury’. Therefore, if you cause injury, your car company is not taking responsibility.
One other issue to take into account is the accuracy of those safety features on your vehicle. They beep, or alert you in some way of obstructions. But how do they measure them? What will alert you and what will not? Motorcycles are particularly small, and therefore they may not register as quickly, or even at all.
Take for example, a driver, who is in a rush, driving a sedan with a rear-view camera. The driver of the sedan may exclusively depend on the camera to back up. Because the camera only displays the area behind the driver, the driver must look left and right. If the driver fails to look both ways, the potential for an accident is at large. If a driver relies solely on this camera; other drivers, pedestrians, or riders may be at risk.
Bikers are also already at higher risk of injury
Aside from the heightened risk of being hit, they’re also at an increased risk of injury. So, while hitting anyone can be problematic, a biker will likely incur more injuries than the average driver. So, settlements will be higher, injury will be greater, and you will have more to deal with in fixing this issue. All in all, you should take from this that a back-up camera should be an accessory to help rather than carry all the weight. Still look to your sides, and behind you. You never know what might be hiding outside of the cameras line of sight.
It used to be fun as a kid— you were riding the school bus and a big truck goes by. All the kids pump their arms in hopes that the truck driver will humor you and honk. We’ve all seen it, and likely done it at some point in our lives. However, as we get older and driving on the roadway becomes more serious, those distractions can become dangerous. Distracting truckers by asking them to honk, or being caught off guard by a loud airhorn, can be dangerous for all drivers.
Distracting Truckers: Save the Horn for Safety
Eyes off the road
One major issue with getting a trucker’s attention to do something silly, is that their eyes leave the roadway. Even if just for a second, distracting truckers can cause a major issue. Most of them will be able to multitask and do this if asked. After all, it’s for the kids. But, in that off-chance that they take their eyes off the road, just as someone merges right into their front bumper… big trouble. So, all in all, let those truckers keep their eyes on the road. They have enough distractions already without trying to entertain your children.
However, you cannot control the actions of others
While you might not have considered this before, and now definitely aim to stop playing this game— others might not. Therefore, you might be following the rules and being courteous, but others might not. So, you have to account for that. Keep your distance from large trucks, and don’t drive in their blind spots. Most of them are model drivers, but that is not always the case. Whether they lose focus, control, or it’s at the hands of someone else— there is the potential for accident at all times. The best thing you can do is drive, and set your following distance, accordingly.
Only the truck driver can control whether or not he or she becomes distracted. But, the added distractions don’t make it any easier. At the end of the day, that truck driver will decide whether to honor your request or not. So, drive safe, be on guard, and expect that something like this may occur. By doing so, you’ll be more prepared for an unexpected occurrence.